Tag Archives: panic attacks

02:06 – Stress, anxiety, stress, anxiety, stress!

6 Dec

If I thought I was stressed out when I last posted I’m even more so now. I’ve managed to get my two uni essays finished and submitted in time so I’m glad they are over with even though they are both really crap but so long as they scrape a pass that’s all I’m really caring about to be honest. I now have an official moving date which is Monday. The parents have got a van sorted, I have got my brother and my best friend’s boyfriend to help with the heavy stuff and I’ve got a carpet fitter sorted. But I still have soooo much to do. I haven’t even started packing things into boxes yet but now that the essays are out of the way I can spend Fri, Sat and Sun getting my whole life packed into boxes and bagging up all the rubbish that’s to go to the skip.

There are a lot of problems with the new house, a lot more than what I first thought. At first I thought it was mainly cosmetic stuff that needed doing and once it was completely redecorated it would all be OK. But as it turns out there is a lot of damp as there are broken and missing tiles on the roof. We had such strong winds last night another two were off and lying in the garden today. There is a big crack on the outside of one of the walls that has come through into the bedroom and that wall which my Dad has now painted twice is not drying out properly at all because of it. The living room wall has a big damp patch as well. The property inspector finally came out today almost two weeks after I reported there being dampness in the house and thankfully he is putting the job through as an emergency which means that they will hopefully get the roof tiles fixed tomorrow so the dampness doesn’t get any worse.

I got a letter from the council telling me that they have suspended my housing benefit until I give them an official moving in date which is adding to the stress as I now have my current housing association on my case about rent arrears. I’m also trying to sort out having my mail redirected but my postcode won’t bring up the correct address on their system so I have to complete a form in a post office branch which was fine but they are asking for two forms of address ID which have to be within the last 3 months and I have changed to paperless billing for everything so that is stressing me out as well trying to get a couple of companies to quickly send me stuff out as it takes five days to set up which means I need to hang onto the keys for here for extra days so I can still get my mail. I also need to arrange for someone to come out from my current housing association to do an inspection so they can see I’ve not wrecked the place! And I still need to contact BT to have my phone line and internet moved as well. So yeah… lots to do and it’s all sending my anxiety levels through the roof. The next few days are going to be crazy busy and I’m just crossing my fingers now and hoping that this dampness situation can be resolved as I don’t want to be living in a damp house!

For some reason I’ve been getting a lot of urges to self harm again. There is no obvious reason for this, I think it’s because I am that stressed that I need something to ground me because my head keeps overthinking about all the what if’s and all the things I need to do then it speeds up too fast then it slows down too slow and I just feel as though I can’t think straight at all. One minute I feel OK the next I’m having a full on panic attack then my thoughts are racing and no matter how many times I try and have words with myself that moving house is a big stressful event and it’s ‘normal’ to feel really anxious it just doesn’t seem to sink in and I just feel like I’m getting closer and closer to losing the plot.

*deep breaths*

OK, I guess as it’s almost 2am I better think about trying to get some sleep. I’m tired yet wide awake. My head has been hurting all day but I think that’s because I forgot to take my morning meds and probably the stress mixed in with it too. So a good night’s sleep would be most welcome but it seems when I go to bed at the moment my heart likes to start playing funny buggers with me and doing that horrible palpitating thing then beating super fast for no apparent reason. Anxiety everywhere and all of the time! I just can’t escape it… argh! I’ve had a good dose of Diazepam about half an hour ago so hopefully that will do the trick to let me get some proper sleep tonight but so far I don’t feel much effect from them, think I may need to take a little extra one or two.

Goodnight folks x

 

 

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18:00 – The sexual assault: one year on

16 Aug

*Talk of sexual assault/abuse that might be triggering*

Today marks one year exactly since the sexual assault happened. It was probably around this same time of day that I’m writing this as well. A full year has gone by and still I’m left with all these gaps in memory as to what exactly happened that day/night. I thought over time memories would come back but they haven’t, I don’t really remember anything more now than what I did the day after it all happened, when I took myself off to A&E to have them test my urine for presence of drugs. So I learned one fact that day and that was that I had indeed been spiked and with PCP. The day after it happened I had a select few flashbacks of being with a stranger and flashes of seeing his body on top of mine, that feeling of power over me, the familiarity of that feeling of power, taking me back to the days of being sexually abused as a child.

