Tag Archives: panic

Flashbacks from unlikely triggers…

Financially, things have been rough with L’s medical leave. Friends of ours’ very generously set up a donation campaign. It’s been doing really well. We are getting closer and closer to the goal set (enough to cover 1 month’s rent, car payment, phone bill, gas for the car, and a few other things that wouldn’t be covered by my money).  It’s really awesome, and I’m really grateful; we both are. We are blown away by the generosity of not only friends & family, but also compete strangers. 

On the flip side of that, it’s been triggering. I had to turn off the notifications for new donations… I had a slight meltdown earlier today because all I could think was that I  would owe so many people. It wasn’t after it subsided that I realized it was a flashback… I knew the obvious body memories were flashbacks, but I didn’t really connect the emotion or line-of-thinking to it. 

Dr C happened to have some availability to text between appointments.  She was patient enough to listen to my panicked rambles and try to help me calm down. L probably would have done the same if I had given her the opportunity, but I didn’t know how to let her in… maybe if I were in a different headspace, I could have explained it all to her, but in the moment, I didn’t know what to say… she tolerated my bottled panic, and accepted me being useless for most of the day… I dunno why she puts up with me, but I’m grateful. 

Anyway, so yeah. Getting donations seems to be a trigger. Having to ask for help is a trigger… I feel worthless and like a fraud. I mean, if I were a real, functioning adult, I would be able to at least work more to help us out when L has legit reasons not to be at work… my rational brain knows these donations don’t come with strings attached, but holy shit, is my inner kid ever terrified… 😓

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Still panic with certain doctors

I’ve seen Dr F for going on 5 years now, yet I still panic sitting in her waiting room. 

I trust her, I like her as a doctor, but the triggers around gyn exams are still huge and scary. I’m trying to remind myself I trust her and like her and that she’s safe. I’m still shaking…

This sucks. 


Anxiety is high today

I’m not sure why, but I’m freaking out about everything today. I’m normally ok driving places, but today I don’t want to drive. I don’t even want to be away from this spot on the couch. 

I’m supposed to meet a friend for dinner and give her the art piece she purchased, but I’m about in tears thinking about having to leave home or be social. My heart is doing the floppy fish thing too…

I really don’t know where all this anxiety is coming from. It’s not characteristic for me (at least not lately) to be this agoraphobic… I know Dr C would say she was glad I went out and did it despite the anxiety, but that’s not the bad part. I just don’t like that the anxiety is so intense around it. I also don’t like not knowing the trigger for it. Why is it that sometimes this anxiety feels so debilitating, but other times I’m fine going places? 

I want to curl up and cry and hide from the world…


Anxiety hitting really high today

I work part time at a kennel. For the better part of the last 8 months, I have taken my dogs to work with me when I go (though for space reasons, they did not come with me around the 4th of July holiday this past year)… so, while they are with me at work most of the time, there have been times I’ve left them home. For the first time in my recollection, I had massive anxiety/panic around going to work alone today. I almost turned around as I pulled in to work to drive the 45 minutes home to get them, but I talked myself out of it (I would have been 2 hours late if I did that).

I’m not sure what’s going on today, but my panic was at the level it had been when I lived down south. I could barely concentrate. It abated a bit once camp ended and two of the dogs came to sit with me at the front desk, but returned once they both left for the day… L thinks is has something to do with Dr C’s vacation (not having the regular supports in place), and also linked to my judgement around the emotional disruption her vacation is triggering. She may be on to something: 1)I’m hugely upset at myself for taking her vacation so hard. She has every right to get away and enjoy herself. 2)tomorrow would be group if she were here… not only has my individual support been changed, but group is gone as well. I’ll see her colleague tomorrow morning, but I’m also anxious about that. There’s been a whole lot of regression happening lately and I can’t get all the negative mh experiences out of my head…

I’ve wanted to cry on and off since getting to work, and the urge was strong the whole way home. I wasn’t able to let myself cry, but it’s been threatening most of the day. The anxiety even carried over once I got home… it’s finally settling down again 3 hours later. I hope it will let me sleep. 

Speaking of sleep, I didn’t get much last night (or the past few weeks before last night). I’m sure that’s playing into my anxiety as well. Oh, and I’m super emotional courtesy of my period. So, yeah… today was a rough day. I’m glad I only have therapy tomorrow, then nothing again till the weekend (ugh, remind me on Saturday that I actually enjoy the paper meetings and the reptile shows)…

I think tonight calls for some herbal assistance to finish quieting the anxiety and to help me sleep…


Hell is…

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Went to a figure drawing thing at a local gallery tonight. The model was supposed to be a woman, but she was unable to make it at the last minute. One of the guys that had come to draw offered to model…

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I made it through the first 30 minute pose, but just barely. I focused on the light and the dark trying to draw the model. It was the only reason I was able to do it at all…

At the end of the first pose, I packed up my stuff and left. Tears started forming in my eyes as I walked out… sometime during the first pose, I had text Dr C about it. I was looking for permission to leave. She hadn’t responded at the point that I left, but I had no faith in being able to remain “together” for the other 4 poses. I lucked out with the first one – he had his back to me and I couldn’t see too much. I wasn’t about to push my luck with the other poses.

