Just keep going


How many times have we wished we had a magic ball? If we could only see the future or go back and fix mistakes or alter a path we took….

When I have days that my symptoms are taking over the place, like today, I wish there were a way to go back in time and alter the path that led me here. If I can even find it.

I would slow down or choose another avenue for work, home or hobbies.

Symptoms make life so much more difficult. Keeping appointments takes every ounce of courage and ability you can muster which can leave you depleted for the day.

I was told to force myself to keep commitments because it is one step away from being a hermit if you don’t. So, I kept commitments, “white knuckling” it the entire time. I think the doc was hoping that by doing so, I would be pulled back into an active role in my life.

The experiment hasn’t been successful so far. I just seem to keep spinning in circles unable to get out of the messed up groove and back to the highway of productivity.

It is SO strange to be in this place. This non-living, non-advancing place. It isn’t something we see for ourselves and when it happens, we are sidelined wondering how to fix it.

I fix things. It is what I have done as long as I can remember. This is different. It just isn’t anything I seem to be able to fix. I keep trying….I keep going….its all I can do while trying to keep the hope alive that one day I will step back into my life and use this as a way to help someone else.

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Good Days Don’t CureYou


Yesterday I had an amazing day at work. Skeptical, but really, I should have been on cloud nine.

I was asked by Directors boss to come up with some solutions to our crisis…that childish non-professional behavior has faced us with…hmmmmmmm…..I WONDER where in the world THAT could have started…..

Anyway, Director was there with the others.

I developed a fairly extensive plan. In a day and a half.

They are implementing it completely. Right now.

So…..why the anxiety?!

It started Sunday. I wasn’t feeling great and decided to take a homeopathic remedy called Sedalia. It worked like freaking magic. Within MINUTES I was feeling so normal I was just about giddy.

The Directors boss called me Saturday and asked for my help/opinions. Really pumped me up. Confided in me, kept telling me I was their only hope to fix our departments mess. I was worried they were so upset. I like Directors boss. I don’t want Boss to fear unemployment and I think that’s what’s happening. So, as always, I’m happy to help but felt a HUGE sense of responsibility. It was now MY problem to come up (in a couple of days) with a solution to fix a problem my supervisors have created over the last few years. I was overwhelmed but really wanted to come up with a workable solution.

So Sunday i was bubbling a bit from anxiety and, i was tired so, I tried this Sedalia. It worked VERY well. I felt like myself. I could relax. I didn’t think about death every two steps. I wasn’t twisted with worry, panic or….anything.

8 hours of absolute bliss on 1/2 of a pill in a packet of 60….it would last me forever and it was safe. No drowsiness, no side effects. Is what the box said.

Then

8 hours later happened. As fast as the “new me” was replaced by the “old me” that morning….the “new me” flipped back in. Like someone turning on and off a switch. As fast as it left, it came back.

More so.

I thought for a minute that it was just being hypersensitive because for the first time since February, I was me again. Truly me. But then, it kept growing into full bouts of rolling panic attacks.

I fell asleep only to be woken with panic, which has never happened before.

I would repeat “this is panic” in my head and it would calm only to influx again moments later. This went on for hours!

I had 8 hours of bliss and 8 hours of sheer agony!

NOT WORTH IT!!!

I contacted the maker who of course said it was impossible that it was their product. Yet I’ve talked to 3 people highly trained in natural/homeopathic medicine who say yes, it sounds like a reaction. Albeit a rare occurrence, a reaction nonetheless. I contacted them to see if it was normal. That’s it. They rolled up the sidewalk and shuttered all of the windows because I’m sure they assume I’m seeking restitution.

Sure, I’d like my money back but I’m not looking to buy an acreage in the middle of Beverly Hills. I would just like my $9.99 plus tax back and thats not even why i contacted them. Jerks.

So I was told to drink a small amount of caffeine or inhale some mentholated scents like Tiger Balm.

I did both. Within minutes, it was much better. I guess homeopathic medicine is very weak. It can be derailed by those types of things. Who knew.

