Song: “There Goes Norman” by The Undertones
I stayed up too late last night and when I went to write a blog post, I was far too tired to put anything together. It doesn’t really matter – it’s not like I’m obligated to write at a particular time or about a particular subject, but I like to try and keep a schedule or pattern going.
I didn’t sleep particularly well on Thursday night. Right as I was about to go to bed, I got a nasty bit of heartburn and had to grab a couple of antacids to settle it down. I could still feel it the next morning so I’m back on the pantoprazole. I wonder if I could get by on a lower dose. Unfortunately, my exercises on Friday were unsuccessful again. After I gave up on them I put in headphones and turned on sounds of waves at a beach, then closed my eyes and tried to relax. I didn’t have a lot of luck but it felt good to pretend I was at a beach with nobody around.
I got stuck at the hot water tank again on Friday (today, too) but it wasn’t as bad as it was on Thursday.
My anxiety ratcheted up throughout the day, and in the middle of the afternoon I was jumping at everything and doing a mix of grounding, watching YouTube videos and listening to music, and wandering around the house to make sure everything was okay. Then, someone sitting in a van in front of the next house over started revving the crap out of their engine. It went on and on. I looked through the front window, trying to figure out why they were doing that, but I couldn’t make sense of it. They just sat there – vrrRRAAAWWWWW… vrrRRAAAWWWWW… vrrRRAAAWWWWW… over and over.
Unfortunately, between the anxiety and the engine revving, I ended up falling into another panic attack about five minutes after the revving began. I took a PRN, put on some loud upbeat music, and went and hid in the basement, trying to get away from the sound and calm myself down. I hate hate HATE panic attacks, and I hate how they last so long. 45 minutes feels like an eternity when everything is screaming at me, demanding attention, and I feel like a roided-out power lifter is winding a rubber inner tube tighter and tighter around my chest. I feel utterly helpless, knowing that there’s nowhere I can go and nothing I can do to stop it – at best, I can (possibly) shorten the duration. I hate not being able to control myself. I hate sweating through a shirt for no reason. I hate being reduced to a lump of skin and hair that’s unable to think or communicate. I hate the humiliation I feel, even when I’m by myself and nobody else sees me panicking. I hate how they grind the life out of me, leaving me exhausted and feeling foggy for the rest of the day. I hate panic attacks. Hate hate hate hate hate HATE HATE HATE them.
Eventually, the panic attack ended. They always do, even though it feels like forever. I need to keep reminding myself of that. Thankfully, the engine revving noises had stopped (I’m not sure when they stopped). I turned on a breathing exercise recording and went through it twice, then did a couple of circuits of the basement before hauling myself back upstairs. The van was gone.
J got home a couple of hours later. She’d had kind of a rough day so I tried my best to be supportive and helpful until she was feeling better. I’m not sure if I helped – she helps me out every single day, so I hope I was able to help her.
We took it easy in the evening, and later on watched another Boston Legal. By that time, my evening medications had kicked in. They’ve been hitting me a lot harder than usual ever since I haven’t been sleeping very well.
Today (Saturday) has been a decent day. I woke up a bunch of times last night, so I’m a little tired today but that’s okay. I worked on my exercises today for about 75 minutes. They didn’t go very well but it was better than yesterday.
One of our neighbours was outside this afternoon and J had a quick chat with him. He’s repainting his house and is doing all of the prep (scraping, washing, sanding, etc), so J warned me that there will be a lot of new and strange sounds coming from over there. I feel bad for the guy – painting is bad enough, but preparing weather-beaten siding for a new coat sucks even more. He’s a good neighbour and I should offer to help him but I don’t know if I can. I feel stupid.
Tomorrow will be an early morning. It’s off to the clinic to get my stitches removed. I am looking forward to getting them out – the ones on my face are itching like crazy. I can’t feel the other two at all, unless I poke at them. Then they hurt.
J has Monday off, so we are enjoying a long weekend together. I don’t know what I like about long weekends more – the fact that the weekend is longer or the work week is shorter. Could be both.
I HATE panic attacks.