I fought tears the whole drive home. I couldn’t get the image of the model out of my head, but it wasn’t really the model… I cried harder when the body in my mind’s eye changed…

Dr C finally responded as I was pulling off my exit from the highway… “No, you need to know that you’re free to leave any room with an exposed penis in it.” (I had asked if it was a failure to leave after the first pose)…

L asked why I was home so early (the text that I was leaving early didn’t get to her). I clarified my initial text about the model not being able to make it. She asked if I was ok, and she saw through my fake answer… I wish I could explain what happened internally, but there are no words…

I poured myself a triple glass of whiskey. It’s helped to stifle my triggered reactions and the impulse to shred myself… idgaf that it’s not the greatest coping skill in the world, but I’m not bleeding, so whatever.


Yesterday & Today

The anxiety was overwhelming yesterday. I wasn’t connected to the emotional impact of it at first; it was just the physical symptoms (being “on alert”, racing heart, tense muscles, distracted by everything, inability to sit still, feeling out of breath). They were intense and lasted the whole day. I tried to breathe through it and repeat grounding phrases, but very little worked to slow any of it for more than a few moments at a time. I jumped almost every time a customer walked through the door. Every loud noise startled me, and the constant barking of the dogs kept it feeling like I needed to stay on alert (in reality, the dogs were just barking because they are away from home and stressing, not because there’s anything to be worried about). I counted all the dogs and did the walk-through at least 7 times before leaving. I felt like every customer might be angry with me or cause a confrontation (no one actually was/did). I went back several times to check the doors to make sure they were locked. I even sat in the parking lot with my dogs ready to leave but mentally going over everything again to make sure everything was done before I left…

This morning is a bit better. It took forever to fall asleep, and I definitely didn’t sleep well, but I got some sleep, so that was good. Unfortunately, my stuff has a habit of kicking in as the day wears on. I noticed the anxiety returning about an hour ago. The echos of the past are still there, though mostly emotional at this point… :/

There’s group later today, so that should help. Then L and I have to clean up and make the apartment look presentable. I hope they don’t freak out over the cats and snakes. They know about the dogs, but the rest wasn’t mentioned at the time we moved in… there’s also some financial stuff I need to get on the ball with asap…Maybe now would be a good time to motive and call for that extra assistance from local social services. If I could just get some support doing all this stuff, it might help make it easier…

The self-harm thoughts are screaming at me still… gotta keep avoiding them, though it would help my head shut up for a while… Maybe I should try the aprn at Dr C’s office and see if he can give me something for the anxiety when it gets this bad..


Where did I leave off?

Let’s see, what have you missed out on?

I’m still having a rough time. I still really just want to cry but can’t seem to. I’m still not sleeping all that well…

I’ve also been creatively dry lately. I participated in an art journal page supply swap, and felt like I was kicking and screaming my way through it. I did most of a page around what I received, but it still needs work.

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I tried working more on a small mixed media piece that I started a while back. I had overdone the silver foil when I added it; It took over the whole painting. I tried to balance it with some steampunk-style, but now I’m feeling the focal image is completely lost. I dunno. It’s definitely something to keep working on.

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Other than that, I’m creatively stalled.

Outside of art, I’m finding the repercussions of wanting to help people out are again causing more stress than happiness. Several weeks ago, I had suggested to someone I could bring something back for her from across the country because, at the time, I thought I could make that trip easier than I actually can… least week, she asked if I was still open to picking up her purchase. I said yes thinking I was doing this trip at my pace. Unfortunately, between work constraints and the preferences of others involved, the trip has been pushed up to the end of this week instead of the beginning of May. That leaves me reeling on a few levels: money is a HUGE issue for this trip. At the time I quoted the person a cost, I was expecting to have more cash at my disposal. I only quoted half the cost of the trip, but that leaves me having to pay the other half, which I don’t really think I can afford right now.
It will also be hugely emotionally draining to go back. I’m going by myself. The whole 2-day drive will be on my shoulders both ways. There’s no one to talk to, or to switch off driving with… and I’m going back to the place that had me so triggered for the last 2.5 years.

Why did I agree to this again on this time-frame?

I hate that my insane push to help out and to please people pushes me into situations I should have thought harder about. It is what I tend to do at work and in my personal life: I push myself way past my own limits until it ends up backfiring… when will I finally learn this lesson?

Oh, I had mentioned the pattern of March being difficult seemingly every year to Dr C during last session. We brainstormed a bunch of ideas, but none seemed to feel like they fit. Maybe it’s just a rough month for no real reason…