So I was better. But, I was not feeling well. Like a truck hit me. No sleep. Like I should have a fever but didn’t. That kind of thing.

My spouse felt the same way so we think it was coincidence that I felt so poorly the next day, but the trauma from the panic probably added to it.

So, on through the week. I did okay. I had what I kept trying to remind myself was “normal anxiety”. I was still ill at work Monday. I pushed through. I thought Boss and Director would be out that day. They couldn’t make it. So I figured it was normal to be anxious in this case. I still believe that.

Tuesday, nope. Can’t make it my boss was out ill. Wednesday boss out ill again. Finally, Thursday morning they came. Boss, Director, my old boss the Directors minion and my new boss (who actually hired me years ago and was my first boss here)

I pitched the idea and they embraced it. Very well. Unusually well. Like, suspiciously well…..

There is much speculation within my companies execs as to why they came to me, and why they embraced my plan. Without reserve. Without a power struggle. I gave it, they took it and IMMEDIATELY implemented it.

One theory is, they are all in the fire. The Boss and Director are on the chopping block. Our department IS that bad off….maybe.

One theory is that there is another opening in their group and have been told it WILL be filled with me so they have started to try to make me less resistant to them…..maybe.

One theory is that the position is open and they want to fill it with their suck up friend (who by the way is dressing better and trying to appear all boss like lately) and in order to do that, they devised a plan to keep me in my current position but make me a “training” manager where I pump out trained people that go to other stores. A constant morning, noon and night headache for me while the other managers sit back and enjoy the trained people…..that way I’m out of the picture and Suckup can be slid in…..LIKELY scenario.

However, what my bosses are not aware of is, the Executives are not going to allow that plan. It’s already blocked.

So, I never got to celebrate my “win” for proposing something I hope helps.

Instead it was shrouded in mystery and speculation. Boss didn’t tell their boss that I was coming up with a plan. Didn’t tell Bosses Boss that I was even approached or that the plan is being put into place.

Lord, when did it all get so….odd?

So, I fell asleep…anxious. Sad. I woke up the same.

Needless to say, I fear death a bit again. I think it’s my go to anxiety. I had disequalibrium yesterday after the meeting because speculation started immediately. I had to remind myself I’ve felt it before…a lot.

This morning….I just wish I would sleep until I have to go to work.

Spouse is STILL struggling at work. Making mistakes. Starting to act out. A matter of time before spouse quits or is fired. Pretty sure.

Irritating. Just do your damned job. Look what I have had to endure this year. You can’t do reasonable requests?!

But, I’m trying not to unleash. Thus, MORE anxiety.

So now, I’m going to try to go to the gym and walk on the treadmill. I’d like to start getting more exercise but I’m still afraid.

I’m not sure how NOT exercising will help me beat heart disease but….there is no reasoning with anxiety. It does what it wants.

Fade to black


Have you ever fainted? Have you ever nearly fainted? Then you understand.

For those that haven’t, its an odd sensation.

Yesterday I was sitting on my couch. Knees bent, feet on the coffee table, working on my laptop.

I kept hearing some kid screaming at the top of their lungs. It sounded like a tantrum but just kept happening. Finally, I thought I should look out, just to make sure nothing was wrong.

I jumped up, walked 5 steps, looked at a house across the street and everything started going black. I held on to the door and for some reason, in my head, kept repeating my name.

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Weird. The blackness almost took me completely over, but then faded away.

During those seconds, I didn’t feel a thing. I knew I was going out. I knew it wasn’t a good thing, but it was like reading a book.

Once it was over however, the terror was on.

I raced to my room and repeatedly took my blood pressure. I called my spouse at work who couldn’t come home and at that moment, couldn’t talk. I decided to get dressed as I felt so shaky and weak that I was likely going to have to call 9-1-1.

My spouse called back and was good about it but not leaving work. My spouse offered my mother-in-law or daughter-in-law, our son or EMS as my spouse is the only person in the office on Saturday and not past the 90 day probation period. It’s understandable.

So, pulse ox, blood pressure, heart sounds with a stethoscope monitoring galore.

