Right now, I am struggling with panic attacks. I have been experiencing them the last couple of days and it's been freaking me out. Not only the feeling of the panic attacks themselves, which you cannot rationalize away and is very disconcerting how it makes you feel out of your control, but it reminds me of when I had a nervous breakdown as a teenager (long enough ago but still, I remember!). This happened during a time of no Oprah (and thank you Oprah for all the work you're doing helping people), no computer (cannot do research to find out how to deal with 'things) and no hotlines. Well, I looked, even online but cannot find any hotline for panic attacks, but on a happy note everything else seems to be covered.
So I figured I should write. I tried calling my mom twice, but she has a great social life and is not at home, of course! I woke up a little before 5 and all of the sudden, started to feel a panic attack coming up. The weird thing is, it started a few days ago when I felt as if I hadn't eaten enough and all of the sudden it spiraled. I felt unsettled and when I am nervous, I cannot eat. Hence the 'spiral'. So then anything I try to eat makes me feel nausious and my stomach feels unsettled even more. Funny thing about nerves. When I went to university, I found that quite a few of the students that I knew would eat when being nervous, unlike me, who cannot put anything away when under stress and that's when you actually need it!
At the moment, I am stressing over my husband being out of town (just for the weekend) which is silly, because I've lived a whole year with him having been away on a one yr contract working out of state. He did visit of course but somehow, I managed. The big picture which has been getting to me is this. I have made some great online friends who share common goals and values. I have had a great outlet 'talking politics', exchanging ideas. But (there's always a 'but'), it cannot substitute for real live conversations with friends which I feel I do not have. I am not exaggerating because I am in a state of anxiety right now and too focussed inward, I really don't have them. I have complained to my husband for years that it's so difficult making friends in this country. That, plus he's not social with other people at all, although when you meet him, you'd never know. He's jovial, jokes around, seems at ease with visitors. Yet, he has only casual friends (if I can even use the plural) and we do not have social gatherings other than the ones I have initiated with other people. Tried doing potlucks a couple of times with the permie people here, but nothing else came out of that. We do have a friendly street where we live but everyone has their own life and the one neighbour who I do get along with is kinda fickle and self protective. She comes from a big, dysfunctional family and can share information and the like, but is emotionally closed.
At times like this I miss where I grew up. Not that everyone is much nicer or approachable in Holland (good grief no), but as a culture, friendships are not only highly valued, people are much more open to not only making friends, but maintaining friendships. Here in the US, people easily fall into the 'sorry, don't have time' trap even though it's not that they don't have time, they cannot muster up the energy or the interest somehow. So one of my big issues is isolation (she says writing on the blog). Even at my son's school where I exchange niceties with other parents (it's not a school in our neighbourhood and most people don't live close to the school), I feel , as I like to call it, 'click-less'. When I was distraught two days ago and I actually cried to my husband (I am not the crying type), I told him that it would be nice for a change for someone to try to make friends with me instead of me always trying to make friends or connect with others.
So at times when I feel alone I feel very anxious and I have even told my husband a few weeks ago, I feel as if I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Of course, he doesn't know what to say or do. I feel embarrassed. It's affecting how I feel physically and I feel I need to talk to someone. How can I be a mom if I cannot even function properly? Who can I talk to?
I just want to feel better and in control.
Could I talk to anyone?
thanks Betmo for your kind comments. Your suggestions are very good but trust me, as a social person, I've tried all of them! I did finally get a hold of my mother and decided to call the doctor's office. Even though they're closed for the weekends, they do have this thing called 'medical exchange' which means that someone takes a message and calls the doctor on call for you. I bit the bullet and did so and the doctor who called me back prescribed me a few pills of Xanax (sp?) only to get me through the weekend. He knew I was going to try to get an appointment for my own doctor on monday because this panic attack is caused by something else. As the doc mentioned this morning, something triggered it. After he said that, and I hung up, I actually realized what did trigger it. So I just started to write long hand in order to get it out of my system, part of it anyway. I do need counseling. Then, I called the People's Pharmacy here where they are very knowledgable about alternative medicine so this afternoon, I will check out with them what I could take instead of Xanax. I am really bad taking pills, (I always need a liquid version of things) and I figured that something homeopathic which could temporarily address my panic feelings would be just as good.
I am dreading the night time, but hopefully I will have something to keep me chilled. One more night of this and I'll just pass out and fall asleep during the day, phooy!
I still feel kinda silly having shared this because I am used to keeping things to myself, (ahaa..therein lies the problem you say..yes, you're probably right)