365 days. My first (and hopefully only) year with panic

Ummmm……Happy (?) Birthday?

Yes. It is my panics first (and hopefully ONLY) birthday!

My constant panic is 1 today!

What do you get an extremely temperamental toddler who is creepy and evil?

I figure living rent free in my head and having free reign over my life for most of those 365 days is gift enough!

I would LIKE to get panic it’s walking papers. Wrap them up in a box and put a nice bow around it. Maybe toss in some nice snacks for the road…but panic clings to me like a kindergartner being dropped off at school the first day. I certainly don’t feel the same.

Sure, go ahead! Call CPS on me. Have my panic toddler taken away! I’m a TERRIBLE panic parent. Would you like to use my phone?!

Panic loved me the moment it set eyes on me. It thought I would come around. It thought I would want to be with it forever. It thought it had me at “Oh no!”

It did at first. Panic was left on my doorstep by a life of working too much, incredibly stressful job with an emerging dictator and a person prescribing too much anti anxiety medicine for a medication sensitive patient.

Within 30 minutes of taking the first pill I was out of my head. Many hours and several hundred dollars later, I returned home to “sleep it off” as per the ER doc who says he sees this reaction from this medication all of the time. Sure, THAT’S not on the side of the pill bottle. The pharmacy called a week later to check on my new med. Yes, they see this too. Awesome.

From the moment I demanded to be taken to the nearest ER, panic became part of my family and my co-worker. My twin really.

Panic instantly took over my life. I was bewildered by it. I hated it and was absolutely terrified of it.

Panic was new to me. It was foreign and we had a great deal of trouble communicating. I never wanted to try but Panic clearly adored me and held on like a boa constrictor. The more I fought back, the more I wiggled and squirmed, the tighter it gripped me until I would collapse in exhaustion drenched from the fight and worn out to the depths of my soul.

Panic went on a breakfast outing with spouse. It tried to push me to jump up in the restaurant and scream. I was so afraid I would listen! The room spun. Everything was so loud. I couldn’t hear. By the time my pancake was delivered panic had taken over. I couldn’t eat and told my spouse I wanted to go home. NOW! I waited as spouse finished eating, as I refused to answer or ask questions while spouse tried to chat. I wanted to scream “Stop talking and EAT!!!” But it wasn’t spouses fault. When “we” were done, we made a beeline home.

That was our first outing. It wouldn’t be our last.

Panic was instantly promoted to my position at work where we shared everything. My office, my chair, my responsibilities but it didn’t do any work. It just made me work that much harder while it continued to cling to me.

I had to carry it around every day never knowing when it would wake up or how long it would sleep. It was a newborn and seemed to always be awake and crying for attention.

Eventually I went to the doctor to see if I could just get rid of it. CBT was my hope and for a few weeks, it did help. I left panic behind some days and never thought a thing about it but it managed to find its way back and was angrier than ever.

The room spun most of the day. My heart skipped and added extra beats (PVC & PAC) and I felt like I was on deaths door. I lived like I was dying and not in an inspirational way rather a sad pathetic dramatic way.

I was edgy, aloof, weepy, sad, depressed, angry, unreasonable, reflective, self-hating, fearful and bitter.

My life was spinning in circles like a merry-go-round on a panic playground.

As time passed, panic dimmed a touch but would insist on attention a few times a day.

Dizziness, weakness in my hands, arms, chest pains, pvc, pac heart beats, blurry vision, trouble speaking, clumsiness, feeling like i was near fainting and a persistent fear of death continued (still does here and there) all happened all day, every day. EVERY DAY!

Eventually panic became more quiet. Don’t get me wrong, panic was more quiet but when it wanted attention, it DEMANDED it and it got it.

So it’s panics birthday.

I feel it’s fitting to acknowledge some things panic has done for me.

Panic gave me the depths of despair which provoked me to radically (slowly but very religiously) change my diet.

I’ve lost 48 pounds since panic really ramped up in April or May.

My diet excludes most sugar, processed foods and other things that clearly have a link that I know caused panic outbursts. Those did/do.

I drink much more water. Water is the bulk of what I drink. Dehydration provokes the start of panic symptoms. I know this for myself. So, I try to make sure I consume the water I need to feel better.

I try to avoid overloading myself. Before I piled issue on top of work on top of issue and insisted I had to keep going.

Panic insists that I take on no more than 2 big things at a time. If I try to sneak more, panic catches me and throws a huge fit.

Panic has made me reevaluate my life. My direction, my job. In the rare moments I’m allowed to feel some degree of contentment, I appreciate them to the depths of my being.

Panic has educated me about a million different illnesses. I am pretty versed in telling signs of X…

Panic has caused me to stop and be human. It has forced me to realize that others suffering is just as important as my own. It’s caused me to soften and be humble. It forced me to change my approach.

Most importantly, panic has brought me closer to God. My faith is so strong. So solid. God has helped me through some terrible attacks. He will again. He will every time. I pray for me. I pray for you. I pray for everyone I can think of and those that I don’t. I see God in my life and I was brought here by my panic.

I list these things as a way to remind us that sometimes change is painful. Sometimes pain is the only way God can get us to listen, to act, to respond.

I sure don’t want panic one second longer than I have to but for all of the terrible it has done to me, I did get some benefit.

Panic sucks. It doesn’t matter if it gave me a million dollars….I want it to go because its taken a lot more than its given. Ill never love it but if it insists on staying around, I’ll live with it until God feels I’ve learned all I can and removes it from my life.

So Happy Birthday panic…..ya crazy little bastard!!




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