Monday, May 02, 2011

panic attacks and other things

i wanted to start writing about my ordeal with panic, anxiety and depression. but first i want to share a couple of things. first, i am very happy to hear that bin laden is dead. this photo makes me heart big! love it1

this photo is why i love photography so much. as time goes by your memory begins to fade but with taking photos you can remember that moment. you can remember your feelings. more and more i want to take more photos so i can remember more as i get older. i wish i would have taken more photos when i had liam. i wish i would have had eric take pictures when i was having my csection. i really wish we had a camcorder, still do. but i have those photos of him when he was just minutes old. love them.

here is a layout i did this morning. i really miss paper scrapbooking. god do i miss it! but digital is all i can do right now. i can't afford what i like to use, the fancy papers and embellishments. at least i am documenting, that is all that matters.

and now about panic attacks. i had my first one when i was 16. i was on a boat on the potomac river in washington dc. i didn't know what it was. i didn't know what was happening. i was on the top level of the boat sitting with friends looking out over the dark waters with lights in the distance. i was scared to death. i found my way to the bottom level. i don't know how i got there. when you are in a panic attack you don't really know what is going on. you can't focus on what is around you. all you feel is fear. i got to the back of the boat and watched the wheel turn, splashing water over and over. i wanted to jump. i still remember it today. i thought that i could get on a plane back home in the morning. then i thought i didn't want to go back by myself. i'm not sure what i did after that but i do remember being in our room and trying to sleep. i couldn't sleep. i wanted to go home. i was scared out of my mind.

i have felt anxiety sometimes before that. on the bus ride to the airport, anxiety came over me but left within seconds. back then there was no education about panic attacks or anxiety. i didn't know till about 4 years later, while listening to the radio at work, what a panic attack was. what do i feel when i am having one? intense fear. a fear that you are going to die or lose control. sweating. nausea. disorientation. bewiderment. the need to run and run fast. light headed. short of breath. tightness in chest. heart beating fast. dizzy. scared. i can look around but i don't "see" what is around me. all i feel is fear. feeling is the only sense that is working. i can't see, hear, touch...just feel. when this happens over and over you are afraid to go to the spot that it happened. you are afraid of feeling it again. i have been through a lot and panic is the worse feeling in the world. you can put me to sleep for a surgery. you can numb me from my chest down to deliver a child. but you can not make me go to the places where i used to panic...and that is the highway.

it's so hard to describe what it is like. it's like telling someone that has an illness they have never had "oh i understand." no one understands anything till you have been through it. panic. cancer. diabetes. i have been judged so much for this but no one judeges the cancer or diabetes because they know what it is. if people were educated about mental disorders they would understand. right now people think mental disorders are about people that are crazy. for one of the most diagnosed disorders, mental illness is still a mystery to a lot of people and looked at in shame and disgust.

it has taken me a long time to realize that i am a person. that i am sane. that i am "normal." i don't feel like it at times and still wonder from time to time if i am normal. but i am person with feelings. i am a person that holds a lot in just so people won't judge. i hold in anger and when i get mad it gets out and usually to the wrong person at the wrong time. i am shy till i get to know you. i hold grudges. all of the negative i have learned over time due to what i go in return from telling people what was going on. from trusting. from fear. however there is more to me. i don't let a lot of it show like i should. you'd think by now i would say "heck with you all" and show the real me instead of the bad part of me. i am kind. i cry at tender moments. i wish i could walk up to people and talk to them when i see someone that is sad. it breaks my heart when people hurt. i love hard. i pray. i pray for people that have hurt me. i dance inside myself wishing i could let go and dance on the outside. i wish i could help and volunteer at different places. i'd love to help with habitat for humanity. i want to write a book about my story. i want to help as many people as possible. i want nothing but peace and love for my family and friends.

i was listening to a podcast by joel osteen. i tell you, he is my favorite preacher. he was talking about judging someone before you knew them. how we shouldn't judge. we have no idea what these people are going through. he told of a guy that danced a lot at church. as a kid, him and his friends would make fun of this man. they had no idea why he danced a lot at church. one night the pastor asked this man to testify. he told of how he lost his parents. the hard life he had. now he was getting married. there was a lot of happiness in his life,etc. that is why the man danced. he said they never judged him again. i don't want to be judged and though i am so guilty of judging myself. i want to stop that. i want to find out the real reason and help. he also told of a time when he was in line at a store. people were upset at the cashier. she was frustrated. people were complaining to her. joel decided when he got to her to say something. he said he wanted to pray for her. after he prayed she thanked him and told him how her baby was in the hospital. she didn't know what was going to happen. see, you never know what is going on with someone. lord, help me to be slow to judge. i want to help. if i can't help i can pray.

i'm still going to write more about panic, anxiety, depression and agoraphobia. i want to educate as many as i can. in the meantime, i hope that i can become a better person so i can be a testimony to others out there. i want to be remembered as someone who loved not someone who complained and was negative. i had a lot of negative in my life, i want to reverse that and be positive and loving.

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