Anxiety Attacks and drowning in the ocean…

It’s funny how, being classified as bipolar, when I get stressed enough, I stim like someone with autism, asbergers, Tourette’s, etc. And yes, I’m spelling shit all sorts of wrong, and, at the moment, I could give two fucks or a shit less about that or grammatical errors. I have been having fairly intense stims somewhere around an hour. For those of you who suffer from any psychological prizes (hey, let’s call it something fun, instead of a disorder!!), you know how utterly motherfucking god damb exhausting they can be. Just…life-draining. And when I stim, I tic like a motherfucker. Scratching, rubbing my fingers, hitting myself, rocking back and forth,openingand closin gmy mouth,s ieltn screams, rapid blinking, rapid eye movement, tapping, sometimes sounds.. I get a nice lovely run of the stim spectrum. LUCKY ME. Thankfully, it’s only when I am incredibly super HOLY FUCKSHIT stressed the motherfuc out. And I have been..

This time of year is always pretty fucking tough on me. Starting at the beginngin of July through about the first week of August. I adopted a son out the day he was born, August 4th, 2004. And starting about a month before, I just………sink. I sink beneathe the waves of.. everything. Sounds, tastes, touches, feels. thoughts, breaths, leaves, colours, life itself. I have to keep busy. God damn, do I have to keep busy. I will cut a fuckin gentire yard with a god damn pair of scissors if that is absolutely all I have I can do to keep busy. Today, I rearranged my entire livibng room. That may not seem like much, but I had to vacuum and spray for spiders, too, because I have apparently gained an infestation of cute cuddly wolf spiders. Absolutely adorable, not lethal to most folks, but their bites suck big bulbous elephant balls. And I don’t like things randomly crawling on my face for me to squash. Yes, this has happened. And these motherfuckers are fast as hell. Look them up. Shoo, spider, you belong outside. Assholes. Anyw ay. This involved moving one 32″? television that is somewhere around 75-100 pounds off a 2′ high stand across the room.. rearranging 2 oversized loveseats and an oversized couch, moving two old-school studio speakers (the 4′ tall heavy as fuck type), the tv stand and putting a 42″? 75″ television back on the fucking stand. Alone. While dodging fucking spiders and keeping the kid busy. Whereupon I also found a tote I forgot about, seeing how it was cleverly disguised as a side table (don’t ask) and I found old birthday cards. And pictures.

I found the only serious card I recall myh dad ever sending to me.  It was for my 17th birthday.  He sent me 5 cards that year.. he’d often send me a few, and they’d be numbered.. If I got 3, I’d open 1 3 days before, 2 2 days before, and so on.  This was number 5.  The card was perfect.  IT went on about how he was glad we had the type of relationship where I could confide in him, talk to him about everything.  And inside, it simply said.. “As a Daughter, you are a kiss sent by an Angel. I love you, Dad”  He is the best friend I’ve ever had.  Shitty. Father. Period. But he was a good friend.  This time of year is also hard because his birthday WOULD have been August 2nd.  He’s been dead 7 years this November, but the fucker quick talking to me, no explanationa t ALL, 6 years before that.  So I’ve had 13 years without that bonded confidant.  Yeah.  This time of year is hard… I also came across my folks’ weddihg pictures, which was pretty awesome. Some pics of me as a kid, which is always funny.. One where my dad posed me in front of a shirt saying “In training to be tall & blonde”  That motherfucker…he always did fihnd a way to get the last laugh.  He KNEW I’d eventually find that shit.  I never DID get the hang of the tall part, though.

That motherfucker…

But that’s how he was..how my brother is..how I am.  We get it honest, for sure.  And it made me laugh, as he knew it would.  I was 4, when that picture was taken. I am 34 now.  He would have laughed his bald ass off, if he were alive and I called him and just simply said “you motherfucker.. you knew I’d find this one day..” and would probably first calmly ask “which one?”

That motherfucker……..

