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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running empty

i ran out of ativan today.  i left a message for the doctor who is covering for my therapist.  he just called.  in the mean time i took matters into my own hands.  i hate the feeling nervous or the experience of sinking and sinking and sinking.  so when i ran out of ativan this afternoon, i made a little something something myself.  i am totally fine.  i think my self-medication helped me.  i’m not feeling nervous and i don’t feel like i am sinking.  i’m just at ease.

i took a bus to get home today.  i haven’t been on a bus for a long time except for those terminal transfer buses at airports.   i felt like i was one of the many people who are conserving money by not driving their cars.  i stood in solidarity with those who either cannot drive because they don’t have a car or because they can’t drive for whatever reason.  in my case, i can’t drive when i’m taking ativan.  it turns me into the worst female driver there ever was!  i’m not kidding.  it’s like somehow my brain thinks that i’m in an amusement park riding bumper cars or something when i am on ativan.  it’s not good.

it’s not taking anything extra for me to say this so i’ll say it:  i’m angry.  i’m angry that i am being rationed out ativan which i need to feel moderately normal; i am angry that i have to take ativan when i feel badly because then i can’t drive; tonight i walked home in fear in the dark (and from potential crazy people attacking me.  no really, there have been incidents reported) from the bus stop;  i am angry that i’m afraid of getting physically sick when i self-medicate myself because the meds i am on messes with my self-medication.  should i go on?  no.  no.  i’ll spare you all more details.

at the store where i purchased my medium of self-medication, the lady who sold me the stuff asked how i was doing.  does she have a sixth sense or something?  i wasn’t planning on knocking myself out to the point of being unconscious or anything.  but maybe she felt something was off.  she’s quite a perceptive lady.  if she’s concerned about what i’m going to do with the stuff, why is she selling the stuff?  who knows?  this world is messed up.

giving then taking it away

as i posed a few blogs ago, my psychiatrist put me on ativan.  but then now she’s going to take some of it back.  i had a passing thought that i could take more than i was supposed to.  why?  well, just because i could.  but my psychiatrist is going away for a few weeks.  so if i run out, i’ll just have to live through anxiety and madness!  it doesn’t seem fair that i was honest about possibilities i was entertaining.  i chose not to act on the ideations.  and i don’t want to.  but still she’s going to take the pills away.  where is the trust???  oh well.  i feel helpless, like i can’t do anything about the situation.  i don’t want to be suffering when i know i could have taken a pill that would relieve the tension and anxiety that i feel, if only my psychiatrist hadn’t taken them away from me.  if that happens i am going to be so upset.  oh well oh well

and then there were none

i wish i could say i had no more papers to write.  wait, do i really wish for that?  anyway i turned in the paper on nihilism earlier this week.  i kept thinking of more and more things i could work on.  so at some point i just called it “finished!”  someone told me that paper that is done is better than a perfect paper (which is not finished and may never be finished).

i go on line obsessively to check for the grade.  but it’s only been two or three days.  maybe on tuesday the grade for the paper will be up.

so after writing a paper on nietzsche when i knew virtually nothing about him before writing this paper, i’m writing about plato.  i read the books easily enough.  but man it’s really hard to tease out the arguments in the dialogues!

all in all, i’d rather be working on papers than not.  i know.  it’s sick.  my friend seems to amuse herself by saying that she’s a nerd whenever she’s studying for an exam (especially if she’s studying over the weekend).  but if she’s a nerd then i am off the charts.  but not only do i study on weekends, i actually enjoy it and would choose to do it even if i had the choice to do something else!  of course i don’t always feel this way.  there are “bad” days when i want to and do sleep the entire day.  but then there are days like today when i love that i am thinking.  yes.  i am happy just to be thinking.  and that i am thinking about philosophical and religious ideas is a huge huge bonus.

i’m loving life – with the aid of cocktail of drugs of course.  my latest love: ativan!

gift

since i can’t write at the moment, i’ve been generating all kinds of ideas for what i can do in case i have to drop out of school. yes – it would be really unfortunate to have finished your course work and not graduate because you can’t turn in a thesis. i really love theology/philosophy of religion. i think i even have theological/philosophical talent! so why can’t i write a paper when i’ve written so many papers in my life already?

i must say that i was feeling really horrible over the weekend and earlier today. and then when i started taking ativan which my doctor called into a pharmacy (okay she faxed it in b/c the law requires it), i feel infinitely better! infinitely and a bout a gazillion galaxies better! i always think to myself, after i take a medicine that works to relieve the emotional/physical pain and suffering, why didn’t i take the medicine earlier? like why did i refuse meds the first time i had a depression episode? i could have been so much more productive and felt so much better!

if you have a medicine that works for you (for physical or mental illness), take it! it’s a gift from god!

i didn’t think about medicine as god’s grace being extended to me. if i had thought of things that way, and took meds earlier, i think i would be a different person right now.

ativan

i’m on ativan again.  it miraculously lifted all my anxiety in about an hour; it started kicking in 30 minutes after i took it but could really notice feeling better after about an hour.   i was wondering, does it mean that with the help  of all the meds i’m on, that i can do what i enjoy and want to do?  or that since i need to take meds to do what i want, that maybe i should do something else?  something else that doesn’t require me to need medicine?   it seems silly to ask it, especially when i wrote it and can see it on the screen.  i mean, if i had some other passion which didn’t require meds, then fine.  i should do that.   but since i don’t have dream “b” that i could pursue if dream “a” does not work out, i’ll count my blessings and go on pursuing!  i mean, for some people, medicine doesn’t help either.  so then what are they supposed to do?  take an early retirement from life?  so yeah.  i want to pursue what i am passionate about, without without ativan, etc. etc. etc.