I accessed my Facebook support groups, put a call into the Cardiologist (Who by the way, never called me back), and went to that answers website where you pay a fee and professionals will respond, even doctors.

The website doc could have made matters much worse but oddly, I didn’t fixate on what he said. He thought it was likely common but listed all of the textbook reasons why I should immediately go to the Emergency Room. I can Google for free, thanks.

When pressed as to if he himself has experienced such a thing, responded curtly along with how to make sure he gets paid for his answer.

My Facebook group was most helpful along with websites. I tried to stay away from worst case possibilities as its not a common thing for me and I was on the dehydrated side. But. That didn’t, doesn’t keep me from worrying it will happen again.

In my reasoning mind I know such a fast change in position coupled with dehydration can cause exactly what happened.

In my fearful mind, I don’t care. I’m scared and worn out from being so fearful and unhappy for the last 9 months.

In my fearful mind I feel like a victim. I feel trapped in this haze of terror, fear, unrest and disbelief.

It had gotten bad enough that I finally broke down and took .125 mg of an Ativan.

For those not aware, I am terrified of medicine. I have pills that are .5mg, but fearful of them, so I quarter the pill.

It’s just enough to eventually bring the terror down to just a hair below panic. Semi-tolerable.

It takes a long time to work. Probably close to two hours yesterday. Of course, such a small dose has a big hill to climb.

Once it finally kicked in, I felt partially normal.

Earlier in the day I started reconsidering Zolof again. My doc gave me 12.5mg to start but I just can’t take it. I’m fearful. I went to the answers website and chatted with a Pharmacist who was bewildered as to why such a low dose was an issue. I don’t think he ever got it. He eventually resorted to it being such a low dose that it wouldn’t register and talked about the benefits of SSRI meds, well tolerated at such a low dose, etc.

Yeah, its still sitting there. I put my 1/2 of a micro pill up next to my spouses who takes 100mg. It looks like a fruit fly in comparison. Harmless looking really….but….nope. couldn’t do it.

I have actually considered just taking the Ativan for a few days instead.

I know literature suggests no more than 2-4 weeks. My doc thought with the nano dose I will take, it could be longer. She actually wants me to take the Ativan along with the Zoloft in an effort to preemptively strike the inevitable terror that will come with me taking a new pill. Which would be awesome….if I could take the damned thing….

So, Ativan is on the table. This morning I am PLANNING on taking my nano dose and maybe “enjoying” my day. I figure if I take it once we are up and before we start planning our day, I will be capable of leaving the house and perhaps experiencing some true relaxation or dare I hope, joy. At minimum, I’m hoping to have a normal outting less torment.

Planning is the key word. When you’re terrified of meds, a plan can fall apart quickly. It can be something as fast and simple as a news blurb. “Taking Ativan? You won’t want to miss this at 6.”

That’s it. I’m done. I won’t take it.

Someone who hadn’t fallen off of the normal wagon can’t comprehend my plight. You’ve never been to the edge of crazytown. You don’t know the amount of fear and torment I face just by having a day off.

A day off used to be pure joy. A full two or God bless, three days off was cause for celebration. I was in bliss.

Now, its torment. It’s unscheduled time for my mind to pick at the fear wound.

Odd since work also causes me torment.

Think about that. I have hell at work, I have hell at home.

Where do you relax?

You don’t.

I have varying degrees of torment. The Director is out of town, no games going on, no daggers to remove from my spine, I can relax a minute. Maybe even enjoy my job a little while.

Then I go home and fear death.

The Director returns to work, I wait for the next assault, amped up and trying to step cautiously as you never know where she has placed the next landmine.

I go home and fear death.

Once in a great while I am able to not fear death, but mostly, I do. Well, its a give and take really. There are times I’m terrified and begging God to please give me my life back while other times, I beg Him to just let me go because I can’t live like this any more.

Ultimately, I age daily. Yes, I know, we all do. But I LOOK like I’m aging. More grey hair. My eyes look worried. Wrinkles have set in. I look worn out because……I am.