But I’m writing this because anxiety attacks suck.  And it’s been a really fucking hard year.  It seems my life goes in sevens.  Every seven years, my life just.. black holesandimplodes on itself.  There does not seemto be rhyme or reason,it just happens.  I wasn’t even tHINIKING about that until after it happened this time.  I don’t even remember the first, to be honest.. I remember making comments when it happened, but I don’t remember what happened. I definitely remember the one 7 years ago.  It’s kind of hard to foget leaving an abusive ex and your dad killing himself all in one year.  Even if I do have a great head wound to help the memory loss.  Hurt the meory…whatthefuckever.  You know what I mean.    Sevens.  Supposed to be such a powerful good number, right?

Eat me, cunts.  Just. fucking. eat me.

I don’t tend to lean towards superstitions and bullshit (though adnmittedly, I used to). Though I also don’t tend to believe in coincidence.  Shit happens for a reawson, I just don’t necessarily get to know the reason. Yet.  Maybe I never will.  Who fucking cares, really?  I have to survive THIS.  Then maybe I can give two fucks about a REASON.

But this year, this time of year is extra special.  It is 3 d.. Nope, it just turned midnight here.  IT is now 2 days from the 40th birthday of the only man I have loved more than my father, and the only man I have ever been in love with.  And I won’t be there to celebratre with him, nor will he be here.  We both have faults in everything with what was our relationship, of course.  I wasn’t strong enough to keep holding on waiting for his past demons to exit, stage left.. and he wasn’t willibng to let them go, to see just me.  We all have our problems, right?  I cannot begin to explain to you the tears I’ve cried, the nights I’ve not slept, the days I’ve spent in absolute silence, except for when I have absolutely had to talk.  The anxiety attacks just by walking in to a store filled with….people.  No company around here delivers groceries – I’ve checked.  Ialso cannot explain to you how much it hurts every part of who and what I am – even parts I didn’t know I had or could hurt – to walk away, or feel I must, to save some part of my sanity, if there is any left.  How it feels to hear my daughter tell my friend I had a nightmare (that I don’t remember) two nights ago) so she drew me a picture (that I also don’t remember) to make me feel better.  How fuckign shitty it makes me feel to my god damn core that my hurt, that everything to my depths is crying out in pain so much that it is overtaking my sleep and causes more PTSD issues..and affects my daughter.  Yes, yes; my heart has come down off the shelf to feel things for a while.  And gods, does it feel.  Everything.  But then, it always has.  I’ve just always been quite adept at shouldering the weight of it all.  But at some point, we all beging to bow under the weight of our casualties and losses.  And this one has me slumped on my knees, head down, where my tears can water the salted earth.

Yes, dear reader.. the bridges burn, the waters boil with poisons, the lands are salted.. but sometimes the tears of the weary trudger can still cause a flower or two to grow.  And I do trudge.. even on my knees…still bearing the weight.  I don’t know how to quit.  Stubborn, I most certaily am.

Ahhh, back to the stimming. I was outside attempting quite avidly to start a fire with my flip flops on the concrete of my porch, smoking a black & mild foriously.. What the hell, it kept my mouth busy so I quit crushing my lips with my gums..and kept my hands busy so I quit scratching, rubbing my fingers raw..and hitting myself.  I am fairly certiain I will sport quit a bruise on my chest tomorrow.  {{sighs}} And pacing stopped me from rocking, though the pacing and smoking in and of themselves are stimming.. but I digress.. I remembered a post I made on Facebook a few days before I deactivated that blighted thing.. A post of a picture that fairly accurately described depression.  And I remembered my description of what an anxiety attack feels like… As if you are drowning.  This is the picture I posted and the caption I wrote, on 19May2014:

Depression is a series of waves that go on, and on, and on...

Depression is a series of waves that go on, and on, and on…

It it like a hole is cut in to the very center of your heart, and a very large and very heavy boulder is placed there. And it sits. Everywhere you go, every smile, every activity, every love, every laugh, every joy, every sorrow. And it sits. Every triumph, every loss, every win, every beautiful day that resonates in your memory like a thousand small tears of complete rightness.. And it sits. Every single moment that has ever wended its way in to the core of who you truly are. And it sits. Every lasting memory and act that has ever made its way in to your essence, to become the person you are today. And it sits. Every poignant song or taste or smell or touch or feeling.. And it sits. Sometimes, letting you lean just long enough to let you catch a breath before another wave comes crashing over you to steal another breath when you want to cry HELP ME, PLEASE. And it sits.

