The way that a panic attack makes me feel now, in its fledgling aftermath, is just plain old PISSED OFF. As the heartbeat slows and the stomach un-clenches, instead of feeling just kind of relieved that it’s over, with a dash of contemplative confusion over why it may have started in the first place, now I just get ticked. Because, you guys? This is getting fucking ridiculous.
Last night Bill and I went to bed at 11:00 (after watching Memphis Blue, which is mostly decent and if it were on one of the “big three” networks it would never make it). At 2:30 my eyes popped wide open, and I felt fearfully adrenalized without the benefit of, you know, having been chased by a slathering Rottweiller or something. At that moment right before awakening, I hadn’t been dreaming. I hadn’t, obviously, been thinking about anything. I had been sleeping, goddammit. And yet here I was, hot and then cold, with a demolition derby going on in my gut and my breathing coming in short, shallow gasps. I tried taking deep breaths, tried finding a more comfortable position, tried closing my eyes and counting to a hundred. After about a half-hour of trying to calm myself down, I gave up the ghost and grabbed a Xanax from the bathroom. Swallowed it dry. Went back to bed. Tossed for another half-hour or so, then finally drifted off to sleep.
Only to wake up again, about forty-five minutes later, from a nightmare. Bill and I were on an airplane that crashed into the ocean, and then it was just the two of us in the murky, dark water. No debris, no other bodies, just us. And he was staring up at me as he was sinking down in to the ocean, while I drifted above him. He locked eyes with me, and he was peaceful, while I was frantic and thrashing in the water. I woke up gasping, and immediately rolled over to touch Bill as he lay sleeping next to me. He kind of grunted, but turned his hand in mine to hold it.
That old, stupid fear of death gripped me once again, and I wondered frantically how much time we still had together. Would we see the fulfillment of our goals that lead to a more soul-satisfying life, or would we just continue grinding away in the superficial surroundings of this valley we live in? What was the point of it all, and had I done anything, anything worthwhile? If I were to depart this mortal coil at this very second, would I be nothing but rotting bones in a grave? What happened to my mother, and my grandmother? Did they just stop existing? Because I don’t think I could bear the thought of Granny not existing somewhere, on some level.
Spin spin spin, panic panic panic.
I squeezed my eyes shut and sent up a hard, fast prayer to please help me find peace. Tonight, and in general, so that I could avoid these inexplicable attacks. For crying out loud, give me a normal mind.
Eventually, I fell asleep. My eyes popped open again at 9:00 this morning – the latest I’ve slept in weeks, benefit of the Xanax. But it had worn off, and my gut was well on its way to grinding again. So I said, out loud (to Ozzy, in fact, who was staring me in the face and sniffing my eyebrow), “FUCK this.” I got up, I made coffee, I called Bill, and hearing his voice made me feel better. I stared up the computer and figured out which assignments to write today. I took a pause, read through my feed reader, and now I’m writing this. None the wiser for what the hell is going on with my brain, but fed the fuck up to HERE with it.
I am sick to death of being such a mental mess.