This is the writings of a random panic attack I had the other day. I don’t normally have these, because I’m aware of what I can do and when I should stop, but they do happen for me occasionally, especially if I’m trying to do too much and I’m starting to falter.
I woke up at 3:30 this morning to my husband’s kicking, and I couldn’t go back to sleep. I got out of bed this morning crying and feeling hopeless. I feel orange and kicky inside. I can’t think straight. I don’t know why I’m feeling this way. The pictures are memories of today and last night and move too fast for me to try and pinpoint what my body is trying to tell me.
I made it to work though. I fought with Josh, but I made it. I knew I was being difficult when I told him I didn’t know what was wrong or how he could help me, but that was the truth. I felt panic trying to answer. I know that means this is in my head.
I know I need to calm down. Logically, I can reason there is nothing different about today from any other day. Logically, there is no reason to feel this way. This keeps me from being this way to others. So far I’ve only been told I look sick. I feel like something is going to happen, but I don’t think that’s right and I don’t feel good.
I know my feelings aren’t right and that’s why I’m still at work, but I need something. I’m trying to figure out in my mind what it is, because I don’t think that leaving work is the answer. I can’t do that, I have so much to do. I’m harnessing my anxiety into working on my accounts, but I feel like this is life or death. Sometimes I can trick my mind into making this some sort of fun battle, but right now I feel like I’m in danger. I can’t do that fun thing because this feels super serious.
I feel a quiet calm when I write this out. This is confirmation to me that this is what I’m feeling. I’m familiar with the kickback of when it’s not and so far it’s absent.
Talking to myself helps. Talking out loud doesn’t. Talking out loud makes me feel like I’m crazy.
I reach a certain level of calm where my mind thinks it’s safe to express and I start to cry. I can’t get past that point, I keep having to bring myself back up to get it to stop, it’s easier to raise my anxiety into manually faking calm than it is to actually calm down and relax.
I can’t think completely straight. I keep looking at all the time I’m wasting. It makes me panic more. I should stop doing that. I feel hunger in my stomach and fluff in my head. I’ve been needing so much food lately and I gained like 10 pounds in a week and I don’t know what to do. I’m so stressed. Even when I’m doing the things I love it’s been feeling laborious. That’s a sign of depression, which I was diagnosed with a couple months ago, but my life is awesome and I don’t know why I’m depressed. Chemical imbalance.
I don’t want to have all of this shit wrong with me. Why can’t I be normal-
Old demons coming back to bite. I’m not normal. Just let that go. My mind is picking anything to get me to react. It feels like my mind is trying to get me to do something about how I feel.
I feel like crap. That’s probably why I fought with Josh this morning. Actually fighting feels like that might help, but who would fight with me? I’m a grown up now and that’s not acceptable unless you’re in martial arts and I don’t have the money for that.
Also that doesn’t make sense either because it would deplete my resources and could potentially make things worse. The less resources I have, the more emotional I feel, the less control I have.
Exasperation is starting to rear it’s head. That comes with not being able to psychologically control my neurological problem. I need to figure out what physical thing will help me before I lose my shit. I’m going to try and get something in my stomach. I said I was hungry earlier.
Okay I’m snacking on this thing called “That’s It” which is a fruit bar from the vending machine. I feel calmer, more in control. I can make it. I wonder where the calmness comes from, if it comes from my mind and feeling good about taking control, or if it comes from my body’s needs being met.
I have no idea what sparks these things on. Sometimes I’ll be playing my clarinet and I’ll remember things from the past that hurt me and I get all glazed over. My husband always asks me what’s wrong, but I never know how to answer. It’s always different memories from different times in my life, coming through so vividly that I momentarily can’t shift them aside. Times like that and times like now make me feel like my mind and body take turns attacking my well-being.
Just because I feel better and calmer though doesn’t mean my hopeless feeling has gone away. Everything seems to be looking positive for me, and for some reason I’m scared of it. It feels like I can’t do everything that life has in store for me. I don’t completely understand why, but I feel it and I hate it and I don’t know how to make it stop.
I have the desire to do something about it. I need to do something.
What does that mean though?
If I still need to do something, but I feel calm and in control, what should I do?
Wait, if anxiety makes me question, “what do I need?”, and all my needs are met, what’s the answer? A problem.
I felt the kick, right now I need to work, but I can’t focus on that and I have to pee again. I can’t think straight still even with food and water and I feel panic over everything. It’s not my meds, it’s me, so I don’t even have that.
Racing thoughts just make it worse. I need to calm down my mind with focus.
Harnessing anxiety feels like catching a pissed off horse. It’s frustrating for you and the horse because you both need something, you need the horse to calm down and the horse needs you to acknowledge it’s feelings. It seems like an easy puzzle piece solution of using your skills to calm the horse down, but it’s harder than that, because the horse doesn’t trust you and it’s instincts are telling it that you mean harm and can’t help.
My anxiety demands that I pay attention to it, demands my time, my resources. Maybe my depression comes from feeling out of control and not feeling productive. That makes sense. I feel bad about myself for not being able to keep up with everything I need to be keeping up with. That makes sense as to why I feel hopeless too.
I suppose I’ll take these feelings and try to do something with them. Writing calmed me down enough to move forward, but it’s not enough to make me feel better.
I have work to do, always something to do, so I’ll just deal with it for now, I guess.
Maybe I’ll get something done and get to feel accomplished.
AFTERNOON UPDATE: After eating, drinking caffeinated tea, vitamin B12, shutting down for a little while and re-evaluating my demeanor, I was able to completely calm down 🙂 I don’t normally experience that hopeless feeling with panic attacks, but I know that does happen sometimes with my disorders, and it does help me to know that there are things I can do to help myself <3
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