Tales of struggling with Anxiety

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It is just one of those mom things we do,think about what we have to do while we are driving. Sometimes though we get so lost in thinking about it we forget we haven’t actually done it yet.

Today as we were driving from the house we are staying at (while our plumbing is fixed)to school. I almost turned down the street to go to our house instead of taking the kid to school. In my head I had already dropped her off and was thinking about what I was going to clean first at the house. If the water was back on and if it wasn’t maybe I would do some computer work. Luckily my head was clear enough I turned the turning signal on which got the kid’s attention. ” Why are we turning?”  she asked. ” What? Um oh crap. Yeah school first.” I miss the days that she would just let it go at that. Not any more. Now its ten million questions about every thing that happens. ” Why were you going to turn to the house?”  ” Because in my head I had already dropped you off.”  Which then spurs her to tell me about when this kind of thing she does when she is thinking in her head. At some point, thirty seconds into her spiel, I tune her out. I found myself thinking.  oh god I can’t believe I almost did that. Yet again another reminder of how heartbreaking it is when kids get left in hot cars and how easy it is to happen. At which point my anxiety pipes up.  Remember. Remember when she was little during the summer you would sit in your car and stare hard at the car seat to remind yourself you had remembered to drop her off at daycare. OOOOhhh and remember those dreams you had that you had in fact been one of the parents to leave a kid in the car. Remember that. Remember when you woke up drenched in sweat and sure you had killed your kid by leaving her in the car. Oh lets also think about Sandy-hook and how those parents dropped their kids off at what they thought was a safe place. Okay she is never leaving my sight ever. Or if that doesn’t happen someone could break into the school or the hurricane brewing could send off storms that have tornadoes. YES!  A Tornado could hit today. lets think about that!  Because this is exactly what I planned to happen at eight fifteen in the freaking morning. Lets panic about things that happened nine years ago.

I don’t think enough people realize how close anxiety can be to post traumatic stress. How vividly it can make you feel that panic all over again. At the same time your body is starting to panic from remembering that panic attack. It doesn’t matter how many times I take deep breathes and say stay present. Anxiety is irrational is a motto I repeat over and over when anxiety is happening. It does help but anxiety is a bastard like that and it doesn’t prevent it from coming back.

I did manage to calm back down. I took a wedge of my ativan, not a full dose. I focused. I wrote. Then I go to scroll Facebook as a break because I got so much accomplished. The very first thing in my newsfeed is about a school shooting at a University. That Anxiety voice starts up again. Seeeeeee. SEEEEE didn’t I tell you. Go pick her up right now. Go get her. You have to get her to keep her safe. It is storming right now too. Seee I told you a tornado could happen today. The whole process of stepping myself down from panic happens all over again.

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3 responses »

  1. um yea…I constantly seem to be forgetting where I am going, and have to remind myself that this is or is not the way I want to be going…great writing..glad the “tornado” isn’t so fierce today…hope the house gets cleaned up. I don’t know why houses cannot clean themselves !

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  2. Ativan and Kolonopin are amazing aids to help get through an anxiety or panic attack. I don’t know how people take the whole pill and still function…I fall fast asleep. That 1/4 piece really does work well.
    One of my therapist recommended putting an elastic, the rubber kind, around your wrist and snapping it when you start feeling out of control. And just keep telling yourself everything is ok, you are ok, you are safe, no one is trying to hurt you, all out loud (because the brain believes things more it verbally hears) It may sound insane, but practiced like most cognitive behavior training, it works. It helps you bring yourself back and stay grounded in the present and reality.
    Just breathe….I’ve been there too.

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  3. I do it all the time . . . been battling anxiety since I was 16 or so, meds help, but I still have to work my way through it. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to not have these thoughts and feelings. I’m assuming kind of wonderful 🙂

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