Freak out!

In freak out on October 19, 2008 at 8:10 am

A thought pops in your head. You start getting scared- terrified. You notice your heart racing and pay close attention to every beat. The more you think, the worse it gets. You can barely  breathe and are almost certain you are going to have a heart attack and die. You can’t be at home like this, you need to be monitored at a hospital or you may not make it. You are having a panic attack.

It’s hard to explain to other people how real a panic attack is. “It”s all in your head.” I am sure you have hear that one 763,345,866,234.5 times. It is in your head and that’s the problem. It really feels like you are dying. Like you are really about to kick the bucket. It’s hard to tell your brain to stop thinking. The brain thinks what it wants sometimes. If you feel something, you feel it. It’s real. You may not be about to die but you damn sure feel like it- and who EVER wants to feel that, really?

I used to get panic attacks. There was a point in time where I would get them several times a day. I can clearly remember one. I was sitting in my room, doing God knows what. I was like 18 I guess. Anyhow, I was going through alot back then. Rebelling against my parents, trying to find out who I was and what I wanted to do with myself. I felt pretty worthless back then and that feeling made me think I was going to die. Maybe deep down inside I felt like I *should* die because I wasn’t doing anything with my life, so what was the difference? But no, I didn’t want to die. It was just the whole ~not knowing~ when I would appear in the big show that freaked me out. So anyways, I was sitting in my room. A song by Aaliyah came on. This was after she died. It made me think about how crazy it was that she died. Like, why her? That made me think about me dying. Then my crazy ass started telling myself that the song came on as a “sign”. That was a “sign” that I was gonna die. My heart started racing, I just lost it. I could barely breathe. I kept checking my pulse. I had my dad check my pulse and the more I thought, the faster it would beat. The faster it would beat, the more out of control I became. I spent many nights in the ER trying to convince Dr’s that I was going to die. I honestly thought I had a heart problem and got mad when they told me I wasn’t having a heart attack, I was having a panic attack. It was insulting that no one was taking me serious. There I was having flashbacks of my life in my head thinking to myself, “This is it. Say good-bye.” No one should have to feel like that more than once in their life. I felt it everyday.

I was prescribed xanax. I took it and it made me feel great! No more panic attacks. Why? Because I didn’t care. That shit made me feel like I didn’t care WHAT happened. You could tell me, “Kristi get out of the road a car is coming” and I would probably laugh and be like, “Oh for real?” and continue walking- and smiling. I looked forward  to taking them. Thank God I was a smart girl and realized I was looking forward to them WAY too much. As soon as I caught onto the fact that I was forming an addiction to them, I stopped taking them. I started a journal and faced my panic attacks head-on. Every time I had one, I wrote it down. I wrote down what thought brought it on, what I felt like during it, how I felt afterwards, etc. Eventually I got tired of writing about them. When I felt one coming on I would sit in my room and count objects. How many pictures are on my wall. How many red items can I find in my room. I would draw very detailed pictures that required a lot of patience. Anything I could do to keep my mind off of the panic attack. I informed myself. When I would get one I would know up front where it came from, why I was having it, what’s gonna happen, how long it will last, etc. That’s all you have to do. Just let yourself have them. The more informed you become over them, the less you will worry.

I get them every once in a blue moon, I mean really maybe once or twice in a year. The last time I had one was a couple months ago. I just had my daughter and was bleeding pretty heavily. I was so scarred that I wasn’t healing properly from childbirth and that I may be losing too much blood. I was driving in the car with my parents, obsessing over my “symptoms”. What symptoms? Postpartum hemorrhaging. Yep, I really thought I was hemorrhaging. I assume if someone were hemorrhaging they wouldn’t question it or have time to google it- they would know. But I was in the car and I started getting shooting pains. Gas pains FREAK ME OUT. I thought I was having a heart attack. It was JUST GAS lol. But I told myself it wasn’t and had the panic attack….while driving. I didn’t want to wreck the car so I worked through it and GOT OVER IT. I didn’t die. It wasn’t a heart attack it was fricken gas.

If you want to live like that, suit yourself. If you want to take a pill for it for the rest of your life, go right on ahead. But from my own experience, you can get over them. And even if they don’t totally go away you can at least educate yourself enough about them so you can work through them. No one should have to live life thinking everyday is their last. No one should jump to take a pill for something unless they have made an HONEST ATTEMPT at getting over it with no assistance. I did it. I’m proof that you can get past them.

  1. People should have control of their own thoughts and feelings but its always good to have that extra support…A prescription is a nice sugar coat so Ill be your medicine baby…

  2. my man helps me thru my tough times, we work it out rationally..i tell him when i’m getting ‘edgy, racing thoughts, not sleeping, etc’ and he knows i need that extra understanding and tlc to work it thru. i can’t be medicated to my eyeballs either, i have a toddler!! it’s taken time but we’ve come up with a system, and it works both ways..when he’s stressed and about to blow up, i keep him cool! medication sometimes can’t be avoided, but ultimately one must learn to cope..understanding the issues, recognizing triggers and signs, communication with your partner, family, and friends so they understand when you’re going thru a tough spell. a supportive partner can help one to stay meds free, because who wants to be chemically lobotomized?!

  3. Kevin- LOL, aww!

    Aubrey- I totally feel you on that. All of my friends and family know the situation and are pretty good at helping me through those times, that helps tremendously. I am actually being told that I need medicine now to “regulate my moods”. Um. I am a woman and a mom, my moods are supposed to be unbalanced at times! But I am really working at getting through it all because lord knows I don’t wanna feel like I need meds to live. Maybe one day I will have to take meds, but not until I have did the best I could to handle it all on my own.

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