Sunday, 27 April 2008

Post Panic Attack

Ok... i just had an attack. Literally minutes ago. And it is the first time i have had an attack in a long time actually. What brought it on? .... i did!

Ill tell you a little about my week.

I had another fight with my mum. After our arguement the previous week i thought i had been doing quite well. I had been getting into a routine. Getting myself up and dressed before midday and going to bed earlier at night. This might not sound like much but honestly this can be an achievement some days. I was also trying to spend more time outside of my room. Eat dinner with the family etc. So it was small changes but still, it was something.

On Monday i had Luke and my mum was out. I really enjoyed our day together. We played together, went a small walk and then settled infront of the t.v to watch 'Alvin and The Chipmonks' together.

My mum appeared later as she had been out all day and she was annoyed saying i should have done more. The house wasn't tidy enough etc. So it turned into World War II. I make my mum sound so bad in these posts but believe me she's great. I think she obviously has a lot on her plate right now and since we are always around each other... we take it out on each other.

Anyway the argument stayed with me. The atmosphere in the house was awful and on Thursday i told her i needed us to talk about things. I felt like if i didn't get things off my chest my head was going to explode or i was going to breakdown or something!!!

So we talked. And it helped me a lot. I told her i have been feeling down, that i'm scared. I'm scared of never getting better. I'm scared of not being motivated enough. I'm scared of Panic attacks everyday...and on and on. I cried again... twice in one week is a record for me but the talk helped me.

On Friday Alison came over (the nurse i know who will be doing EMDR). We spent a good few hours chatting and again i think talking helps. I guess it felt like counselling in a way. I was exhausted when it ended but feeling a little more positive.

I've been trying to spend a little time outdoors each day. I'm doing this to get into the habit. For too long my days have been filled with being at home, in my room so im hoping to get out of that rut. So each day i have spent a little time in the garden. On Saturday i went a little walk with my mum and Luke and once i got home i got my bike out and headed off in the other direction. I got to where i had planned which wasn't far but i did get a little anxious, however i made it so that was good.

Then today. I woke up to beautiful weather. I went outside and sat in the sun and felt totally relaxed. For once i wasn't thinking about going back indoors but just enjoying being where i was. Luke was here and his friend Lee arrived so i was keeping them entertained. Lee invited Luke into his garden which is at the bottom of the street so i took Luke there. Then i played with the kids and even had a go on the trampoline ha ha. The boys wanted to go into Lees room and play the X Box so i took Luke up there. These details may seem small to other people but for me this was all great progress. Sometimes i worry that i will be anxious in other peoples homes as the surroundings are unfamiliar. Or if i go upstairs i will get panicky and have to run out. But i took Luke upstairs no problem and spent time chatting with Lee's mum in the garden. I left Luke to play and walked to get my mum who was in her friends house. When i was there i seen a crowd of guys further along. Knowing one of them i walked over to chat. I stood there chatting away and again i felt totally at ease.... normal. The day ended at dinner. My mum, Luke and i all ate in the garden and i can honestly say the whole day was spent anxiety free.

So i had spent the whole day outdoors. I enjoyed it. I loved it. I wasn't far from home but it boosted my confidence again. It made me WANT to try more. It gave me my motivation back i suppose.

This is the hard part to explain. Tonight i sat in my room and felt thrilled about the days progress but at the same time i felt strange. I was thinking that i should feel anxious as my daily routine had been changed. Instead of being in my room all day i had been out and maybe i wouldnt be able to relax in my room as easily.

My hands were sweating and i was thinking very negatively. I tried to change my way of thinking and then tried distraction by doing a crossword but it was no use. I knew i was keeping this anxiety going and i KNEW i would cause an attack. And then it happened. For the first time in so long i panicked. My heart was pounding heard and i was visulising myself freaking out, losing control. I was imagining calling an ambulance or screaming for my parents to help me. Thinking that this panic attack would be the one that wouldnt stop but would go on and on and on.
Then i stopped myself and i remembered. Panic attacks a fueled by our fears. STOP fearing this. STOP thinking the worst. CALM DOWN. I took a deep breath and i told myself not to run from this but closed my eyes and tried to focus on my body and what was going on. Then i slowly started to tap using EFT. Within one minute my panic was gone! I was a little shaken but now i am feeling fine. I called my boyfriend and he was scared that this attack will have set me back but in a way it has done the opposite. I feel confident again. Reminded that I AM IN CONTROL. That although these attacks are horrendous...they pass. I could panic again tonight. I am still a little uptight. But i know i'll be ok. If that is my sacrifice for doing more today, then i can totally handle that... it was worth it.
It's been a good day.


Jackie said...

I wonder what category Agoraphobia falls under. I mean, certainly it's a form of panic. But it's also a phobia of the outside world at the same time.

I have to say, I think people who suffer from Agoraphobia don't really care WHAT category they're in. They just want to not feel afraid anymore.

My advice to those out there with agoraphobia is this...

Your mind will come up with reasons why it believes only a certain area is safe and another is not. Those reasons range from being near the phone or people you trust to having familiar physical surroundings to reassure you.

The truth is, anywhere you are is equally safe. The anxiety in your mind is the only thing that distinguishes a place as bad or good, fun or miserable, happy or sad.

Controlling the anxiety will change your perspective on the world around you and you will see all places as being equally comfortable.

It all starts with babysteps...
-taking your dog for a walk in your front yard.
-having a cup of tea in your backyard.
-going outside in the morning to get the paper
-getting a cup of coffee at a quickie mart nearby.
-keep the windows open in your house for an hour or two
-take walk around the block

All these little acts of courage add up. Take 1 risk everyday to start overcoming your agoraphobia.

For more info on overcoming your anxiety, check out:

Watson Adam said...

Panic attacks have a variety of causes, some physical, some mental and some emotional. Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to panic attacks, while gender also plays a role, as women are more prone to panic attacks than men.