A friend responded, and I shared the following story. This experience has always come to mind every time I have an anxiety attack, because this is exactly hwo it feels. Every time.

When I was a kid, I went to some beach with my family. My eldest brother had me up on his shoulders, and he walked out deeper in to the ocean than I could have on my own.. he’s older than me by 14 years, and I was somewhere around 6. The tide was coming in, and the waves were crashing all around us. He was bracing against the waves, and I was giggling, because they were hitting my knees, hard. They were high enough they’d wash over my chest, and now and then, go over my head.

One was exceptionally high and hard and washed over us and stayed. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. It felt like an eternity. I couldn’t see anything but endless murkiness, endless green and browns and debris coming at me, washing over me, crushing my small helpless hapless body. It kept coming,m crushing me, squeezing, lifting and slamming me, enveloping me in its embrace and tightening, tightening so much I felt everything in me would simply implode into a small speck of nothingness, as if I would just go away and never exist at all. As if the entire weight of the ocean chose to bear its entire weight down on me, to eradicate everything I was, could be. I felt everything in me slow down. I could hear my heart beating, my blood pumping in my ears because I could no longer hear the waves; I WAS the wave. I heard my blood speed up and slow down.. Everything in me squeezed tighter, and tighter. as if i were being spun in to a smaller more compact me, like was taking up too much space and had to be shoved in to a smaller version of me that was too small to hold all I was, all I am and I was bursting to get out, only there wasn’t enough room. And the water kept coming. And coming. The weight of all of it kept pushing me down, more and more. .it pressed in from every side, every angle, from everywhere until it became more than air, more than everything. I opened my mouth to scream, and it filled that space, too. It filled everything. It became everything. And I grew smaller, the pressure grew larger and larger as I screamed. My heartbeat slowed, everything in me beat quieter and my screams grew quieter.. and finally the wave receded and I could gasp and cough and finally catch a breath.

To this day, I have no idea how long we were under that wave. We came out from under it to people screaming and crying about where we walked in, some 50 feet away..and to this day, that’s how every panic attack feels to me, how depression feels to me. And to this day, I’m still not sure if I’d prefer the attack or the actual wave…because while it’s happening, I’m never sure if I’ll survive this time.

And I went on to add:

On deeper thought, it is a hurt akin to heartache. Associated with deep loss, whether with death or just severed ties. Meaning – the hurt depression or anxiety attacks cause feels very similar to the physical pain some feel when they lose someone close to them, whether the loss is from an actual death or from a tie severed from other means.
Severe emotional stresses can cause physical tremors, of a sort, which cause actual pain..which, interestingly enough, is why we refer to the loss of someone close as “heartache”. Emotional duress actually can cause heart pain and, in some cases, death due to heart problems… Fun, isn’t it?

A few friends responded, and I closed with a phrase I have used often..

Some days, all I have are my words to keep me upright. Some days, even they do nothing against the waves.

Some days, you are the wave, some days, you are the shore. And some days, you are the dingy being tossed on the rocks…

And it is true.  So often, anxiety attacks are so much like drowning.  In thoughts, in sounds, in smells, in lights and tastes and feelings and touch, in cryings.. and sometimes, in nothingness.  Tonight, nothing.. absolutely NOTHING was in my head but utter darkness.  Just hurt, pain, despair, blackness so fucking dark it felt at once like home and like The absolute eater of souls.

I have thought of suicide often lately.  I usually do, this time of year.  Not as an actual option, because it is not.. But as an abstract actual concept.  Meaning.. people actually DO this. Why? How the fuck? What the fuck? What in the actual FUCK?? I mean, I get accidental suicide.. “Hey, y’all, watch this?” We see that shit on the Darwin awards every year.  But actual “fuck this shit, I’m out”?? No.

Suicide doesn't take away the pain..it multiples and gives it to all those who love you.

Suicide doesn’t take away the pain..it multiples and gives it to all those who love you.

