Friday, January 11, 2013

Panic..



We are chatting the other night, pretty much about nothing in particular, then I ask him how he thinks I'm doing with all this. Very well, considering you're a control freak. Uh, excuse me? I wha...? I played dumb. Of course I am was a control freak. 

I just worry. About everything. All the time

I am not a my-way-or-the-highway kind of person. I grew up in a house like that and fought it my entire life. I don't want my kids to grow up that way. But, I feel like if I don't control something in the situation, that I might lose it. I feel like I need to know some things are going to be fine and the only way that can happen, is if I am ... You guessed it.. In control. 

I get stressed out in big groups. All judge~y and such. So I feel like if I dress cute and look nice, I'll be okay. I don't know how many meltdowns I've had before we leave to go somewhere, I can't find something to wear, start flipping out and decide I'm not going. I'm sure my fireman will remember wayyyy too many times that's happened. So, my point is, I don't have to be in control of everything.. Just something that makes me feel better. 


But the stuff I have no control over gets to me sometimes. I will have full on panic attacks. Thankfully, I can still function, but they happen. 

Last week I was driving, the girls watching a movie, the baby being quiet watching and riding along. My brain, I often wonder if it works the same as everyone else's. I have tendencies to go morbid, worry about the craziest things, or like in this instance, one thought takes to me to another and another, and so on until I'm reliving something I wish never happened. 


I am hoping this doesnt trigger again... When #2 was an infant, she got very sick.  Very sick. Family members didn't know if she would make it sick. We were transferred to a hospital with a pediatric intensive care unit, she had to be intubated during a procedure, I saw her and couldn't move. The nurses were like get out of the way, I think maybe someone moved me. I don't know. It's blurry. But I will never forget that. Ever. I don't know how, but she made it through with no problems (well, I do. I'm religious). They couldn't even figure out what happened. I just thank God every day for her. 

That day in the car, I relived it and panicked. I kept driving, eyes on the road, hands safely on the wheel, but my heart raced and it was hard to breathe. 

Today it happened again. I was cleaning away, trying to get my kitchen floor done (thanks FlyLady- if you need help organizing and cleaning, google her!). I made myself a glass of sweet tea and our pitcher leaked. It ALWAYS does. I thought, oh I am so adding that to my list...  

I sent my fireman a text: *I'm getting 3 things from WalMart this weekend. Want to take a stab at what?* I went back to cleaning and organizing. 

A little later, text chime. *Um. Smirnoff. Trash bags. And a wooden spoon?*

*I have Smirnoff. I didn't know we needed trash bags. Yes spoon. Hair brush. And now I swear I forget the third thing. Lol. Omg

And then it hit. I seriously couldn't remember. It was only a few minutes ago. I am not even 30. I forget all the time. I have always been forgetful. My grandmother has Alzheimer's. Bad. My mind is racing. My heart pounding. Absolute panic. 

*Omg. This is why I'm terrified of getting old. I'm so going to get Alzheimer's. You're not going to be able to deal with it. I'm going to be alone. O. Full on panic attack.*

He didn't realize how serious I was. I had tears. I went to the bathroom to sit on the edge of the tub away from the kids. The worst panic attack I think I've ever had. 

Organizing the cabinet for Tupperware and cleaning supplies under the sink brought me out of it. My hands were still shaky, but I was through it. Before ttwd, I would've flipped out on him for not replying or checking on me. It would've been ww3. 

I sent a non confrontational text. I'm actually a little proud of this moment! He thought maybe I was just being dramatic he said since he couldn't physically see me and wasn't here. I explained that I am terrified of losing my memory. And that I'm even more terrified of being alone. Not just alone, but without him. 

Text chime. 
*Baby doll! 
Seriously! You CANNOT be worrying about that. AT ALL. PERIOD. You get so worked up over nothing. The reason you forget things is bc there are three kids running around wanting, needing, and fighting every 5 minutes. Plus whatever you're trying to do to get ready to go somewhere or pick up around the house. It's just simple sensory overload for you. THAT'S the reason. 
And I'm not going anywhere. You will NEVER be alone as long as I'm around. I made that commitment to you six and a half years ago. So don't you dare ever say again that you're going to be alone.*



Tears. But happy tears. He is the only person that can pull me out of this spiral that I can find myself in. 

