When my Dad got sick seven years ago, I started having panic attacks. The first one happened when I was driving home from work late one night and I had to stop in the parking lot of a grocery store, call my husband, who then in turn called my father and they both showed up to get me.
It felt like a weird, out-of-body experience and I was certain I was having a heart attack. It happened several more times before it caused me to seek help because I didn’t know what it was.
One night my husband and I were sleep and I arose from my sleep in the most horrific fit of panic I’d ever experienced. We went to the ER, they did the workup and end result, “You need to see your doctor and possibly a therapist. You’re having panic attacks.”
Being the doctor that I obviously am, having obtained a street degree in self-diagnosis, I decided that hey, I can handle this. I can fix it on my own. It never happened. Eventually, I would see a therapist and be prescribed anti-depressants and anxiety meds that I honestly never take. Because I am fine, right? I am clearly just stressed.
And for the most part I was able to “fix” myself by meditating and yoga and learning deep-breath exercises. I even had a few sessions of hypnotherapy which were surprisingly helpful to a certain degree.
It became easier for me to spot them and stop them before they became full-blown nightmares.
And then my dad died. They returned and I broke down and started taking my anti-depressants and anxiety medications just to get through the day because I was not processing the loss.
Then six months after my dad died, Marc got sick. After I had decided to stop taking the meds again. And I did stop.
The last three days, I have been on full panic nightmare mode. One after the other. They usually happen when I am trying to sleep and not until I see the sun rise am I able to sleep and I am confused.
Because I am supposed to be in a slightly better place. I am supposed to have additional help. I am supposed to be taking a break right now and clearing my mind, preparing to go back to work in the coming weeks. I am supposed to be finding my zen.
And it’s left me wondering, who the heck hit the panic button? And how am I going to get it to stop?