But really I have learned nothing more than that. I think what happened was that there was a guy I liked and had met a couple of times in the weeks before the assault happened. I ended up liking him more than he liked me and whilst a little part of me hoped some kind of relationship might have blossomed instead he told me he didn’t think we should take things any further. So yes, I felt rejected by him and I guess I wanted to feel that feeling of someone wanting me again after it had been so short lived. So I think I was stupid and I think I arranged to meet a guy I’d got talking to online. I’ll never know for sure as my browser is set to delete all browsing history when I close the page so there was nothing there to go on. There also weren’t any strange numbers on my phone that I’d text or called that day so I have to assume our full conversation took place online. I also can’t make sense of the fact that I don’t remember meeting him at all – presumably I spent some amount of time with him before he got me to consume the PCP?? So why can’t I remember that bit? Why in fact can’t I clearly remember anything about that day… it only really becomes clear late at night when I was coming back to reality and very sick and unwell. PCP if you don’t already know makes you strongly dissociate and is basically just a horrible horrible drug.

So all I can go by are the facts and the only actual facts I have are the medical ones: PCP was found in my urine and there was a fair bit of blood in my urine with a lot of irritation inside my lady parts. Those facts back up the few flashbacks I experience. Sometimes I wish that I had taken the police up on their offer to try and investigate by looking into my computer and seeing if there were deleted conversations that they could locate, but the evidence was so little that they were honest enough to say that it was likely I’d put myself through months and months of stress and still get no solid outcome. And just like when I was 13/14 years old sitting in the police station after reporting my cousin for all the years he abused me I was given the choice to take things further or just try to draw a line under them and try to forget about it. The same way that as a teenager I couldn’t face putting my family through what could be months and months of building a case against my cousin, I couldn’t face putting myself through it all as an adult either.

So for almost a year I have attended rape crisis support appointments. I still can’t fill in the blanks of the 16th of August 2012 and mostly I’m relieved by that as it’s easier not to know. But it still left me waking up this morning feeling disgusting, wondering who ‘he’ was, wondering why I was sitting crying into my pillows when he probably hasn’t ever given me a second thought. Feeling so disgusting so I went into the shower and repeatedly washed myself… and cried… and cried some more. Sometimes I wonder if there are any other girls crying over what he has done to them… then all I feel is guilt… huge amounts of guilt that if any other girls have been hurt by him I could have done something more to have prevented it… I could have gone back to the police and given a detailed statement… but then I also know that I did tell them everything and that was very little… and it was them who told me that with so little to go on it would most likely not result in a prosecution… and I really didn’t believe that I would have the strength to go through something as stressful as a court case… and I still don’t think I could go through it now.

One thing I didn’t expect to happen was to find that any time I think of the assault I am catapulted back in time to a flashback of my cousin abusing me and I really thought I had dealt with all of that stuff some 17/18 years ago when I was 14 and seeing a CAMHS therapist about it all. But I guess it was just too hard to talk about when I was 14 plus I was scared that the therapist would tell my parents everything I told her so I spent about a year going to see her but told her very little. It wasn’t until the assault happened that I realised I had a tonne of memories that I still hadn’t dealt with as a 31 year old woman, memories I’ve kept suppressed for years that all suddenly sprung out like a jack in a box. There are so many memories and experiences that confuse me and stir up all sorts of emotions in my head. So if anything good has come out of this whole situation it’s that I’m finally getting the help I need to deal with some of those memories at last… even if I do still believe 99.9% of the time that I am the one to blame for everything bad that’s ever happened in my life.

Besides talking about this shitty anniversary I also wanted to write a little bit about my experience with taking the Pregabalin (Lyrica) tablets that new psychiatrist had decided to start me on for anxiety for long term use as he tries to get me to start reducing my diazepam dose. As you know from the posts I wrote about it I wasn’t very keen on the idea of trying it. This was mainly because I had tried a similar drug to it (Gabapentin) a few years ago and had a horrible time with it. Also I read about a lot of people having a really hard time getting back off of it, some people finding it even worse than a benzodiazapine withdrawal. I also didn’t fancy risking the weight gain side effect when it is already one of the most common side effects for the Mirtazapine and Quetiapine both of which I’m now on the max dose of. So I got the prescription from lovely GP last Wednesday then sat and stared at them each time I took my other meds for a few days. It wasn’t until Sunday that I finally found the courage to try them.