I’ve known too many to suicide.. Friends, friends’ parents, my parents.. No, it just never is an option. But the thought of suicide is always there, because it IS an option for some people. And it sucks, because I realize in a very very real way that some of us reallyd on’t have anyone to grab on to and call at any hour of any day to talk to. I mean, we all have someone we can call. But we don’t all have someone we can REALLY really talk to.

See, for myself, I’ve only really felt a deep connection where I can unload my baggage with three people. One was my dad. One was a dude I briefly saw several years back..and one was.. Well, he’s my ex now. And the thing is, shutting up 13 years worth of.. life.. Once the damns open is.. impossible. Just impossible. 4 Years ago, when I opened up then the outlet was gone, the PTSD started. My memory of all the bad shit was suddenly gone, I had night terror style nightmares every fucking night where I’d scream myself awake..and it went on for months. Every night, for months. I drank in ways Lemmy would be impressed with that entire time. Then.. with the help of a couple friends who were….understanding enough to sit on me and hold me down while I fought with demons long past until I came out of the flashbacks…they abated until they were manageable. Eventually, they disappeared all together. I still have tremors occasionally, but they are rare. Very blessedly rare. They were truly terrifying. I had no idea where I was, who you were, WHEN I was.. And I don’t know, to this day, how long the flashbacks lasted. I know I superficially hurt a few people, and they know I am sorry..and did not mean to. But it still remains no less terrifying to have done so. PTSD never really leaves, see.. it just.. changes in to other forms you then learn – or don’t – to deal with. It is as fluid as a crashing wave, and as dangerous and ever-changing. And so must you be.

I also posted, on 10May2014

In the past 10 years, I have wanted nothing more than to talk to my biological father about everything going on in my life. He never gave advice, he simply listened to everything I had to say without pause, then asked quietly “what do you think you should do?” Once I answered, he followed with “what do you want to do?” Somehow, at the end of our conversations, I always knew the right thing to do. I miss that. I miss having someone to talk to who never judged, always understood, always listened, always let me figure it out, was always there until he wasn’t. And I still haven’t forgiven him, I think, for disappearing years before he died.

This is true. So much has happened tha I have never fully been able to share, that I desperately need to.  Not to just tells omeone, which.. I mean, I can talk to any person on the planet and tell them shit that happened.  “Oh yeah. My ex husband nearly killed me AND our unborn child one night. Mmm yeah. Threw a door down on my prone form after he threw me out of a chair. Yup. Then proceeded to jump on it yelling about killing me and ‘sending that abomination to hell’. No, I’m not exaggerating. Then he broke/ripped/tore apart every Native American anything I had,some inherited,then threw somethign – he still won’t admit what – around the corner of the door, which sliced my head open so fast I didn’t even feel it.  I was cleaning up themess ofmy figurines, you see.  That he broke.  And suddenly, I was blind.  I was confused by this.  I wiped my right eye and could see red on my fingers, which made no sense, then I was blind again.  How did red water get on my eye? Was the ceiling leaking? Hrm. Perhaps someone snuck in and poured something on.. But I looked around and no one was there. So Ic alled out to him ‘Can I go get a towel to wipe my eyes?’ because I had to ask permission, you see.. And he yelled something along the lines of (it gets hazy here a bit) ‘No I am not bringing you a fucking tow OH MY GOD SARAH COME QUICK!’ And I just gazed up at him, nearly adoringly, but confused. That’s the best I can explain how I felt.  Not really alarmed..  I mean, there was a touch of alarm, but not much.  I wiped my eye again, and looked down at my pants. My prized fleece-lined expensive Adidas black track pants..and aw they were covered.. COVERED.. in blood.  But where the hell did THAT come from. And why was my arm covered in it? And half my Wireneck (my cousin’s band) shirt? And why was I blind again? What the hell was going on? And my ex and his other girlfriend (long story) came in BABBLING in their distress over fixing what he’d done to me.  They were freaking out about calling cops and ambulances to save my life, to stop the bleeding, he was directing her to the store on the corner for fishing wire and for the medkit because we kept was was basically modified gunpowder specifically formulated to stop excessive bleeding fast.  They were in medium-sized capsules; about double the size of a fishoil cap, I suppose.  We used 5 or 6 to get the bleeding under control.  By then, he decided to sew me up at home.  By then, I was utterly and totally calm and directing them on things that needed to be sanitized and done.  Yes, friend I’m talking to, I was so deep in to shock, I was reciting medical necessities to them to have a 4” gash in my head..where my skull was cracked and I could see my brain….sewn shut at home. Because I also believed he would call an ambulance and turn himself in.. but I also believed I wouldn’t survive the night if I didn’t stay calm and awake and keep my unborn daughter in my thoughts the entire time.  She still had 3 months to cook, yet.  So he sat me down on the toilet after I tried to touch my brain and I watched the juices from inside my skull leak out.. He sat to my left, she to my right. I faced him, and he pulled out our emergency med kit with the skin sewing needle (we used to camp a lot) and proceeded to stitch me up at home. With Spiderwire fishing line. Here, let me show you a picture of it..