So, its 8:18 on Sunday morning and I just took another quarter of an Ativan because even at this hour, I’m already fretting. Already fearful. Already jumping head first into torment.

It’s too bad really. Just about a year 1/2 ago, I was counting my blessings. I couldn’t believe the life I had. I was grateful that I was able to provide for my family and still do my own training. I was starting to see signs (in retrospect) that the Director, then District, was likely doing things that I didn’t fully understand but wasn’t ready to assign reality to yet. I started being worried about losing my job. I started feeling down. But, I kept pushing because there was no solid evidence.

My worry continued to eat at me while the District (now Director) would tell me how much people didn’t like me. How I set people the wrong way. How she was ghetto only one that “Got” me, but not to worry. She was always looking out for my best interests.

I felt grateful that she was on my side, while at the same time distraught that I was so despised and didn’t understand why. I did my job. I was honest, I was helpful…yet, hated.

I didn’t understand it.

Now, I guess I do. She was busy weaving lies about me while telling me she was my savior.

It’s dizzying to consider that someone could be so….I don’t know the word….not quite Evil…because I don’t think she is, but…..maybe, manipulative….at minimum.

It’s stunning to think someone would want to be like that. Do those things. I just don’t understand

So, as I lay here waiting for the terror to quiet to simple agony or despair, I know I have to leave this job in order to save my life.

It doesn’t seem fair. I treat people well. Do my job. Extend a helping hand any time needed, yet, I’m the one that has to leave.

There is a perfect picture of the state of our world. Our culture.

The bad people advance while the good ones give up and go away.

HELP! It Got Me!


