Friday, October 10, 2014

A Day with Anxiety part 1

Before I even open my eyes, I feel off balance, like someone has kidnapped me in the middle of the night and left me on a boat to die. I don’t want to open my eyes because if the dizziness doesn’t go away, it’s going to be one of those days.

I take stock of everything I’m feeling, testing if it gets worse when I move my head—it does—moving my jaw around and noticing the stuffy, crinkly pressure in my ear.

God, I love fall and all its weather changes that heighten my vertigo and turn me into an anxious hermit on the brink of panic until my body adjusts.

I finally open my eyes and the dizziness doesn’t stop. My fingertips start to tingle, and I start to sweat. I sit up because I need to do something to get everything to focus before I fall over the panic edge.

I begin the body analysis, noticing how once I focus my eyes on something, my head adjusts and the spinning is gone. I know this feeling; vertigo is an old friend. I’m not going to die, nor pass out, nor is this a stroke.

I get out of bed, flex my fingers, continue the ‘I’m fine’ mantra through breakfast and every time I move my head and have to repeat the focus process.

I wanted to go shopping today. I’d wanted to maybe get a coffee too.

That’s not going to happen anymore. The thought of walking through the mall with this dizziness makes my stomach flip.

I don’t get out of my pajamas. I play Skyrim for a few hours because it takes my mind off everything, and I’m calm.

But now I feel useless. It’s Tuesday and I’m wasting it away on a video game. I think maybe a bath will help. 

I settle in, ignoring the heightened dizziness of lying down, and read a book in the warm water.

A phone call from my mom pulls me out of my daze. I sit up quickly to answer and immediately regret that impulse. The room starts spinning, but I concentrate on my mom’s voice, talking with her about the cats in the backyard while my balance equalizes.

Suddenly, my tongue feels like it’s fallen asleep. And it’s all I can think about. Why is my tongue numb? Has this ever happened before? Yes. But this isn’t a stroke. I can still see and there’s no headache. But what if this means another one is coming? Should I go to the hospital? It kind of feels like I may throw up.

My mom’s voice breaks through, but I tell her I have to go, not waiting to give a proper goodbye.

I rush around the house, trying to get dressed. I tell the hubs I need to go to the hospital, but I’m silent after that. I can’t process conversation right now. I’m just trying to get dressed without passing out or throwing up.

I go to the bathroom three times in fifteen minutes before I get everything together to go. One of the more lovelier side effects of my panic attacks is the body release. It’s all kinds of pleasant.

Tomorrow comes part 2 at the hospital. 

To learn more about my experience with anxiety, go here to read about my first panic attack story and here for my battles with OCD. 


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