Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why now?

Rambo and I went away for the weekend. With people we love and no responsibilities to care about. Nothing but the open road on the motorcycle and a cabin in the woods and drinks and friends.

We left Friday night for the 3 hour ride to the cabin. At about 2 ¾ of the way there, (I almost made it)….I told Rambo to pull the bike over NOW. I was going to either pass out or throw up and I didn’t want to do it on the back of the bike.

For the first time in over a decade – I felt a panic attack coming. A panic attack is much different than normal every day anxiety over going somewhere new or meeting someone. That anxiety is fleeting and I can talk myself down from it easily. I can understand it and pinpoint the exact reason I am feeling it.

Real panic attacks start in the pit of my stomach. Out of nowhere. Randomly. For no reason. They rise like bile. As the feeling gets higher, I feel like I’m going to suffocate or scream or explode. I want to run from the fear of the feeling. I want to scream and curl up in a ball and I want to weep. I want to be anywhere but where I am – even when logically I’m exactly where I want to be. And there is no control. They come and last as long as they last. I can’t talk them away or make them better. When they subside is not my decision. Nor is when they appear.

When the panic subsides, for me – anger sets in. I was at a fun place with the man I love – why in the hell was this happening NOW? There is absolutely NOTHING wrong in that moment. And yet, I’m crouched over on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere trying to explain to people what’s happening….when I don’t understand it myself. Embarrassment is the usually mixed in with the anger by then.

Panic attacks do not represent me. This is not who I am. I don’t want to see pity or fear or worry in your eyes because I nearly passed out. I blamed most of it on the heat – which definitely was a factor.

The whole weekend we put on nearly 450 miles – in blazing heat. With probably not enough water or food. When I have panic attacks – I cannot eat. The mere thought of food makes me want to throw up. But having an empty stomach in that kind of heat is also crazy. I can’t win.

So I spent the weekend pretending I was okay when a lot of times the anxiety was bubbling…just under the surface. Always there. It’s exhausting being okay when you’re not. And then by Sunday I had the full blown flu. I lost 6 pounds that day. And still had 125 miles to go until home. Fun times, right?

Apparently, I crossed a line my body wasn’t ready for. I’m so confused still today. I’ve grown so much, learned so much and accomplished so much regarding my own inner peace and now this.

Anxiety attacks? Now?

Part of me thinks it could be the Paxil. I was put on that drug to help in the prevention of migraines and it’s the only thing that is different. I’ve only been on it 3 months but I wonder if it’s causing the panic/anxiety attacks. Part of me hopes it’s literally that simple.

All I know is I have to figure this out. I cannot take steps backward. I cannot be afraid to leave home for fear of panic attacks. I have to figure out what’s going on in my body from all these migraine preventive meds.

So I survived the weekend that was thrown on me at the last minute…but not like I had hoped to. No one knew I was suffering except Rambo and he never left my side but I knew.

I knew this is something I haven’t felt in decades and it’s not good and it disappoints me immensely. I wish there wasn’t always a war to be fought inside myself. I wish I didn’t always feel like I have to be suited up in armor to protect myself – from myself.

I just wish I had inner peace. Until then, I’ll never stop searching for it.


Stacey said...

It could very well be the Paxil. I took it for migraines, it worked wonderfully, but finally had to come off of it because of the side effects. Including panic attacts and jaw clenching. I hope you figure it out and can get some resolution. Hugs!

Jess said...
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Jess said...


bbubblyb said...

This brought tears to my eyes for you and for me :( I do want that inner peace too. Hopefully it won't take to long ti figure out.

Fit Mom said...

So sorry! I was hoping for fun stories, not this!

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

My son suffers from anxiety where it brings on the feeling of throwing up. He had an attack when we went to see 'The Hunger Games.' He understands it's completely illogical, but it just overcomes him. I realize now he's had them as early on as pre-school and dealing with seperation.

It doesn't make any sense, you're right where you want to be and then BAM! It hits you. But you wre very stressed out about the trip since you thought it was next weekend, and maybe you were finally dealing with that pressure?

Mari said...

Thinking of you darling one. As a fellow anxiety sufferer, I know how awful it is and how the anger that it's inside you rears its head and makes it so much worse. I hope you figure out the recent resurgence. Love x

Joanna said...

I definitely believe that Paxil could be the culprit. When I worked at a counseling office, Paxil was given as an anti-depressant, but many people had to be taken off of it because the most common side effect associated with it is panic attacks.

Paxil's side effects include panic attacks, anxiety, nausea, dizziness, and flu like symptoms.

Sounds like you experienced all of them. And it may be time to talk to your doc about taking you off of them.

I hate that all of this had to happen this weekend. I'm sending big hugs your way.

MandaPanda said...

So sorry. ((HUGS))

wannabthinagain said...

I wasn't put on Paxil, but other anti-depressants to try to get my migraines under control and every one of them eventually had to stop because they made things worse (anxiety, panic attacks, rage, and i could feel it building up and then just couldn't do anything to stop it).
Big hugs to you!

angel shrout said...

WTF I was given Paxil after my 3rd child to STOP Panic attacks..Great to know. Let me tell you what I learned.. Psalm 91 .. Read it out loud in the midst of an attack. Did you know that your brain cannot process the panic and read aloud at the same time. Well ya do now. Plus if you read that, I mean really read it, it describes David in the midst of a panic attack. Seriously.. http://singedwingangelspad.com

Brenda said...

I took Paxil and had HORRIBLE side effects...including dizziness and panic attatcks. It was awful.

MrsFatass said...

I, too, had horrible side effects with Paxil. And I hate for you that you feel like you took a step back. It's something I can identify with all too well.

But you made it. With Rambo by your side.

RockBand Barbie said...

So sorry about your panic attack. That Rambo is some kinda special guy :)

The Re-up said...

Hey-- I got locked out of my blog, and am getting back to it with a new blog (don't ask!! Screw blogger.)
Anyway: I was catching up with your blog and noticed that you weren't expecting to go on this trip (you'd planned it for the next weekend, not the weekend you went on.)
Couldn't that alone have spun you into this anxiety attack?
Just a thought for you... look back at last week and you'll see your post about it and it may make all the difference in understanding what happened emotionally.
Hope you're feeling better now...

wannabthinagain said...

Have you heard of Optivite PMT? my dr. wants me to start this, taking SIX a day...
he said a lot of women who have migraines and anxitey have noticed a difference when taking this. I haven't ordered it yet (amazon has it for $18 or so for a bottle of 180)
I figured it's worth a try, rather than all the meds that end up causing more problems with the side affects!