I can't wait until it's just the two of us later. I'm thankful it's Friday. Happy weekend! I'm sure well be around this weekend though :) 

Xo, 
Elle 

16 comments:

  1. Oh Elle, I'm going to start the ball rolling this time. And as I'm old enough to be you mama, I'll hope you won't be offended by my summing up of your situation.

    First of all, you are in a very busy stage of your life at present - three children under the age of six? Wow! I had it difficult with two born close together. There are some ladies on here with six and seven children. I don't know how they do it! But my point is that you are allowed to panic from time to time. We all do it! The losing your memory bit? We all do that as well! I can tell you reliably, that when you have children it does something to the grey matter - I often go into a room and have to retrace my steps in order to remember what I wanted in the first place. It happens. You are normal and okay! Believe me! The worry about your children is normal too. Most of us have similar worries and have had awful situations with our children that we relive in our minds. As the years go past we gradually learn to accept these and carry them as badges of motherhood and caring. They are little bits of your heart dedicated to the love you bear for your children.

    Now, if you have a real panic attack a paper bag held over the nose and mouth is good. You breathe in carbon dioxide and your quick breathing and overdose of oxygen is slowed down and you recover. The important bit is to slow your breathing down. (I have friends who do Yoga to learn how to control their breathing for situations like these.)

    I know it's difficult for you, and being told not to worry is hard to believe. But please try not to worry. Have confidence in yourself. You are a good mother and Fireman is a wonderful father. You are not losing your memory or getting altzeimer's!

    Also - you have all of us here at the end of an email! Lots of friends to help when you are feeling stressed and low. Use us!!

    Many hugs to you,

    Ami

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    1. Ami! Thank you so much ;) you are so sweet :) I have been thinking about you and hope you're doing well!!

      Thanks for all your kind words. I know that's what everyone says, im just always worried its more! Thank you for reaffirming what my fireman and everyone says!

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  2. Elle,

    I used to have panic attacks too and I beat them. No meds and no expensive counseling.

    I read once that the worst thing a panic attack can do to you is what it's already done. Fear breeds fear. So when you have a bad one you fear the next one. But it's already done it's worst to you so try to take a mindset of "OK panic attack come on, do your worst. I already survived you before so come on with your bad self. You can't scare me any more than you already have so just do it and go away"

    I know this sounds strange but just try to relax INTO the panic while you are thinking this and breath from the bottom of your belly. If you fight it will take longer to go away and you will be left with residual anxiety. If you just let it wash over you like a tidal wave knowing that the worst is already behind you it will peak and go away. Once you get through a couple your fear of them will start to subside and eventually they will stop.

    Every now and then, still, I will feel a twinge but I go right into my relax, breath and "do your worst" mantra and it stops almost instantly.

    You can fix this, Elle, the answer is inside of you. Try it and if you need someone to talk to let me know!

    Hugs to you,

    Sam

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    1. Thank you Sam!!! I will remember that. Just relax into it. It will not last forever. The worst is past and it will be fine.
      :)

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  3. Little known fact about June - she holds a CNA-Alzheimer's Specialist certificate. There is a very small percentage of the population that does experience an early onset form of Alzheimer's. (only 5% of the Alzheimer's population, which is about 13% of the general population...MINISCULE). Early Onset Alzheimers is considered to be symptoms exhibited before the age of 50. Very early Alzheimer's - between the ages of 30 & 50 - is most rare, seems to have a genetic component. If there are not people in your family who have suffered VEOA, it is unlikely that you do have it.
    You can read more here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/alzheimers/AZ00009
    http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_early_onset.asp

    Now - if you are prone to panic attacks, some people are also prone to intense morbid phobias (I am, too - I fight it all the time). Forgetfulness is common in people suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. http://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/forgetfulness. And the excessive health fears are a type of anxiety disorder as well http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/194/6/481.long
    Just means you're normal :) [When I first started having panic attacks, every cough, every cold was a death knell - some major illness.]Maybe you could talk to your family doctor about something to help you control your anxiety.