It's amazing how easy it is to snap 8lb fishing wire with a laugh..

It’s amazing how easy it is to snap 8lb fishing wire with a laugh..

The rip in my head went from my hairline considerably down and a diagonal angle.. the skin caught on my eyelashes, which also confused me. Why was my right eye so damnably hard to blink?? The entire split was somewhere around 3.5-4″ long, somewhere closer to 4″, I am told. He gave me a shot of Bacardi 151 before the first stitch, which I don’t recall which one that was, now that I think abut it.. He gave me another shot before the second, which I think was the bottom of the rip, which makes the first stitch the middle.. and a third shot of 151 before the third stitch. by this time, he had to put thick gloves on, because the needle was so very dull after being put through the very very thick skin of my forehead four times. Needless to say, I put the last stitch in myself. No gloves. While laughing and singing somme silly little child-like song. nd there’s something I’m not sure I’ve shared with anyone, ever. I put that last stitch in.. I tied the first knot, I think he tied the last two. I think that was it; I don’t even think he applied superglue or anything else to it. But I become very hazy at this point as the adrenaline is wearing off, as it is over an hour since the incision and bloodflow occurred.. and judging by the amount of blood I literally wrang out of my clothing..and how much squished up to my knees when I walked on that berber carpet.. Yes, just regular stepping, it shot up to my knees.. I love several pints before we got it to stop. I am quite aware, every fucking day, that my being here is a god damn motherfucking miracle. And after, my ex kicked Sarah out of the bathrom and proceeded to bathe me, taking such special care to wash me gently, and to wash my hair very very very carefully. He them dried me, and took the extra special care with my hair, helped me in to pajamas, and helped me get settled on the couch.. Because I was insistent I could not go to sleep, or I’d die. Something in me simply knew if I slept them, I’d die. And so I stayed awake, and waited for him to call an ambulance and the cops as he’d promised. But of course, he never did. And all day, I kept repeating to myself, I have to stay awake.. I have to save Callista.. over and over and over. I’d start to nod off, I have to stay awake, I have to save Callista. Over 24 hours later, I finally slept. I got up the next morning, and went to work.. not really having remembered what happened, still in such shock that I just popped out with a story about going head first through a window and being in a hospital so I couldn’t call in to work, the day I missed. In the following 3 weeks, I popped 2 of the sutures by laughing. BY LAUGHING, of all things. Which still gives me a slight chuckle to this day. I had liquids from inside my skull dripping out every day for weeks.. and even once the wound closed, I felt them on the inside. They are so fucking sticky…it’s unreal.”
Yes.. yes, I can tell this to anyone in the world. I can shock you with the details. That I don’t even have to embellish. But none of that allows me to SHARE it, to hand it to you. That just allows me to tell you a part of my story, nothing more.

I told a friend and her husband, a NEW friend, I hope, because he’s awesome, last night.. It doesn’t matter how much fucking baggage you have. What matters is how much baggage you’re willing to hand another person, how much they’re willing to take.. and go “oh.. this is it, huh? We don’t need this.” And throw away. That’s it.

