Panic Attacks and Hilarity

I can tell the anticipation of my next post is reaching epic proportions so I will not delay any further. My fans are anxious to see what this post is going to reveal. Well, so am I. Quite honestly, I have no idea where we are going today.

Maybe we should talk about my week. I work. A LOT. Today I worked my 27th day in a row. I am off tomorrow. Then back to work for 12 days. I am also an insomniac. When I say I’m tired, that is a general, all the time feeling. When I say I’m exhausted, I haven’t slept in weeks. Right now, I’m exhausted. I don’t think I have had a full night of sleep without prescription assistance (meaning 6 hours, still with interruption) since February of this year. Even with my little chemical friend, I usually wake up numerous times, getting 4-5 hours.

I am not a fan of sleeping pills or anti depressants so I won’t take an Ambien unless I am really struggling. I’m not judging people that take these medications regularly, I just personally do not like the side effects I have from them. As I say this, I must also remain honest, admitting to you that when I was given the Ambien and the Zoloft in February, I was also given Xanax for panic attacks. So I do take medications as needed. The Xanax I requested to stop my anxiety from causing my blood pressure to rise giving me a quicker sense of calm. I actually planned to take the Zoloft but after feeling lethargic and nauseated for 2 weeks, I had to have an emergency surgery (NOT related to the medications). I just never started back on it. At that time, I also stopped the Xanax and the Ambien, as well as not continuing on the pain killers. I was quite proud of this new, less stoned version of myself.

This week, I took both. I began having some panic attacks again in the last few weeks. I am functional through them. No one knows I am having one. I don’t scream hysterically, cry uncontrollably or have full body shakes. Well, I guess I do have some shakes, usually in my hands. And crying, depends on what song is on the radio. Most of the attack is internal though, I FEEL like screaming, crying, crawling under my desk. I FEEL like grabbing my keys while running for the door. I FEEL like curling up in bed with my covers over my head never to surface again. I FEEL like telling people off, trying to bring them just a small glimpse of the pain that I am in non stop. Instead, I pop half of a Xanax, clinch my fists, grab a tissue and sit with tears rolling down my face as I silently work at my desk.

This week, I had several co-workers stop by and ask how I was doing, well meaning, genuinely concerned friends. They were hoping I was going to say that I am great. That I no longer miss Andrew. That my smiles are not hiding my sadness. The response they got was a red faced sob. I burst into tears every time. Typically, I am able to give them the obligatory smile, politely nodding and giving the expected answers to the questions until I am able to satisfy them into thinking that I am doing just fine.

I know I mentioned on a previous post that that I have great friends and family. Let’s discuss this real quick. These co workers have seen me through some UGLY experiences. I adore them. I know without a doubt my life is blessed in a huge way because every day they love me no matter where I am. I only hope I am repaying the blessing. My job is not the single, solitary place I have friends of steel. I have a wonderful group of friends from church and I am very close to a lot of my family. Surprisingly, even many of my friends on Facebook have reached out to me, despite not having been overly close to some of them in years. I am surrounded by pillars of strength in each arena of my life. I never take this for granted so I tell my friends and family I love them at every opportunity. I had learned this lesson even before losing Andrew. I lost several family members within a very short time frame and began to understand how limited and unknown our time with people truly is. I do not want the people in my life to question if they are loved by me. So I try to say it often, but more importantly, show it constantly, show it unconditionally.

Last night I had dinner plans with a group of friends from church. A couple had moved out of state and were home for a few days. We met for pizza, grabbed some gourmet desserts and headed back home to sit and catch up. As this group of 6 chuckleheads sat around talking and laughing, I was snapping pictures on my phone. We played a game and I finished the night with an eyeliner handlebar mustache (Insert the obligatory “I mustache you a question.” comment) and glasses. We ate, bonded, laughed, played, but mostly, we loved. No uglies. No panic attack. No Xanax. My heart was full of love from this silly group and it gave me hope that my future won’t continue to be painful. It was also full of hurt, because I knew that if Andrew had been here to join us, he would have loved watching me drive away with that mustache.

I guess there is no “lesson” of the week. I promised my raw reality, this was it. Panic attacks and hilarity. I realize that is a bit of a wide spectrum of emotions but if you were in my head, bouncing around in this A.D.D. mess, you’d get it. That’s my life every day. So I guess that’s it for now.

Just in case you don’t hear it from anyone else, I LOVE YOU! Have a phenomenal week.

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