    I favor Fireman's explanation - I happen to call it mommy-brain. All moms experience it, and for just the reasons he mentioned. Be gentle with yourself. You can email if you need to talk.

    (((hugs)))

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    1. June! You are amazing! You have helped me already so much and now this!! I am thankful for you and your wonderful Ward too!
      I will go to those links and read!! I do have anxiety sometimes. I will read all of that.

      Thank you so much!

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    2. You're most welcome, sweetie. And as Sam said you can relax into it - just a trick - I used to roll myself over in panic thinking something was wrong with my heart (you know that horrible - my heart is galloping out of my chest feeling?) When I feel that starting to happen, I usually feel my breathing speeding up. I just stop, and place my fingers on my carotid (neck) or brachial (wrist or armpit) and feel my pulse...it is always strong and steady. Then I know that it's just my brain spinning it out. I keep my fingers on that spot - for reassurance - and make myself breathe slow and deep. Usually in a few minutes it subsides.

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  4. I could relate to a lot of this actually Elle. You aren't alone, that's for sure. And I don't know how many times Michael has said something similar to me. I'm doing better at actually listening to him these days. Try to listen to your Fireman and like June said, be gentle with yourself. (((hugs)))

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    1. Thank you Grace!! I will. You are right! :)

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  5. Hi Elle!
    I, too, can relate. In my early to mid-twenties I suffered from an anxiety disorder. I have OCD (mild now, with much effort on my part) and still struggle occasionally with morbid thoughts (my daughter was also hospitalized as an infant which was very traumatic at the time). I, too, experience panic attacks when under extreme emotional distress.

    I'm guessing you have a high IQ and have perfectionist tendencies?

    All of that to say what some of the women here have also said - you are not alone.

    Elisa xo

    PS Thank you for finding me!

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  6. Hi Elle, ditto to all of the above. Sorry, not much help I know Lol, but I don't really know what else I can add to the wonderful advice you have above. Except, try and go easy on yourself and listen to your Fireman. Also lean on him and let him help when that panic does set in.

    Hugs
    Roz

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  7. Control Freak? I think that goes right along with being a mom. It is a huge responsibility and we love our children so much that the thought of anything happening to them is heart breaking. Forgetting things? Yep. I do that too. I am OUT of coffee Filters! This is an emergency! Dragon asked me last night if I needed anything from the store. I said no. :/ my fault. I didn't write it down. Again. That is just part of being mom. I keep up with so many things the kids are doing that I forget other things. Oh well.

    The question now is... Will my kids survive the day? It is questionable.

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  8. Oh Elle
    I'm so sorry you are feeling this way and having panick attacks.
    Just to let you know I have four kids up to the age of ten. I am so forgetful I have two vale fees on my walls and I e in my bag, just to remember the simpelest things.
    I loose my keys on a daily basis and you wouldn't believe some of the places they have turned up, fridge and washing machine being some.
    I even forget the kids name, not littrally but when I want to call them I look at them and say the wrong name, I tell one of them off by calling the other ones name and they just laugh at me.
    Any way just wanted to say its normal to be forgetful, with kids and the busy lives that most of us tend to live.
    Chin up , just take a deep breath and tell yourself all of us mums/ wives go through this. X x

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  9. Oh Elle. You have mommy brain. I firmly believe that when we grow our babies that they get some of our brain cells and that we never get them back. With three kids you are three kids worth of brain cells down. (I know, that's not how it works exactly but the principle works.)

    Good luck with the panic attacks and relaxation techniques. You have some good advice here. Take Care.

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  10. Elle,
    Sent u a message on the forum. It was too much to put here :)

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  11. I really like your site!

    I have one child. 1! Yet I go out of my mind and forget everything!

    I liked that you mentioned God. I'm just starting down this road but I'm super excited. For a while, my husband didn't want anything to do with it for the obvious reasons that most men don't want to "hit their wife" but also because we wondered if it would be ok with God. So every so often I read a blog from someone that's NORMAL as all get out and mentions God. Then I'm like, ya, this can be ok.

    Thanks for sharing the good the bad and the ugly!

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