A few hours after taking my first little capsule I got that same feeling the Gabapentin gave me – I can only describe it like your body being on some sort of amphetamine stimulant whilst your head can only think about wanting to either cut or kill yourself. Completely flat mood with very depressing suicidal type thoughts slowly seeping through your brain. Yet at the same time there is this rush going through your body which makes you feel all jumpy and then the heart palpitations started which of course make me start to think I’m about to have a panic attack. Which I did indeed end up having… a huge massive one which was just awful. But I persevered and took the three a day I’d been prescribed all of Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and yesterday mornings before deciding I could not handle them any more. And that was me only at 75mg a day when the starting dose is normally 75mg twice a day. There seems to be something in these types of drugs that I’m overly sensitive too because for those 5 days of taking them I was a complete mess, so uncomfortable in my own skin that I’ve scratched so much I’ve made my skin bleed… not been able to sleep more than a couple of hours at a time… constantly feeling on edge and ‘stimulated’ but in a very unpleasant way… like my body and my mind were feeling two completely different things at once… blah… I haven’t taken any for around 30 hours now and it’s only now that I’m starting to feel the last of it leaving my system.

I had another appointment this afternoon with lovely GP and felt like I was having a panic attack in the waiting room. I was still really anxious when she called me through and I rambled all of the above to her, how the Pregabalin made me feel, how I tried them for 5 days but just couldn’t cope with the side effects any longer… I rambled about not knowing which was worse the horrible rushy anxiety provoking body feelings or the sudden onset of suicidal/self harm type thoughts. She agreed that I’d made the right decision stopping them and asked how the thoughts of hurting myself were now. I told her I am still having some urges to self harm but when I saw her face starting to look a bit worried I added in that I would do my best not to act on them which made her look a little less worried. She gave me another appointment for two weeks time as she wants to review things again then and check that all of the side effects I had from the Pregabalin have completely gone by then. She said just as some people would have difficulty in tolerating even small doses of Quetiapine and Mirtazapine that I take at maximum dose, it seems I just can’t tolerate the side effects that come from the Pregabalin/Gabapentin family of drugs even at small doses.

So I’m now hoping that I can try and keep myself distracted from the thoughts of the assault that keep flashing into my head and have a peaceful Friday night and hopefully catch up on some sleep this weekend as well. But I feel pretty meh and the self harmy thoughts are still swirling round my brain. I haven’t cut since April? I think and I don’t want to do it to mark this shitty anniversary yet at the same time I feel more disgusting than ever and like I probably deserve a few more ugly scars.

Anyway on that cheery note I shall wish you all a good weekend… and as I have two sets of puppy-dog eyes staring at me I think that’s my hint that the doggies would like to go for a walk now. Hopefully that walk will be distraction enough to get through the next hour or two without self harming and I think it’s going to be one of those nights where all I can do is take things hour by hour and just wait and see how they turn out, whilst doing my best to try and gently steer things in the right direction.

18:51 – Where I am and where I should be

24 Nov

Where I am: Hiding in my flat. Still in my pyjamas. Greasy hair. Unwashed. Massive amounts of anxiety coming in waves and trying to suffocate me. Depressed. Feel sick. Stomach hurts bad. More anxiety but accompanied by pain. Heart feels all fluttery. Don’t like it. Can’t control it. Can’t get it to stop. Too many thoughts all racing at once. Not sure which ones are distressing me the most and causing this ‘attack’. Is it the ones from the past or the future or the here and now? I don’t know. They are all coming at once. Thick and fast. All I can do is curl up and lie in the dark room alone waiting on it to stop. If it ever will.

