It’s become overwhelmingly too much to endure any longer.
The pain of fear. The agony of it all day after day after every damned day.
Today wasn’t bad. I had my reservations, but it wasn’t bad. I thought, as I have in the past that for a minute, things felt better. Different. Perhaps I was leading my way (or after massive amounts of prayer..BEING led) out of this darkness.
Then…in it creeps.
I make a split decision that I regret to my soul and it starts flooding back in.
First with disequilibrium. The feeling of walking on a moving surface. It only lasts a nanosecond but within that nanosecond, panic is let out of its cage.
Then comes the tingling either in my left cheek, jaw or deltoid. This provokes worry. Stroke? Oh God, please help me.
Then it all starts to unravel from there.
If I were talking with the crazy me, I would say “Crazy, listen, this has happened countless times over the last 11 months. You’ve been fine. This is probably from you clenching your shoulders and neck.”
I would try to reason.
There isn’t any.
A pain is a clot. An extra or skipped heart beat (which I have on a good day or bad day and has been checked and double checked) is the sign of impending death.
The strain in my neck is blocked vessels, which is likely partially true exempt its probably caused by tension.
Here come the actual panic attacks. It feels like that very moment when you’re at the top of the highest roller coaster and your stomach drops as the air gasps from your lungs. You’re now flooded with terror.
You reason that this is exactly what panic feels like. Crazy rudely tells you to F-off because what if you’re wrong!
You cry. The terror mixed with the months long guilt and constant fight have taken their toll. You cry a lot. It’s a deep sorrowful sob. It clearly comes from your soul and your soul is wailing.
You pray a string of begging, pleading, promising words as you try not to scare your family.
You apologize repeatedly to your spouse who has had to resort to continuing to watch tv. One hand on the remote while the other pats you. Occasional “You’ll be okay” is spoken and you’re crushed with guilt, remorse and every other emotion that indicates issues.
You’re panic is too much today so you take a full dose of Ativan. Something you never do but, you’re tired. You’re worn out. You look at your spouse through a heavy downpour of tears and squeak “I think I’m going to have to go into the hospital, and I don’t want to.”
Speaking those words out-loud causes you to unleash the wailing of 10,000 wounds that you’ve inflicted upon yourself. The wails of someone at the end of their coping scale. It’s a sound that brings tears to anyone that hears it because its so deep, so sorrowful and so painful, you unwittingly share in it.
You lay next to your spouse who tries to comfort you, but there is none.
The Ativan starts to work a touch so the tears shut off-ish.
You are cold. Cold gives you anxiety so you head to the bath.
You remind yourself that a bath is always a sign of panic and anxiety.
Crazy doesn’t cuss at you because Crazy agrees.
While you let the warm water sooth your spirit and warm your body, you pray. You ask for forgiveness. You try to calm Crazy down some more.
Crazy is unruly. You see, we really don’t know Crazy that well. She is odd. Crazy is shifty. She’s fundamentally the same person but changes almost daily.
Yesterday you could reason with Crazy where today, there is no reasoning.
Crazy practices self-abuse. She’s not a cutter or addicted to drugs but Crazy seems to look for any reason to propel a worry into an anxiety attack.
Her knife is Google. Her drug is The Mayo Clinic.
She feels a twinge, Google fix. “What’s that sentence?” Click.
“Serious risks are involved when”
“Side effects are”
“Symptoms such as these are associated with”
“And in some cases resulting in death”
Crazy will research and read so much that a simple quick sharp pain in the body unleashes a storm of checks and balances that would fry even the most powerful computer.
The checks and balances continue until a diagnosis is formed.
It looks much like the scene in War Games when the computer is flying through possible scenarios to win.
No one wins this game. Ever.
So Crazy settles on a diagnosis and then rechecks with Google, Mayo, WebMd…even Wikipedia.
Crazy reads every single line looking for the sentence that concurs with the findings and then Crazy will pour over it again and again, drilling the prognosis in deeper and deeper until she is certain death is at hand.
A cough is a blood clot. A neck pain is stroke. Numbness in the arm is stroke or heart attack. A headache is cancer. Wait! Recent MRI eliminated that. It’s either a clot or….a headache.
Crazy camps in the tub. Isolated. Wondering if her family would check on her in time to save her from death. She wonders how long she would be in the tub before they would wonder if she was okay.
You shake Crazy and tell her to stop. You can’t do this any more.
The Ativan is working a bit more and Crazy quiets down. You’re left to ponder your next move without Crazy pushing you.
In-treatment looks like its a front runner. Your episodes are bigger but less frequent. Crazy stirs and you stop and wait for the ability to continue.
You evaluate all you’ll lose. How can I go to a facility? I’ll lose everything.
And you will.
Post 9-11 and pre-weapon banning frenzy, your mental health medical records are an interest to about everyone. There will be background checks that include this information. HEPA who?!
I can’t lose everything. But if I don’t….I’m going to lose everything.
Rock and hard place.
You have counseling tomorrow. You hope you can sort out real from fear. Recent upsetting events from normal anxiety.
You dread going to work. You don’t know how you’re going to make it through the day!
Your heart sinks. You tear up. You see your life slipping away. It’s painful.
You’re tired. You’re sad. You’re hopeless, helpless and worn out.
You’ve got very little, if anything left.
Suicide isn’t an option. I do not agree with it or condone it, but I sure as hell understand the reason it happens. (If you feel this is YOUR solution call the Hotline at (800) 273-8255 right now. They can help.)
If you’re not one to commit suicide, what do you do?
I don’t do drugs or drink. I don’t smoke or have a vice. Where is my out?
I guess I’ll have to wait until Crazy fights her way back through the Ativan curtain so she can Google it and find out.
In the meantime, my spouse is left alone. Left to wonder if Ill ever return.
Left to deal with the tormented soul that is so filled with guilt plagued self loathing that I’m sure is torn between wanting their OWN life back and wanting to honor our vows….in sickness and in health.
I would be there until the sun was shining again, but can we really ask another to do the same?
Guilt and shame washes over me every minute of every single broken regret filled helpless day.
My ability to stand strong is gone. My ability to fight this is gone. My ability to reason with Crazy is gone. My abilities to really, do much of anything…are gone.
It’s all gone.