Saturday, March 22, 2014

Death, Anxiety, and Panic.

It's been a rough week all the way around. A friend who was more than a friend, but more like family, and who played a key part in helping me put my own life together after my separation and relocation to Central Mass, lost her own life this past weekend. It's almost impossible to believe that this is real. That this really happened, and that Stacy is gone forever. But it is real and it keeps hitting me over and over again. My heart is breaking for my family who also lost a friend, a love, and a mother. My heart is breaking for her family who lost a daughter and a sister. For all of her many friends, old and new.

I'm working on a memorial post for her, but this isn't it. I haven't been able to sit through more than 20 minutes without breaking down each time. I'm try to truthfully honor her and tell my story of her and why she was so special. I will get there. 

As the two people that read my blog might know, I've been working hard at trying to manage my anxiety disorder. 8 months of ongoing therapy, writing, breathing, meditation, (the eating right and exercising are coming, I promise). I've also been trying to change my thinking. All without medication. Until today. After three panic episodes in three days, today I caved. I tried and I even asked for help. I feel like I've been mocked or laughed at, or just out and out ignored. I also feel like I've failed myself. I know there is a lot going on emotionally and in life itself and I should just accept that for right now I need the extra help, but it still feels like a failure. One that no one really cares about but me. It's a harsh reminder that we are really alone in our battles.

I've spent the week in tears. I've cried for everyone that loved Stacy. I've cried for Stacy. I've cried for the emptiness and the void I feel.  I've cried during the day and in the middle of the night. I've cried because whenever I start to talk, no one hears me and immediately start talking over me. I've cried because I'm still the last to know. I cried when a stupid alcoholic character on my show suffered an aneurysm and ended up in coma, because that is what happened to my mother. Panic attack number one. I cried last night at my boyfriends reaction when I sarcastically asked him if he could tear himself away from the game on his phone. Yes, I was sarcastic, but in all fairness he's been playing it non stop all week. A week that I needed someone to talk to that didn't have to constantly say "what?" to my every word. His reaction was to put the phone down, throw his hands in the air and say. "There!  It's down! I'm done!"  Maybe that's not a big deal. I don't care. It feels like a big deal. It feels like shit. Like I'm so fucking annoying for wanting any of his undivided attention. Like I have no right to feel rejected when I'm constantly having to repeat myself because he's so preoccupied he never hears what I say the first time. I told him I was annoyed, because I needed someone to hug me, I needed to be with someone, and I needed help making a grocery list because I couldn't even think straight. He immediately grabbed the paper and starting making the list. No hug. No conversation. No being with me. We all make our choices and we make them for a reason.

If you suffer from anxiety at all, you will know that this isn't helpful. In fact it is the opposite of helpful, and instead of getting what I needed I was sent into full blown panic mode. It wasn't until then that I was allowed a hug. When it was already too late. When it was already happening and I couldn't stop my head from shaking and the sadness melted into fear of a stroke.  After the adrenaline had worked it's way through me and I was able to start coming down, I felt like I've been hit by a truck. My muscles are still tight and sore. My head hurts and my brain feels numb.

I woke up this morning feeling raw. On edge and already in fight or flight.  A few more exchanges of words and I was right back in the thick of it. I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall. I say I need ...."blah". He say's well I'm not going to give you "blah..." because you're mad at me.  This immediately makes it worse, which he doesn't understand, or refuses to understand or just doesn't give a fuck to understand. Relax. I want you to calm down. No fucking shit. That is never going to happen when I out and out ask for something so small as hug and he looks at me as if he hates me with every bone in his body. It's more than reminiscent of my own mothers mantra "I will only love you if you become someone else."

When I'm in the middle of a full blown Anxiety or Panic attack, I can't see anything but the fear, and the racing thoughts. I can't see yesterday. I can't see tomorrow. In that moment I want only for it to go away. I will do anything for it to go away, and even death (one the primary fears of the anxiety sufferer), at times, has seemed like a welcome relief. When it's over those feelings and thoughts pass, but the fear of another remains. The reality that this is never going away magically on it's own and my only hope is to manage it, sets in. I then become obsessed with getting rid of all the things in my life that are triggers., because it's hard enough from one day to the next without having someone almost seem to be purposely trying to break you. I don't know if it's on purpose, but I do know that the eye rolls, the insensitivity, the not listening, the not hearing, the not talking to me, and the letting me cry alone for hours without even a second thought...all of those things are like poison to my mind. Poison to my life. It wasn't always like this. He would say it's because I wasn't always like this. But I was. I've been like this forever. His reaction to me used to be different. It used to be caring. Or at the very least it seemed to be. Now it's utter annoyance. That is what's changed.

I get it. It's not easy knowing what to do. I'm trying to make that easier by telling him. It's not easy living with me. I tend to feel things, and get hurt, to be anxious, and overly worried, and have this ridiculous desire to talk sometimes when I feel like this. I tend to get pissed when I feel like I'm being ignored and I've tried time after time to get someones attention. I want to scream and pull my hair out, and punch walls and kick doors and I try in all the wrong ways to get what I think I need.

The reality of the situation, though, is maybe I just don't need any of this. Maybe I've done my best. Maybe I've tried my best. You can't force someone to react in the way that you want. You can't beg. You can't change anybody. They change. That's for sure, but it's never anyone else's doing but their own. Maybe there is a lesson.  That if you ask for love and it's not immediately given without hesitation then it isn't really love after all. 

It's been a tough week. Every emotion I've ever felt is making it's way to the surface and I've gone from just needing my partner to be present and hear me when I talk to him, to feeling like that will never be possible. That he will never understand the in and outs of someone like me. That I will forever be here sitting alone in a separate room sharing my pain, and fear, and thoughts and feelings with a machine. With a blog.

Something has to change, because this isn't working for me.  I will never in my life again, ask more than once for some kind of physical or emotional support.

Hope, who, by the way, would never be a dick to someone if they were already having a shitty time of it. 


  1. Read and completely understand how you feel. I never had a panic attack until someone else's actions triggered one. It sucked and I knew at that moment that it was over and time to move on . Some people just are to self absorbed to have compassion and give two shits about what the ither person needs and wants are unless it benefits them. You deserve better. You deserve love. True love that is unconditional in a perfectly imperfect world.

  2. Hey, I read your blog! I'm not a machine.

    Come here, let me hug you...

  3. Loss. Four paragraphs into your post and I'm thinking that I have gone through every single thing that you are talking about, pretty much on the same timeline.

    I'm very sorry for your loss.

  4. I read your post about Mary. What a wonderful and unexpected relationship you had. Very sorry for your loss as well. So sorry for you all.