What are you afraid of?

Sitting at my computer – chatting, using twitter, writing a blog post.  Then suddenly it happens. A surge of fear. Heart thumping, pulse racing.

What are you afraid of?

I stop typing and sit back. Try to be calm. Think. What caused that? Why am I panicking? I don’t understand it.

What are you afraid of?

In my panic I stand up. Adrenaline strengthens my normally wobbly walking. I walk through the house. Remember that no one else is here. Then for no reason that I can think of I wonder where the cat is. She’s not on the bed, or the sofa. I stumble through the house, wobbly now, adrenaline or not. I don’t know what to do.

What are you afraid of?

I crash back into the living room. I find the cat sleeping on the floor next to the sofa. Relieved to find any living thing in the house, I fall down beside her. She glares at me.

What are you afraid of?

I put an arm around the cat, and my head on the floor. I close my eyes. My pulse is racing. Thumping. My head hurts. All the aching muscles that I had been resting after too much activity in the last few days are aching again. I reach for my phone, for twitter. Call out to anyone who is there. Friends are there. They are lovely, talking to me, helping me to calm down. The cat purrs a little, perhaps sensing my distress.

What are you afraid of?

Time passes. The floor is hard. The cat finishes purring and wanders off. I should move, but panic has left me exhausted. I have no energy.

What are you afraid of?

There is a fluffy polar bear behind me. I more to put my head on it. I lie there helpless.

What are you afraid of?

Then, at last, I hear a key in the door. Footsteps. A voice calls out.

Then help to sit on the sofa. Hugs. A cup of tea.

Feeling stupid, foolish.

What are you afraid of? I only wish that I knew.

Panic!

I had a panic attack this morning. I don’t make a habit of them, this was only my second ever. The first one happened a few years ago when I had been given amitriptyline to try and reduce the pain I was in. The first day after I had taken it, I ended up in a complete panic, hyperventilating, scared and twitchy. I didn’t know what the hell was going on and so I called 999 to ask. They sent me an ambulance, and a wonderful paramedic who spent an hour holding my hand and calming me down while they took me to hospital. I’m slightly ashamed of tying up those services for a mere panic attack, but like I say I had no idea what was going on and I simply called for help from the only place I could think of.

Today’s attack then. I had gone to bed early so that I could sleep before Portal 2 was released early this morning. Amazingly, I had actually slept, although two hours after going to bed. I woke up with my normal selection of pain and inability to move much, took my painkillers and waited to feel better. While I waited I looked at twitter, and I quickly noticed that I was very irritable and confrontational. I took offence at several messages that weren’t even aimed at me, had a rant and started an argument.

And then as I decided to get away from the internet before I lost all my friends, I felt my mood dropping . A bit like when I hit the low points of depression but even more sudden than that. Then I was crying. The hyperventilating started. Feelings of despair mixed with sheer panic. Why? I have no idea. All I wanted to do before that was wait for the painkillers to work and then play Portal 2. What I had actually done was annoy lots of people then fall apart mentally.

Fortunately my wife came home at that point and a thirty minute hug managed to calm me down. She read out the messages that my friends on twitter had sent me (I had mentioned that my mood was dropping before I became frozen by the panic) and told them that I was all right. Finally I was stable enough for her to go and make me a cup of tea.

That was all a couple of hours ago. Now, I’m exhausted, shaken, in pain because the stress aggravated everything, and still irritable. I’m ranting here because quite honestly, it helps even if no one reads it. If you’ve got this far, thank you for sticking with it.

A kind friend sent me this while I was panicking, it helped. http://www.mindfields.org.uk/blog/?p=174