Once I logged off, I took a moment to see if I could find a pattern of symptoms that signify an attack is eminent and I am beginning to notice a pattern leading up to them.
Muscle tension in the back of my head about two weeks before the onset of an anxiety attack.
When I first noticed this I was sitting on the patio talking to Tre. Something had happened to make me very angry that day and she had said something to try and make me laugh. As soon as I cracked a smile it felt like my whole face was being pulled taunt across my skull. I went to go and rub the back of my head which seemed to be the source of the pain and my scalp was sensitive to the touch. It took about three days of rubbing for this to go away.
Extreme irritability and irrational anger about a week out.
The irritability actually started about the same time as the muscle tension in my head but I didn’t count it because I felt like it was a side effect of my head hurting. I guess now that I’m looking back on it, even when my head had stopped hurting I was still very grumpy and I’ll even go so far as to say angry. I was ready to pop off for any reason, real or imagined.
Not being able to get enough sleep, thoughts of doubt, and over thinking begin to creep in about three days before.
I decided to take off last Friday because all last week It seemed like I just couldn’t get enough sleep. I am normally an early riser, the alarm very rarely is what actually wakes me in the morning but all last week I didn’t hear the obnoxious lady singing good morning, not once. By Thursday I had had enough. I was so irritable and tired that I was barely functioning. Emails that normally were a mild irritant were pissing me off and I had even caught myself complaining about my work more than once, something I don’t do.
So I took Friday off to get some rest.
I got up on my own time on Friday and still felt very tired but was rested enough to entertain the idea of leaving the house. As soon as I stood from the bed for the first time that day and realized I was home alone I instantly began to doubt my ability to do anything. I was afraid to eat because there was no one home and I thought I’d surely choke to death in the house alone. I was afraid to shower because I was certain I would pass out in the shower and accidentally drown. I had even convinced myself a few days before that I had taken food into my lungs and was waiting for the tell tale signs of a lung infection. The rest of the day went on like this.
Feeling dizzy and nauseated two days before
I managed to will myself into leaving the house to go and have lunch with Heaven on Friday. 70% of me wanted to go to catch up with her, the other 30% went as a way to be around someone else so if I passed out or loss consciousness someone would be around to help me. As soon as I walked out of my house and started the laborious task of walking down the two flights of stairs I felt lightheaded and dizzy. I shook this feeling off as me being paranoid and continued to descend. Once in my car and ready to pull off I got hit with a wave of nausea, dizziness and even felt like I had blacked out a little. My vision narrowed a bit and for a split second I thought I was going to lose control of the car. I didn’t and we made our way to Gringo’s Mexican Restaurant without incident.
Feeling of eerie calmness
After making dinner last night I was washed over with this weird sense of calm. It felt like all of my muscles had relaxed and my breathing had slowed. All of my limbs felt heavy and the rise and fall of my chest was barely noticeable to me. This had me on high alert and was the last thing I noticed before I wrote last nights entry.
The Morning After
I went to bed last night around 11 pm and I got horrible sleep.
At around 2 am I felt my closet door opening and that was enough to send me over the cliff of overthinking.
As I lay in bed determined not to open my eyes, trying to force myself back into a deep sleep my mind raced with thoughts of why the door opened on its own. Now logically I’m pretty sure it was my dog that opened the door, but at 2 am while I lay in bed feeling like a weight was on my chest, sweating, and borderline hyperventilating all while refusing to open my eyes, It wasn’t my dog that had opened the door.
It was a burglar or a ghost or a spirit.
It was all the things I knew logically it couldn’t have been.
I lay in bed half awake and fully aware of the state of panic I was in, trying not to wake Tre because she had to be at work this morning too, trying not to cry too much so my nose wouldn’t fill and give me another reason to be freaking out, until finally at 4 am I forced myself from the bed to go in the bathroom and turn on the light.
By this time I had given up. I told myself Fuck it, if it’s my time to die it’s my time, I laid back down in bed and was able to fall asleep until the alarm sounded at 5:40 same as it does every morning. As you can imagine, after all that I had been through I was exhausted so I stayed in bed until 6:30. I got up, got dressed for work and was able to put on a wonderful performance to convince my wife that I was just fine and that nothing had happened overnight but as soon as I got into my car this morning the flood gates opened and I cried, again.
The only thing that really got me all the way to work today while the thoughts rolled through my head at break neck speed was turning my music up as loud as it would go and singing along to the upbeat songs.
I made it to work and was relieved to find that none of my co-workers had made it in yet because that meant I didn’t have to put my mask on again to greet them. I was able to skirt into my office unseen and start my day.
It’s now noon and I feel all of the signs of another attack coming on again and while I would love to sit in my office and cry, or crawl under my desk into a ball and wait until 5 o’clock to go home, I know that neither of these things will help me to feel any better.
So, I am going to go and have lunch with Heaven and try to take my mind off the fact that I feel like my throat is closing, my head is hurting and the anxiety demon is telling me its because I have cancer.
Again, if you read through all of this madness, thank you, I’m sorry, and you’re welcome.
Until next time…
Don’t judge me, you don’t know my life!!!