Where I should be: In the cocktail bar with my cousin celebrating her ‘hen night’. In the health spa relaxing. (How can I ever go to a health spa or swimming pool again when my whole life story is written all over my body and told in scars?) I should be with my cousin tonight. My Mum is there. My Aunt (mid cancer battle) is there. Friends have travelled from all over the UK to be there tonight. And I, the only female cousin she has, and with only six months apart in our birthdays, the girl I grew up with the closest thing I’d ever have to a sister, the girl I went on holiday with every year. I should be THERE. And I’m not. And it hurts deep inside, it hurts my very core. My Mum phoned me last night to ask me for some funny stories to tell about my cousin from when we were kids (the head bridesmaid asked everyone to think of a funny story about her to embarrass her, just for fun) and I probably have more funny memories to speak of than anyone else there besides her Mum. And that makes me sad. Ok. That makes me cry it would seem. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. We always said when we got married we would be each other’s bridesmaid. And not only can’t I be that, I can’t even be there on her big day, I can’t be at the hen night tonight, instead I am consumed with crazy thoughts and phobias that I don’t know how to fight… I don’t know how to make them stop. I feel so very sad that I’m not there with everyone and instead of being there to enjoy her hen night with her and to be part of it, I will learn of all the fun and frolics from facebook statuses and from my Mum when I next speak to her on the phone.

This just wasn’t/isn’t the way things were supposed to be. And it is killing me imagining them all enjoying their night, having drinks and sharing stories, silly party games and nice food. I imagine laughter filling up that room tonight and I feel so alone. Quiet. Dark. Alone. Lonely yet I don’t want anyone near me. I ask myself again and again. When is this going to stop…

20:52 – Craziness ‘on hold’

4 Aug

After my last post I knew I couldn’t carry on feeling so unstable. It was getting far too dangerous and far too likely that I was going to act on the thoughts. So I phoned the out of hours doctors and told them that my mood has been very low for the past couple of days and I knew it was heading to a place I didn’t want to go to. The person on the phone was really nice and understanding and said I had done the right thing by phoning them for help rather than hurting myself and phoning with an emergency. They made an appointment for me for 8.10pm to see the out of hours doctor at the local a&e.

It was a male doctor I’ve not seen before, I explained the situation to him and he was a bit concerned that I was coming home alone and that if my mood carried on getting lower there would be no one here to stop me acting on it. I tried my best to reassure him that if I could just calm down then I would be OK. I just needed the racing thoughts and extreme anxiety to calm down.

He checked my blood pressure and pulse, both of which were sky high and he agreed to give me some Lorazepam. So he gave me 2mg at the hospital, 2mg to take at bedtime and a spare 2mg in case I need them during the night or something. He was actually very nice and said to come back straight away if I felt like the medicine wasn’t doing enough to help me rather than hurt myself.

So I’ve had my Quetiapine, Citalopram, Diazepam and Lorazepam. Everything is still racing but ever so slightly slower now enabling me to write all this down. Hopefully in the next half an hour or so I will be able to breathe normally again and my heart won’t feel like it’s about to jump out my chest and I’ll be able to think straight again.

For the moment my craziness is on hold, I hope and pray it calms down soon, I can’t handle much more of feeling this way.

21:55 – What a mess

16 Jul

What a mess I’m in. Slurring my speech, tripping up and down stairs, looking at people as if through junkie eyes. I’ve take too many benzo’s today to try and calm my head down but nothing is working. I was speaking to best friend on facebook and telling her I just wanted to die, because I don’t believe I’m ever going to overcome this travelling phobia. She told me not to do anything stupid…. I questioned her what is ‘stupid’? Is stupid when you can’t manage a 30 minute trip to a hospital? Is stupid setting up the least stressful way I could think of – going with social worker and mum – yet still cancelling before even trying to get into the car? Or is stupid just believing that things are not going to ever get much better and I’m pretty much stuck in this little rural area for the rest of my life?

Best friend asked me to go out and see her. I said I couldn’t due to the amount of medication I have taken. Not enough to overdose or anything but enough where my body and mind appear separated and keeping my eyes open is becoming a real struggle.

My head is pounding from all the crying I have done today and no doubt from the effects of the medication wearing off. I think it will be an early night, if I still feel like this in the morning then fuck only knows where I go from here. Today all I have achieved is….. nothing…… nothing at all.

Just ugh, blah, yuk, is all I have to say about today.

17:07 – “But you need to at least try….”