Panic and anxiety reared its ugly head. It started Friday. I’ve been doing well. Moving more at work, exercising a bit, venturing out. Then came Friday. I met with Therapist. I was cold or rattled during the session. I do not know which. We were discussing my step-son. That’s always a hot button. She gave me some helpful tips and suggested based on my descriptions, he may suffer from.aspergers. I read some information and signs later. He sure could be a poster child. Anyway, we ended agreeing to visit in a few weeks as we both felt I didn’t need weekly sessions. It had been a month since our last and I was doing very well. I left there and went to whole foods. Spent more than I planned or should have. Got ready to leave, found something else, got in line and waited. I was reading a gum label. Went to pick it up and had a short run of extra beats. It stunned me and I instinctively put my fingers on my neck to determine if it was truly extra beats or stomach grumbling because those with irregular beats do have dual issues. I’ll just say it…Gas can cause PVC/PAC beats. Any kind of gas. You feel a flutter then feel bubbles moving around or the other way around. It’s actually very reassuring if Youve been told your healthy and the ectopics are harmless. Anyway, I must have been there a few seconds because when I snapped out of it a clerk next to me was directing me to a clerk behind me. The customer she was with was also looking. I was a bit dazed. Then, afraid. I reasoned myself all the way home. Dizziness set in. Which, as we recall from earlier posts is a symptom of anxiety/panic for me. I got home and put things away, of course ran my blood pressure and listened to my heart rate. I had gotten so much better I lent out my pulse ox machine for a.few days. I was silently cursing this decision. So, I couldn’t check that stat, but seemed to be fine. I continued to have dizziness while I cooked dinner, but did it. My spouse came home as the symptoms had begun to subside. Yesterday at work I had a dizzy moment or two. Waves really. My dizziness isn’t typically room spinning rather wavy blips. I got home, had ice cream and a few mini kitkat bars – remember, I haven’t been eating processed sugar really… Last night at bed, I started having waves of panic and anxiety until I finally fell asleep. This morning I woke up and appeared to be doing well. Relieved, I suggested we go to breakfast. A few waves but I’ve decided it may be neck tension acting up again. We get about 5 miles from home and the waves become more noticeable. I fear them, panic and anxiety set in and we are no where near our destination. I’m worried about passing out. We get to our location, get seated and I’m all but in a full blown attack. For those that don’t suffer from these terrible things its a little something like this: Everything feels like a 3D movie. You’re seeing it, but not really a part of it. The noise is maddening but you really can’t make out anything specific. Your mind is on overload thinking about how you’re not breathing right, you feel dizzy, almost faint but why…you begin running down the possible reasons as you sit and try to focus. Everything close up is more blurry than usual. You’re trying to read a menu but now evaluating the blur, mind you, you’re still running checks and balances on feeling dizzy, hearing chaos and activity around you while fighting heart and soul to appear fine….. But you’re not fine. Your spouse is talking and you’re doing your damnedest to interact but only offer nods, grunts or yes/no responses. (It’s all you’ve got. Your mind is busy analyzing two or three other things attempting to determine if you’re in life/death danger or in anxiety/panic, and if so…what caused it and how to cure it) You feel guilt stricken because you’ve had to talk with your spouse about being in the edge of a full blown epic melt down. The waitress wants your order but now You’ve gone from hungry to nauseous. You have to eat, you choose the least offensive. Oatmeal. As you wait for your order to arrive, your spouse tries to keep conversation moving to take your mind off of the world and thoughts and emotions swirling in and around you. Your food comes and you eat what your body will allow, which is very little. You’re fine with it. Your guilt wells and you wonder your spouse will get sick of it all and leave you for something you just cannot help. You quietly think “I wouldn’t blame you if you did…but….please….please don’t…” It’s freezing in here, which makes it all worse. I cannot tolerate being cold very well. Your spouse sees your duress and offers to pay for everything and take you home. You lurch inside. You would LOVE to do that! But guilt keeps you seated. You just can’t do that to them. Your mind wanders to the possibility and its then, you realize, “I think I’m okay, I’m just in panic and anxiety.” It doesn’t cause it to cease, but it does cause it to quiet down a little. The deafening roar of the other diners quiets down, the visuals going on around you make more sense, the blurry vision becomes a touch more clear, your breathing is less of a struggle and your spouse is having a larger response from you. But the guilt…humiliation…. It stays. We eeked through a few errands by agreeing that I will go here…and then decide if we need to go home. I’m okay so…I’ll go here….then decide. I sat in the car for most, but at least my spouse was able to accomplish what they wanted to and I had time in the car, in the sun to pray and try to find some centering. We get home and everything feels a bit better. The dizziness is there but absent is the terror and fear of suddenly passing out along with images of EMS rushing in. I’m able to rationalize that I have been laying in a positon for the better part of two weeks that hyper extends my chin toward my chest. I relax in the bath this way, I’ve laid in bed many times this way, all the while knowing that previously, this position caused cheek and jaw numbness along with dizziness. The exact symptoms that have me reeling. I further recognize that I carry tension in my neck and shoulders. If Youve read previous posts, you know my job drives me to the brink on a daily basis. My tension is crazy. I clench my jaw and suffer from symptoms of TMJ. This is a fact. TMJ has dizziness as a common symptom. On top of all of that, I haven’t been drinking as much water, ate sugar, haven’t been getting as much sleep as I need, sit on this silly phone in a poor posture and SWEAR I do/don’t do all of this innocently. It’s a tornado of events that single handedly could provoke the issues I have had since Friday. Yet, to a panic/anxiety sufferer, it ALWAYS means demise. Always. So, what to do? Well, I took 3 ibuprofen, I’m hopefully sitting back in a more neck friendly position, though it likely isn’t. I will get off of this phone and stop looking down. I am considering ice on my neck but truly detest being cold. It provokes an odd form of anxiety for me. I will CONSIDER a massage but, the last one caused a pinch nerve that forced me to deal with the very facial/arm numbness I fret about right now. I’m fearful it will aggravate the condition. I ponder a chiropractor for a minute. I just don’t know what’s best…. Most importantly, I’ll continue to pray for guidance and relief, along with the world, people I know, and don’t. So for now, my panic is gone and “all” that remains is the anxiety of guilt, fear of panics return and worry over which method will alleviate my numbness and waves of dizziness. For those that read this and know EXACTLY what I’m writing about…hang in there. We have to support each other and do things when we are able while not beat ourselves up when we just can’t. The sun will come up tomorrow and maybe THAT is the day we walk away from this forever!