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- Workshop 2
Daily Archives: September 14, 2017
October 2015, I last modified the import of my blog into Scrivener thinking I’d massage my writing into a book. The next month, my mother had a stroke. Never got back to the book or to figuring out Scrivener. Just…
I’ve felt more or less awful most of the day. I went and worked in the food pantry and did well there, but I got home and felt faint. I thought maybe I was just hungry but I ate and didn’t feel any better so I went and laid down and didn’t get up until the youngest one got home. I slept through Bob’s lunch and everything. I still don’t feel quite right but will need to fix dinner in a bit.
After several weeks of mild to turbulent depression, my brain offered up one day of halcyon hypomania. No slippage into rabbity anxiety or irritation, just a blue sky-mind with energy and focus.
I ran errands put off all summer, caught up on chores, oiled the squeaky lock in my door that’s bugged me for seven years, found the new space-saving solutions that had befuddled my depressed brain.
When this perfect combination of mood and drive pops into my life, I know to use it—partly to clean up any mess or stockpiling from the depression that came before, and partly to lay in supplies and prepare for the next storm. There are the tasks that need to be completed—like grocery shopping, scrubbing the toilet, and scheduling health care appointments—and tasks that can be started so my depression has something to do with itself.
This time I started collaging new storage boxes and painting parts of my studio. I put together a facilitator’s kit for my SoulMatters group (which meets for the first time this Sunday), and gathered all the materials for a piece of birthday art I’m making for my nurse practitioner.
It was a lovely day. And as expected, I moved out of that calm center into more stormy weather.
It’s my nature, and I accept it. Debris and water damage with a smattering of blue sky.
“This won’t be so hard,” I tell myself. “It might even be fun.” But the second night alone, I’m having a full-blown panic attack.
As if living with childhood depression isn’t bad enough, this young teen’s school decided to exclude her from graduation festivities. It was the last straw.
Mental illness is not contagious, but the way it’s treated, you’d think it was.
Anyone ever diagnosed with an anxiety disorder knows the party line about how it won’t kill you. We all know the reality of an anxiety or panic attack. No, we won’t die. Breathing will become difficult, we will likely become woozy, maybe break out in a cold sweat, start to tremble, freeze or worse, act contrary to what you intended to do. It won’t kill you. Nope.
Whatn makes anxiety and panic disorders dangerous is that they rob you of logic. They send you into the same tail spin you’d be in if you were in a car wreck. You forget which way is up or down. You know what you should do but you either react too late or react the opposite. There is no rhyme or reason.
I have nearly put my car in a ditch twice this last week because the panic attacks have become so intense. And forget the ‘what triggered it’ question, it’s irrelevant because a disorder means there are no set triggers. In my case, it’s probably trying to ‘be normal’ so I don’t down a friend whose help I,too, need. In the course of this, however, my anxiety disorder has me in a stranglehold 90% of the time.
It’s terrifying to think that the safety of my child hinges on my ability to react properly should we be driving along and mommy gets slammed with a massive panic attack that causes her to hit the gas instead of the brakes. And that has happened several times, though not to a dangerous extent but definitely to a traffic rudeness and ‘close to illegal’ way. I will go to pull across and intersection or turn lane with a blinking light and my brain tells me to hit the brake when my foot hits the gas. Vice versa at times, too.
The anxiety feed the depression and panic disorder, and the only way I know to lower risk is for me to not try to be something I am not. I am not normal. Not in the functional sense. That’s why it’s called a disorder. A disability. It hinders my ability to have a normal life.
Panic attacks might not kill you but they might get you-or someone else-killed.
Should sufferers of anxiety be robbed of their right to hold a license and drive?
No. But it would serve those in ours lives to remember that pushing us is what puts us, and others, in danger. You’re not making us ‘snap out of it’ or ‘pushing our boundaries’ so we can some inner strength that changes everything. You’re just throwing a lit match on some liquid and hoping it’s not gasoline that lights up with a whoosh and set your eyebrows on fire.
It would be greatly appreciated if you knocked it the hell off…