The whole point of this, tonight.. thinking about tha post about depression and my description of the waves..somehow calmed my stims. I had to find it in my downloaded archives. That kept me busy. It calmed my stims when I couldn’t count or sing or even operate a fucking phone. Believe me, I fucking tried. I fucking tried to call, to text, to type, to do something to get help, to cry help, to say please save me.. and I couldn’t. I had no words. I had no.. I had only the blackness of pain eating my heart and soul ahile my brain tried to cope and keep us all here. And I remembered that friend last night, Lea, reminding me of something I told her months ago… something that helped me when I hit my darkest moments 7 years ago when I left my ex and my dad killed himself the same year.. It took me MONTHS of doing this.. but it worked.. To go out every fucking day – multiple times if you must.. and find something fucking beautiful. Stare at it, breathe it in, make it a part of you. Revel in it, live in it, love it. As my dad taughtme, fake it til you make it. She was right to remind me, and as I told her.. I’ve been trying for months. She reminded me I am amazingly resilient.. I’d have to be, to have gone through all I have alone.. But sometimes..

Sometimes those waves feel like they’ll carry me home. Those waves, if I just quit fighting to come back, maybe they’ll carry me to that place I dream about, and nearly felt I had once, lying with my hand over the heart of one person who once made me feel safe and.. right. Right for the first time. If I just fucking let go, those waves will sufficate me, drown me, and carry me to where I am free and home and happy. The problem is, there is no happy or home in death…there is only free. So I have to struggle alone. I have to fight. No matter how hard the fight; even if I stim so fucking badly I break something, I have to fucking fight because I still have more goodnight hugs and kisses and tickles…more works of art. And I pronmised my daughter a song of my heartbeat because that is what calms her anxiety attacks. My heart. How special is that? A connection I would have thought broken by now, at her age. But I kept her safe so much more than she knows, and some part of her is remembering well past when she should now, telling me about things I’d fervently hoped she’d never remember..and she cradles her head to the beating of my heart.

“And I was willing to go through the pain of losing him forever to have the chance to love him just a little while.” 20 may 2014

I just didn’t think it would be so little a while.  That’s what I get for believing in something, anything, anyone..for handing over my spark, that piece of me that really makes me me, in to the safekeeping of someone else.

So I struggle. I fight. And maybe next time, I can remember this post and it will calm my stims early, and I can just go pick up that little miniature me and hold her close to my heart and let her calmness and rightness calm and right me, too. Bah-dah-DUN…Bah-DAH-dun…I love YOU.. I LOVE you… Bah-dah-DUN…Bah-DAH-dun… Rhythmic and true and steady and as constant as the North star. Always.

Those bitch sisters STILL owe me a fucking nice cup of tea some day…Don’t think this crakka has forgotten.

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5 thoughts on “Anxiety Attacks and drowning in the ocean…

  1. Hello would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re
    working with? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and
    I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

    • I blog through WordPress and register my domain through their options. I did so because I, like you, found it loaded quicker with fewer problems. I hope that helps.

  2. You actually make it appear really easy along
    with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I feel I might by no means understand.
    It kind of feels too complex and extremely extensive for me.
    I’m looking forward for your subsequent post, I
    will attempt to get the grasp of it!

    • Anxiety attacks, how they feel, how they make you feel are by no means easy to explain. I don’t often tell anyone when I have them, and I rarely write about them. But I’ve found sometimes writing while in the throes them helps calm them. When all the fears and voices and hopes and dread fill your head where you can barely function, where all you hear are their screams, sometimes the best thing you can do is sit and write (or, in my case type) it all out to release those demons, to give them permission to leave. Because, really, it’s ultimately up to you to allow the attack to stop or continue.

    • I think all sufferers of anxiety and depression and PTSD would find it far too difficult to explain how they feel using mere words. I just try to use writing as a way to exorcise the demons, if you will, long enough to let me come down from the heights the rampant attacks bring on. I can’t say I will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel (an end to the attacks and depression and PTSD feelings), but I’ve found ways to keep on chugging down those railroad tracks any way. When you’re trudging through those rushing waters, sometimes all you need is that little piece of help (the tracks) to help you find your way back out. 🙂

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