Big Panic Attack In The Middle Of The Night

Song: “Mr. Blue Sky” by ELO

Mood: 5.5

Nightmares: 0

Had a rough night last night. I figure it’s taking me between 15 and 30 minutes to get back to sleep whenever I wake up (and more for nightmares but I didn’t have any last night), and I’m waking up four or five times, usually starting at 1-1:30AM. That’s on normal nights.

Last night was different – I woke up sweating, thinking I was having a heart attack. That’s it, I thought. Here we go. Let’s get this over with. I wasn’t upset or anything like that.

A couple of seconds later, the panic surged to the forefront and I lurched out of bed and spent nearly the next hour on the floor of the bathroom, leaning against the side of the bathtub, trying anything I could think of that would help me ride out the panic attack. Eventually, the attack subsided (as they all do, eventually) and I sat there for a little while longer to just breathe and do some grounding. Eventually I went back to bed.

J got up early today so she could pick me up and take me to my Dr W appointment; unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get back to sleep after she left so between that and me waking up a bunch of times last night, I didn’t sleep very well again. It’s really starting to build up – I’m fishing for words a lot more than normal and I’m having trouble concentrating on anything. Even writing this post, each sentence is taking an inordinately long time because I have to go back and re-read it over and over and make adjustments, which makes me re-read it over and over again…

I did my walk and worked on the stove again today. They don’t feel like they’re getting any easier.

I worked on the quadcopter a bit more but was having difficulty concentrating on what I was doing so I didn’t want to end up doing something wrong.

J stopped by to pick me up for my Dr W appointment. I really, really, really appreciate her changing her work hours so she can help me out. I’m embarrassed that I still need her help with this but I’m very grateful.

My appointment was very difficult today. It also went for longer than normal – half an hour. Dr W was asking me questions about why I feel I need to do some of the stuff I’m doing, and he asked me what I was thinking about right at that point in time. I started to list the things that were worrying me, he let me go on for a while but stopped me when he could see I could’ve just kept going on. Dr W is happy I’m still working with a therapist and says that therapy and exercise are the best things I can do to help my OCD.

One thing I’m worried that I may have not conveyed properly or people don’t understand is that I know the hose to the dishwasher isn’t leaking. I know that if I leave the bathroom fan on when I leave the house that it’s not going to burn down. I know that if the furnace kicks in but the flame doesn’t light that it’s not going to fill up the house with gas. I know the garage door is closed when I’m at the window, staring at it.

The problem is that, somewhere in my mind, I keep thinking but what if it’s not? What if the garage door is actually open and someone gets in and steals something or gets hurt? What if the freezer lid is actually open and the food melts, the compressor seizes up, and a fire starts? What if the hot water tank in the basement springs a leak and the basement drain plugs up so the water ends up everywhere?

If I run the numbers, I know the odds that any of these things will happen are just this side of zero. I know that.

But what if something does happen? What if I don’t check the garage door once when I’m walking through the kitchen and don’t notice that the door is open? It only takes a second or two to check, so isn’t it the more responsible thing to do to check? I mean, if I don’t check and it’s open, then it’s my fault I didn’t see it. It’d be my fault if I left a battery on the charger and went out for a couple of hours and it started a fire.

I can’t handle that.

I used to be dependable. Someone any of my friends or family could count on. I was always the Designated Driver. I was always the responsible kid that people would ask for help or trust me to do things that they may not have asked other people to do. I was the one who stayed awake on the bus at night during school trips, just to make sure everything was okay. I was proud to be the person that others could count on.

Now I have days where I can barely do anything for myself. It’s embarrassing and depressing to have to tell people I can’t help them or can’t do something for them, particularly when it’s coming from someone who helps me all the time and rarely asks for my help in return.

I should probably end this here. I’ve still got a bunch of stuff to write out but it’s getting late and I need to get to bed.

Stay safe.

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