panic attack

this morning i was searching for people to follow on twitter.  i really just wanted to find some news on twitter.  on the right hand column i noticed in one of the hot searches “Michael Crichton” and “Michael Crichton RIP.”   i’m not sure how or when i found out but i knew that he died.  i might have read something before going to bed last night.  but i wasn’t sure when he died and since i wanted to find some news sites anyway, i decided to browse through search results on Michael Crichton and Michael Crichton RIP.  most entries had a line or two just stating that Michael Crichton died.  some mentioned that they were sad.  others stated their favorite book that Michael Crichton wrote.  i went through 10-15 pages of search results, reading each result entry – i would first notice the picture of name of the person who posted the entry and quickly looked at the content.  i didn’t really have to read since mostly the content of all of the posts were stating that Michael Crichton died.  what i didn’t expect was the impact of reading/looking at entries that stated the death of Michael Crichton over and over againl  i was determined to get to the earliest post that was uploaded and i thought that way i could also see which news sites reported on twitter the death of Michael Crichton.  i was doing this at 7:30 am this morning.  latest entries said 5 minutes ago, an hour ago…8 hours ago, 14 hours ago, and at about 19 hours ago entries stopped.  i felt nauseaus and short of breathe as i kept making myself reading the entries to get to the end (or the beginning of the thread).

when i finished i closed my laptop, got out of my chair, got a glass of ginger ale, grabbed my PRN, and went to go smoke.   i usually take one pill, wait about an hour and take another one if the first one wasn’t enough.  if the second pill doesn’t do the trick, then i take the third pill which is the limit prescribed by my doctor.  i knew the anxiety was engulfing me and that no way one .5mg of ativan was going to bring any kind of relief.  so anyway i took what i judged to be a safe and effective dose.  my head was both spinning and felt blocked.  i thought people die.  people die all the time.  to put death in the perspective, an old friend’s wife just had surgery to remove tumor in her brain.  i have been following updates of her progress on facebook and posting prayers and waiting for status update that she is waking up.  and another relevant factor in how i react to death is that death is a very personal and powerful concept and reality for me.  you might say that i’m a quitter at heart.  i can cope with a lot, i mean a lot of stress.  then all of a sudden i become aware of the feelings, thoughts, stress that had been bottled up and waiting to pop open like a champagne bottle does at celebrations.  the champagne pouring out of the bottle is controllable for the most part.  but my emotions, when they burst open are hard to control, mostly i can’t control them.  in those situations when emotions come on so strongly with such force that i would be wiped out, i try to contain the damage.  i try to make the crazy wild strong wave of emotions go away.  my usual method works pretty well.  but i also usually end up in the Emergency Room soon after.  then i stay in the hospital for a while until powers in charge think i am no longer a threat to my self or to others.  

i calmed down of course.  panic/anxiety attacks don’t last forever.  if they did, you’d just die.  it still sucks to be experiencing a panic/anxiety attack when you are the one who is having one because usual sense of time doesn’t apply to you.  the unbearable feeling seems to drag on.  you wonder if you can stay alive long enough to see that the panic/anxiety attack stopped.  i’m still a little fuzzy and disoriented from the panic/anxiety attack i was trapped in this morning.  i know that all i need is one breathe ahead of the panic/anxiety attack, suicidal impulse, or oppressive affliction of depression.  do you know how hard it is to try to stay one step of the person running behind you when they are constantly going and going, not taking breaks, not stopping for water and not slowing down?   to stay ahead, you also can’t slow down, stop for water, take breaks until the finish line is behind you.  i long for that finish line.  i dream about it.  i wonder about what it would feel like to run through the finish line…  until i get to the finish line, i have to keep myself one step ahead, just one step, just one breathe, ahead of the unpredictable ups and downs of my crazy unstable mental chemical imbalance caused by purely physical factors, genetic factors as well as circumstantial factors.

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