So I was taking the back roads out to Tiger Mountain in Issaquah. I had just turned left on to Eastlake Sammamish Road. You know right by the Fred Meyer? WHAMMO! I thought I was going to die. The back of head, hands and face went numb. My vision tunneled down to a pinpoint. I couldn't breathe and my heart beat very very fast. Now I know I probably was so fearful of driving that I hyperventilated, at the time I had no idea. I just thought I was going to die.
I don't like to draw attention to myself. So there were no histrionics. I just kept repeating "you're okay you're okay you're okay" until I got to my appointmentand then I was okay...or so I thought. What happened was that I became afraid of the next attack. I've read since that some can have one attack and not have another but some worry excessively about it happening again. THAT doesn't help because of course you worry yourself into another one. Over and over and over again.
You wonder where it will be? Who will be around? If you like to be strictly in control (like me) will I be able to control myself? So you start avoiding places where you don't feel you can escape quickly. My big thing was driving. I couldn't do it. There had to be a shoulder, or an exit or a way out. See panic attacks are like your "fight or flight" is broken. You feel a need to flee...all the time. So your world shrinks. I think I was somewhat agoraphobic for a time. My only saving grace was that I was poor. I had to go to work.
After a three day long panic...horrible, I finally went to the doctor about 4 months after that first panic. They gave me Xanax. Ahhh sweet relief. I understand downer addicts completely. Eventually I ended up on Paxil but it killed my sex life, the mind was willing but the flesh unresponsive. Made me gain 7o pounds in about six months. I slept almost constantly, ground my teeth...well it was awful.
We switched to Wellbutrin and I was horribly sad. I cried over Kodak commercials. Celexa worked the best but I still felt like a slug. Eventually it was decided I couldn't take an everyday antidepressant and my doctor put me on Clonazepam to take only when the anxiety was particularly high. It worked for me and eventually I didn't need it at all.
I credit Lola for forcing me to interact and get out everyday as well as inspiring a career change as the final catalyst to change. I think I was ultimately very self centered. I mean that in the way that I was thinking and worrying too much about me. When I got her I started to think less about me and more about other things.
I am so glad that chapter in my life is over