I have not been here in awhile. You have my apologies. I am in some sort of weird transition and because it is something I am not familiar with, my anxiety and self sabotage are bugging me. I am annoyed with it; as in I should be enjoying my time right now.
Needless to say, I just woke up in my sleep and I am sure that it was a night terror sort of deal. I woke up soaking wet with sweat, feeling hot, and vibrating. When that usually happens I can hear my doctor saying, “Are you sure it’s not low blood sugar?” Of course, I start to hyperventilate that I am going to go into some sort of low sugar shock and start knawing on a tasteless protein bar. But I am sure it is not low blood sugar; just a night terror in my sleep. But in the moment of it; my mind races with all the poor outcomes of why I am suddenly wide awake with a ball of jumbled feelings.
I want to call my mom and ask her to sit with me. I cry because the thought alone makes me feel like some sort of incomplete human. I have my phone in my hand ready to dial but I don’t. I want to push myself to get through this what ever it is.
I have done all my laundry so there is no real task for me to keep my mind busy. I figure why not watch a nice and fuzzy warm movie. I scour through the online listing of available movies to watch but I am suddenly in sweat fits again as all I can see are horror movies. Why can’t there be a list of movies called, “Soothes her During her Night Terrors”?
I am about to text my best friend and just vent that my mind is not letting me sleep but I am in no mood for it. She has been been miserable lately and dealing with her own anxiety. So that option is out.
I watch two ambulances zoom past my window with all their lights flashing. The lights alone jolt my anxiety from it’s almost slumber. My mind races about where they are off too.
I figure the only option I have left is turning on one of the Sex and The City movies and playing oodles of solitare until I fall back to sleep. If not, I could always wash walls. No. Ha ha.
I challenged myself today. Pushed myself beyond my comfort zone. There I was standing in the shade of frozen fear. My arms and legs were moving as they were supposed to, but my mind was scrambling to exit the situation in the most peaceful, respectful, and speediest fashion. I told my brain to quit the four alarm anxiety attack and let me be here and figure it all out on my own.
I signed myself up for lessons on horse care, handling, and riding. Sounds great doesn’t? Nope. I love the beauty of any horse. But put me within touching distance of any sort of horse and I get scared. I’ve ridden a few horses as a child and absolutely loved it. Nothing ever happened between me and horse. In my mind anything bigger than me must be dangerous. Here it was my challenge; get over the fear of this animal.
Yes, my body flashed through moments of panic and anxiety through my first two hours. I requested to be given, “Nikki,” the oldest, most docile, and smallest horse of the group. There I was with Nikki learning how to brush her and get her clean. With a brush in one hand, I laid my other hand on her muscular and sleek back and asked her, “Nikki, can you feel my nerves?” She blinked with her gorgeous eyelashes assuring me to keep brushing and get over myself.
Next, I was to untie my pal Nikki from the fence and lead her around the ring and learn to hold the lead and control her. YIKES!!! What?! This animal is taller, more powerful than me, and I am to lead HER around the ring?! OMG I THINK I AM GOING TO PASS OUT. Then I remembered to breathe. I told myself, do it and quit thinking. I figured Nikki realized she got the dud of the group and let me lead her around. The next thing the small group I was in was to trade off horses and get to walk with each horse. OMG how quickly could I exit this entire situation?! Too late someone came to take Nikki. I ventured off to the side of the ring hoping no one would notice and continue the lesson. There it was, I heard my name being called to lead Celynas. Oh Celynas, so much taller than me and so alert to the wild rabbits hopping outside of the ring. There was one moment when Celynas appeared to be excited to see a rabbit and I was the one telling her she would be fine let’s just keep moving. I handed off Celynas hoping that I could go lay down and recover from the fear that was raging on and off through me. Nope. There he was, my final horse to lead. He liked to nip, lick, and do anything but be lead around the ring. Oh, and yes, the tallest of the horses we were using. His name is Callahan. I took the lead and just about passed out. My trainer noticed and did half a lap with me, giving me a pep talk that I am in charge. There I was leading Callahan, I begged him to behave and I would respect him in return. Callhan and I worked our way for a few laps without and affection from his mouth.
Next was riding and we were all going to use the same horse; Callahan. Oh dear me what Callahan has gotten himself into. It came time for me to get in the saddle and in a moment of anxiety I blurted out to the trainer, “I am terrified of heights and horses!!!!” I got on and immediately started laughing; it is what I do when I am scared. Callahan wouldn’t budge. He wouldn’t go forwards or backwards. The trainer asked me if I understood why. I had no clue; maybe I should just end the evening? The trainer indicated to me that Callhan can feel how scared I am and he was not going to move until I let go of all my fears and trust him. OMG. Seriously. Ok, and there I did it; I let out a huge sigh of air and my shoulders fell to a relaxed state and just like that Callahan started moving forward. With each of his limbering strides, I had to get myself secure in my head and body, because I was sure I was going to tip off the side of the horse. I got off the horse and leaned on the gate and smiled. The one of many lessons were over and I did it. I conquered my fear of animals larger than me. Yes I will still be scared each time I go back. But nothing will feel like how proud I am of myself in putting complete trust in something so unknown.
