TEMPORARY INSANITY … I HOPE

For some reason, I experienced about 12 to 14 hours of temporary insanity today. Well, it started last night and continued this morning. For the first time in my life, I had an anxiety attack. The real thing. And as I told one of my friends who has these things all the time, it’s no wonder she has to be medicated. Seriously, I would have done anything for medication this morning.

I would love to say this is all due to PMS. I’d even feel better about it if it were. But it’s not. It’s pretty much due to a combination of life and my own procrastination. You see, I have a great deal on my plate right now and this weekend something else got added. Something new and out of the blue and it threw me off balance. I’m all about balance. Honestly, I’m a control freak in some ways. A laid-back control freak if that’s at all possible.

Last night when I laid down to sleep, something happened. My heart started racing and though I was so tired my eyes hurt, I couldn’t close them. I laid there staring straight ahead, voices and thoughts racing through my mind. Then I had trouble breathing. In the buzz and confusion I somehow figured out it was an anxiety attack. And I have NEVER had an anxiety attack.

All the things I need to do by Sunday came flying at me. And then the fact that there’s more to do than time to do it in made matters worse. Throw in relationship confusions and upheavals on several fronts and the room started to spin. I got up, moved around, got some water, but nothing helped. Then I came up with a tiny solution to one of my problems and felt better enough about it that I fell asleep.

Now, this is the really weird part. As soon as I woke up, the attack was back. Only worse. I thought I was having a heart attack in the shower. A heart attack mixed with an Asthma attack since I couldn’t catch a full breath for nearly twenty minutes. I actually spent the entire time while drying my hair yelling at the person in the mirror that she is NOT crazy and this is NOT how she behaves. She must have listened somewhat because I was breathing normal when I left the house.

Thankfully, I work in my own office so I walked into work (wearing sunglasses to cover the tear-swollen eyes) and closed my door. The adrenaline rush lent a hand to getting several tasks done and out of the way. A good talk with a co-worker helped and then reading an article about a woman dealing with breast cancer gave me some much needed perspective. Trust me when I say, the causes behind this hissie-fit were no where near the level of cancer. Thank goodness and knock on wood other than painful knees there were no health related issues at all.

Sometime after lunch I made the conscious decision to take my sanity back. And I have been SO MUCH BETTER since. But now I wonder how to make sure this doesn’t happen again? Am I reaching some new phase of womanhood where dancing too close to the edge can actually send me over it? Is this some hormone overload or just normal emotional overload? As a very practical and rational person, I’m not happy to say I didn’t recognize that woman in the mirror this morning.

21 thoughts on “TEMPORARY INSANITY … I HOPE”

  1. skirbo says:

    Terri-

    Hugs. Wish I had more to offer than that, but my brain is fried from dealing with my own crap.

    I think stress is bad for everyone right now and for many of the same reasons. I don’t hear anyone talking about how much they love the economy.

    Cheers lady. Hope things get better very soon.

    Sarah

  2. terrio says:

    Ah, thanks, Sarah. I usually handle stress pretty well and compared to where I was a few years ago, my life is roses. I just have no idea why this hit me so hard out of the blue like this.

    It’s a mystery! LOL!

    Hugs right back attcha.

  3. J.K. Coi says:

    Oh Terri, I hate that you felt that way! Wish I could come over there and give you big hugs! I can totally understand the control thing. Especially when there’s so much to do, it’s very important to compartmentalize it all and have it all organized, then when someone throws a wrench in the works, it can be very hard to get back on track.

    But babe, you’re strong and in control and you know you’ll get it done. And there’s no harm in asking for help either. It’s only smart to realize that you can’t do everything for everyone all the time–not without going all postal worker on the people around you.

    If there’s any way at all that a li’l ole writer up in Canada can give you a hand, let me know

    Love

  4. terrio says:

    JK – You are so sweet. If I could get up there to get that hug, I’d be there in a minute. LOL! I’m usually just fine, my brain just freaked out a bit. I did find out later this afternoon that instead of having to write an entire paper by this weekend, I only have to write the intro.

    And I have informed my child that she’s just going to have to deal with her room getting purged after she gets home. So, two things marked off the list. Now, I just have to attack the rest. 🙂

    But if I can use you, I sure will.

  5. Quantum says:

    Terri luv, that sounds a bit worrying.

    If there is nothing particular that might have sparked it, then you’ve probably just been burning the candle at both ends again.

    Whatever, you need to rest as much as you can and watch carefully for any repetition of symptoms. Might be a good time to take a few days annual leave when the urgency at work passes. Its probably nothing to worry about but you can’t be too careful!

    At first signs of a repeat I think you should see your doc for a check up. If nothing else it will put your mind at rest.

    Like JK, do contact if I can help in any way.

    *hugs* Cyber friends need to help each other!

  6. terrio says:

    Q – Yes, it was worrying. And a bit scary. But I’m happy to report that I am MUCH MUCH better today. Pretty much back to normal though I’m not sure if everyone would see that as a good thing.

    Would you believe my actual work had nothing to do with this? Work is actually my one place of sanity. Funny, huh? I am getting to bed earlier, but no time to take off. I will have an extended weekend for the holiday (Labor Day Sept 1 here) and that will help a great deal.

    I am making a doctor’s appt for the 29th mostly for my knees but I’ll also tell my doc about this. She’s very thorough so she’ll probably run a test or something just to check me out.

    Thank you so much and you can be sure if I need a voice of reason again, you’ll be getting a (possibly crazy) email. 🙂

  7. You know I’ve been telling you that you do too much stuff. You’d have to be three people not to feel overwhelmed sometimes. You’re a single mom, hold a responsible job, write, got to school, are active in your chapter, have a loyal online presence for those of us with blogs who sometimes feel we’re writing to ourselves (which is fine, actually, cause I’ve cleared my own scrambled brain that way)—you just make me tired, LOL. I’ve had bouts of anxiety a time or two, particularly when we had 4 teenagers at home and two failing parents. I wouldn’t go back to those days for anything, even if I was still a natural blonde then.