15 Jul

Tomorrow I have an appointment at big scary hospital to see a consultant dermatologist as my psoriasis is really bad at the moment. I have only been to big scary hospital in the back of an ambulance after I have taken an overdose or something and am sedated or completely out of it and tomorrow I am supposed to be there at 9.05am.

We have talked about this for a couple of weeks, whether or not I was going to try and go. We had come up with a plan that my social worker would drive and my Mum would come with us and sit in the back seat with me so I could cuddle into her and close my eyes. I had asked my social worker to speak to Mr Psychiatrist about a small amount of sedation like 2mg Lorazepam but he refused saying that I had to experience a panic attack without masking it with medication and realise it wasn’t going to kill me. I sort of understand where he is coming from, and because I can now get the bus back from the looney bin which is like 2 hours away he thinks my agoraphobia is pretty much gone. He doesn’t seem to get that I can only do that route now because I did it with sedation the first few times and now that it has become familiar to me it no longer scares me.

Big scary hospital on the other hand is not a route I am familiar with and so I hoped he would prescribe something for the first attempt at getting there, but he said no. I do have a little stash, as most of us mentalz do, I’ve got a couple of lorazepam from a previous hospital visit, I’ve got my prescribed diazepam and I’ve got a couple of Zopiclone that I got off a friend. I have already told my social worker that I will self medicate to try and get myself there and she basically said there was nothing she could do to stop me but the most important thing is that I get to the appointment.

My psoriasis is now covering my elbows, my thighs, my knees and lower legs and little patches are now appearing on my hands and feet. If I go to the appointment and have to show it all to the dermatologist then I will also need to expose my “worst” self harm scars. This worries me a lot as well.

This morning I woke up and tried to use mindfulness to put me in a calm and positive frame of mind but instead I ended up being sick then having a panic attack just thinking about it. So I took some diazepam but it didn’t make the panic attack go away and then I was sick again. Then I ended up in tears because I was panicking so much and nothing was helping it and I hate being sick also so I decided that I was cancelling the appointment. I phoned best friend to see what she thought and her response was “but you need to at least try and do it” – how can I even try when I’m so fucking terrified?

Mum is away to big scary city an hour away visiting my Aunt to see how she is recovering before the chemo starts so I can’t phone her until tonight. I have to let her know tonight if I’m going to try and go or not as we will need to leave here shortly after 8am tomorrow morning. I tried to contact my social worker as well but I know she will say the same, that ultimately it’s up to me but I really need my skin looked at and some proper treatment prescribed. We have tried every single steroid cream possible and the next step is UV light treatment. Which will mean regular trips to big scary hospital. But will it still be big scary hospital after I have done it once? Will I be able to do it with less/no sedation the 2nd or 3rd time once it’s familiar?

I really don’t know what to do. Every time I think about it I end up in a complete mess and I don’t want to mess anyone around in the morning. I need to decide that I am going to give it a shot or decide I am cancelling the appointment. I am scared that if I go in social worker’s car that even though I would be with two people I trust more than anything, I would be stuck in the back with no door to escape out of and once I’m in the car she could just keep driving and take me there even if I was hysterical.

I really, truly do not know what to do. I don’t think I am brave enough to try but then I look at my body and know I can’t go on like this. Why the fuck do I need to stay in such a rural area where we can’t even have a dermatologist outpatient clinic? I am so so scared and my mind is racing at 100 miles an hour back and forth, back and forth, can I do it? No I cant… Yes I can…. No I can’t. I need to make a decision and stick with it but I don’t even think I can do that. I want the easy way out – phone and cancel, but I also want my skin to heal.

Ugh I just do not know what to do.

01:47 – Something’s wrong

22 Mar

I can’t sleep because I have spent the entire evening experiencing panic attacks. They come and go and I have one of those deep gut feelings that something is wrong. This is making me more anxious because I don’t know what it is that’s wrong. But instinct (and voices) tells me it is bad and I should be on full guard tonight.

Protected: 19:08 – Crumbling inside and out

10 Apr

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Protected: 03:51 – Last night’s suicide plan/attempt and huge confusion

24 Sep

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Protected: 01:04 – Graded Exposure Journey 5

9 Jul

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