I should have known that my body and brain would process the entire day in my sleep. Here I am in the middle of the night woken up by night terrors. I started laundry, turned on the Golden Girls on the tv, drinking ice water, and having a protein snack. It has been an hour and half and my night terror has mostly faded. I still have Callahan on my mind; thinking about the next time I will see him. All positive thoughts.
I am going to give this a whirl. I am having a panic attack right now. I am experiencing a tremendous amount of fear. I am remembering to breathe, in and out, in and out; controlled. I feel like the whole world can hear me breathing. I am panicked. I want to run out of my house and find safety. I am trying to tell myself that I am safe in my house and that I will be okay. Of course my bladder and bowel are now in overdrive and i want them to know I dont have the time to sit and let them relieve themselves. Does bladder and bowel not realize I need to find safety?! I give in; breathing in and out; letting my body give some relief. I am on my couch; play solitare! I cant even think to what moves to make to win a game. I feel like the panic is subsiding. I take that moment and take an even bigger breath. Wow it will end. I get cozy under the blanket thinking I should relax. Oh no. My legs and arms feel like they are getting electric shocks. Its coming again. Breathe. Nope this one is going to be a dozey. And like that I am in a total state of fear; I am not safe. I must get out of my house. I am standing on my doorstep and the wind is strong. Ground myself, feel the wind, feel how cool it is on my face. I tell myself I am okay and I know how to keep myself safe. I do. I am a smart person, I know I can keep myself safe. I go back inside. I keep up my breathing; in and out. I am sitting on the couch again and as soon as I sit I am in a state of fear once more. That’s it I am leaving my house! I am going to go where I am safe. I am going to drive myself to my parents house. My safety and security is there with them. I get in my car; controlled breathing. I am sure the other drivers can hear my breathing. I play a grounding game with myself; name five red things, name five blue things and on and on with different colours. Its helping. I am okay. It hits me again, I will not make the 30 minute drive to my parents; I am feeling fear again. That’s it am going to the hospital. I have no traffic, the drive is effortless. I park in the hospital parking lot; I know there isn’t much they can do for me here. But I feel better knowing there is safety in here for me. I challenge myself to stay in the car. Nope my bladder and bowels need relief again. I as I am walking into the hospital I feel a small amount of fear and a lot of shame. My bladder and bowels thank me. I go back to my car and I am having what I call small waves of fear rolling in and out of me. I do the “call of shame.” I dial my mom. She answers and all I can do is take a deep breath and she immediately knows its me and I am having a panic attack. She instantly says “you are going to be okay..” I in turn start crying. She knows what she has to do is to distract me and she does, I answer her robotically and eventually in 15 minutes of distraction I can hold a bland conversation with her. It feels like we have made it through the rough part but then her mini yorkie and seven month old husky pup are barking like the house is under seige and they must alert the world. My mom apologizes for the dogs and curses them for breaking my calm breakthrough. My bladder and bowel need relief. I tell my mom I have to go in the hosiptal and use the washroom and I will call her back. After returning from the washroom and opening my car door to once again seek refuge behind my tinted car windows; I see a shiny unopened can of club soda. The can is so cold from the overnight temperatures. This is probably one of the best things of my day. Why? Because my panic attack gives me dry mouth; I call it desert mouth because it’s so unaturally dry. I call my mom back so she can feel relief that I am still okay. I tell her I am feeling like “its” passing and I will call her in an hour. She knows this does mean I will be okay. I am still sitting in my car at the hospital, i feel okay, i feel secure, i feel safe. I think my panic attack is over. Time check – 2.25 hrs of panic. My breathing is relaxed and I feel so good drinking the cold club soda.
Why did this panic attack happen? A series of events led up to this. About four days ago I was talking with a friend on the street when my ex boyfriend who was a passenger in a vehicle happen to slow down near me. He and I spotted each other and he looked at me and laughed. My ex was emotionally and physically violent with me when we were dating. I had some great friends save my life and hid me for a few months until I could relocate to another town. It took years and years of therapy to have me in a much better place.
So his laughing at me played on my mind a lot. I was angry. I had a variety of emotions. I still need to talk them out with someone.
Last night I wanted to watch the season finale of, “Bloodline.” But I could hardly get through most of it. Lots of violent innuendo and fear based storylines. It was making me feel unsafe. I turned it off and realized its just not the right time for me to see this show end.
After I turned Bloodline off, I turned on the Sex and The City movie for some easy storylines. I was feeling a bit more relaxed. Then it happened. I swore I heard a gun shot. And then it happened again and again. I realized the USA was celebrating Memorial Day with some fireworks. Lots of time would pass between each round of fireworks or firecrackers. But I recognized my body was getting scared because sometimes those sounds reminded me of someone knocking on my door. For instance when my ex would knock on my bedroom window at 3 am because he wanted to make sure I was alone or he needed to pass out; either of which came with violent expletives.
So there I have it. An accumulation of events over days triggering me into a state of fear.
I feel like I can drive back to my home now because it is safe. And I really am okay.
My living room looks just as cozy as this one. My absolute heaven when I need self care.