    It took me the longest time to let go of things. One example: I used to overpack when I traveled. Then my husband said, “You will never see these people again.” Who cares if I wore the same clothes in front of strangers? I learned to say no when I really didn’t want to do something. I also learned it’s okay to do nothing if you feel like it. The world really won’t end. I know you don’t have the time to do ‘nothing,’ but try to do less of ‘something.’ And feel free to go temporarily insane because we’ll be here to hold your virtual hand and go crazy right along with you. 🙂 XXOO

  8. terrio says:

    Maggie – there was a time when all I did was go to work during the day and take care of kiddo at night. But then I complained I didn’t have a life. So now I have a life and I really shouldn’t complain.

    I have gotten much better at saying no. I do best at these sites everyone invites you to join. Twitter and Goodreads and Flixter and whatever else there is. I say no right away to those.

    The activities sort of come and go in waves and when they spread out nicely, I’m good. It’s when they all crash in together that I get a bit verklempt. So thank you for helping me get un-verklempt and I’m so lucky to have my internet buddies to talk me off the ledge!

  9. Santa says:

    So glad to hear you’re doing better. Been there and done that. I know that, especially at times like now in my life, I tend to go into overload.

    For the first time in a long time, I took my DH’s advice (I know he was in shock too) and went to bed at the ungodly hour of 9pm on Monday. I just needed to rest me and my damn swollen feet.

    I’ve been telling folks around me this bit of advice lately and I think you and I should heed it: Deep breaths, my dear. Deep breaths.

    LYG but then you already know that.

  10. terrio says:

    Santa – It’s silly but the idea of you going to bed at 9pm is totally shocking. LOL! It’s good to know even you run out of steam sometimes. I bet your feet were grateful.

    I was taking plenty of deep breaths Monday morning and I’ll be sure to heed that advice going forward. Thanks for everything!

  11. Janga says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Janga says:

    Terri, hugs to you. I know how frightening that attack must have been.

    I have a friend–a super intelligent woman who makes me dizzy with all she does–who has had anxiety attacks so severe that she sometimes had to call her husband to come get her because she could not drive home. She swears that cutting caffein and swimming have done more than medication to help her limit her attacks.

    We writers love the what-if game, but it can be an enemy when we feel our world spinning out of control. We terrify ourselves with scenarios that probably will never happen. Sometimes just reminding ourselves of what is real and what we are only imagining helps, as does separating what we can control from what we cannot.

    I’m glad you are feeling better today, and I’m glad you are checking with your doctor to rule out any contributing physical factors. In the meantime, as san says, just keep taking deep breaths and know that the Virginia skies are filled with love and prayers and positive, healing thoughts headed you way.

    Dr. Janga signing off 🙂

  13. Hvitveis says:

    good to hear you are feeling better! It is so scary when one feels one looses control over body and mind. what has helped me is to just let the body go through its thing, the heart rate the sweating the breathing..without letting myself be frighened of it. It is just the body preparing for fight for some imaginary threat (in my case exams). what can also be good is to try and identify exactly what is being interpreted by the brain as scary. maybe your doctor can give you the name of a psycologist who can help you to build up some coping methods just in case..

  14. terrio says:

    Hvitveis – I never would have thought of just letting it go and riding my way through it. That’s a good idea if this ever happens again. Though I seriously hope this never happens again.

    I’m often told by people that I’m extremely logical and rational which is what makes this so weird. I really am a laid-back person. Heck, everyone in my family is laid-back. It’s a wonder any of us move at all. LOL!

    Thanks for the advice and here’s to you conquering exams.

  15. Oh, Ter, I’m so sorry. Life can really throw some crazy things at us from time to time. I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better and hope the good health continues.:)

  16. Elyssa Papa says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. terrio says:

    Ely – thanks for that message. (Guess I got it in email before deletion.) This really was my mind’s way of telling me to get in gear and stop messing around. I can’t thank you all enough for just being here. Reminds me how great this virtual family of mine is and how lucky I am to have all of you.

  18. 3222222222222222222qwaaaaaaaaaaaa Henry wrote the above. Stepped on the keyboard. Everybody tries their hand (or paw) at writing, I guess.

    So you had it right when you said, “I made a conscious decision to get my sanity back.”

    That’s the thing people forget. Your feelings are caused by thoughts and thoughts can be controlled. So go on, control freak (spoken from one to another). Do your thang.

    And also, remind me of this when I call you in the midst of my own attack, kay?

    LYG,
    J

  19. terrio says:

    J – If I could handle you “I’m a stay at home mom and it’s summer and I want to kill someone!” calls, then I’m sure we can get you through anything. 🙂

    Thanks for being there for me. I know I’d be so much worse off without you. And tell Henry I said thanks for his…err…help too. LOL!

  20. Renee says:

    AW Terri, huge hugs! I hope you are doing better.

    I moved beyond panic attacks, well maybe. I just tend to let things roll off, so much so that some people think I don’t give a crud, which isn’t true, I just got to that point, a self-preservation thing.

    Renee

  21. terrio says:

    Thanks, Renee. That is the trick, to let things go. For now I’ve promised myself not to put things off so much. And part of this is the homework thing. I really hate homework – research papers the most. That’s one of the major reasons (other than $$) that I didn’t do the 4yr college thing all those years ago.

    Sometimes you just have to let the steam out and I guess that’s what happened. Now I have to make sure I don’t hit those kinds of levels again.

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