I called the psychology department, M has no more appointments, and is on holiday next week. She is kindly checking to see if she has anything sooner than my next scheduled appointment, which is on 17th June.
God, why do I feel so stupid about this? My memory is shot to shit. Maybe I should send myself a text message on my phone to remind me.
In Truman Capote’s “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1958), Holly Golightly tells Paul Varjak about the Mean Reds.
Holly – “Listen…you know those days when you get the mean reds?”
Paul – “The mean reds? You mean like the blues?”
Holly – “No… The blues are because you’re getting fat or because it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?”
I think going in and out of anxiety disorder is like that. I wonder if it would feel worse to be in a place where most days you feel normal, then every now and again, get the Mean Reds.
My life is mostly a soft pink, every now and again turning into a vibrant russet. Or, if you are into HTML, usually #FF6666 turning into #FF0000 (and yes, I looked them up – I’m not that sad!)
Damn – I quoted Truman Capote, and now I have “Moon River” going through my head…
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I’m beginning to feel like #FF3333 (ie a deeper pink) all the time. After Saturday’s escapade, I have discovered that I feel more agoraphobic. This morning, Ginger said he wanted to call at the store to get some juice and other bits and bobs, and I said I would go with him. It’s starting off the same way as Saturday…
I was okay in the car, rattling on about nothing in particular, with Ginger being his usual monosyllabic self (he always is after nightshit) but when we got to the car park, and stopped, I felt sick to the pit of my stomach. It felt like I was walking into the dentists. I told Ginger – I need him to be aware of how I feel – and he gave me the usual “you’ll be okay, I’m here”. I had tremendous feelings of disassociation whilst in the store. I hated every second of being in there, even though it was relatively quiet. We bought what we needed and left.
Yet again, I feel tired out. It is emotionally draining, yet I feel the need to carry on. If I stop going out, even if it feels horrible, I’ll become completely agoraphobic. That scares me more than anything.
As I’m sitting here writing this, it has suddenly occured to me that I should have been to see my therapist this morning. Fuck. I’ll call and see if I can get a cancellation…
I can’t decide whether this is a rant, or just general observations. We’ll see how it goes.
I have noticed that my agora increases significantly the less I go out. Saturday was proof of that. Ginger suggested a walk, and I turned him down. I can’t be bothered. I’m scared that I will have a panic attack as big as the last one, and I can feel myself getting more and more afraid.
I see my therapist tomorrow. M is lovely, she understands me and doesn’t judge, the way others have. M is willing to help me deal with whatever is pissing me off at the time. I like this. We have a plan. I have decided to write down about my childhood, (people don’t seem to ‘get’ how important my Grandma was in my life) from the start, and continue chronologically until I deal with my demons. This has really been in fits and starts, because the last time I saw her, I ranted about Ginger a bit, and the whole redundancy thing. I gave her my “Chapter 2” to read in the meantime, so I guess we’ll be discussing that this time.
I want to go back and see my GP. I am unhappy with my meds (venlafaxine and diazepam) because the venlafaxine is not doing anything, (I tried a higher dose last year, and didn’t notice any effect except when I reduced the dose again, and felt violently sick all the time) and the diazepam is not doing what I want tit to do. This makes me sound like a proper druggie, but diazepam works slowly and stays in your system longer. If I have a PA and take say, 5mg of diazepam, I still have the panic and all it’s freaky glory, then later I feel zonked, and invariably sleep. I want something that will work quickly, and get out of my system quicker. Ie alprazolam – Xanax. I asked for Xanax by name once, and was told that it had been banned here in the UK. I have searched and searched, and cannot find any evidence to support this. Aside from anything, someone once told me that they had been on Xanax for ages, without any problems. I guess it depends on your doctor, but I HATE being lied to. Actually, on the off chance that anyone reading knows of any evidence to support alprazolam/Xanax being banned in the UK, please e-mail me.
GP’s are so anti-benzo. Yes, I can appreciate their concerns over addiction etc. but surely they can see that these meds can help people like me with severe Anxiety Disorders? Today is a public holiday, so I will call in the morning to see if I can get in. Don’t even get me started on the new appointments system…
Why are panic attacks so draining? I feel absolutely wrecked.
This morning, Ginger needed to transfer some money over at the bank. I decided to go along for the ride, thinking a look out and the fresh air would do me some good. Well that was a bad idea. I don’t know what happened, but it seemed like everything was freaking me out. It started with the big man outside the art shop – who I nearly bumped into. Then the hypersensitivity kicked in. Everything bugged me. Everything made my anxiety worse. The fractious child. The man running. The old woman not looking where she was going. Some stupid guy riding his bike on the pavement (I shouted out “Ignorant bastard!” I don’t know if he heard me…)
I can’t even begin to describe the fear. The acute pressure in my chest and the overwhelming feeling that I can’t breathe. I’m not even there. I’m watching it like a dream. Everyone is staring at me. Footsteps on the pavement get louder, and closer, and oppressive before fading away again. I can hear Ginger’s voice telling me “It’s okay, I’m here, you’re safe” but its almost as if he’s not there. I’m sitting on a bench, but I don’t remember going to it, or deciding that I wanted to sit down. Maybe I didn’t – but that’s not important anymore.
Eventually, I felt okay enough to go back to the car. I got up, my legs feeling like jelly. With me hanging on to Ginger, we walked back to the car park, where I collapse in the passenger seat and cry like a baby. I’m tired of this happening. I’m so, so sorry for my poor husband who has to pick up the pieces.
At home, I lay on the sofa, exhausted and weak. I have slept, and now I feel sick and drained. I’ll feel fine tomorrow, but I’m just annoyed that the whole day is wasted because of stupid panic.
I apologise if you have read this tale elsewhere, but maybe, just maybe, someone will see my site listed at that blog list site (that I forgot the name of)
Wednesday night, I did my usual routine. Spent time on the web then went downstairs to get Minnie, close the drapes, and feed the fish.
I’ve noticed that Bruno HT has a penchant for lying by the patio doors, looking out into the garden. I have wondered what he is looking at, but assumed it was Tinkerbell (local cat) or Ben (‘nother local cat) and thought no more of it.
Wendesday night, I went to the windows, said “whatcha looking at, Bru?” and peered out into the semi-darkness…
…in time to see a fucking huge rat run across the garden. Good Fucking Gosh. I never realised they were so BIG!!! I knew they were bigger than mice (duh!) and I’ve seen pet rats and shit, but this one was massive. I’m trying to think of something in similar size, and all I can think of is a football. One of your ‘merican footballs, that is.
I can’t cuss enough. For one thing, my garden is violated (in the same kind of way you wouldn’t eat from a spoon that had been dropped in shit, even if it had been washed and lysol-ed etc). Also, I don’t know how it got in. The garden is fenced off all the way around, so unless it can climb… *shudders*
The one thing I am thinking through all of this is the cats knew all along. They must think I’m just a stupid human who clicks at the last moment. Ginger dragged me out this morning for some milk and bits at the shop, and I always say hello to the cats in peoples windows. Thermal looked at me as if to say “I knew all along…” So did Inkblot. (I’m making these two names up, they suit the cats, although Thermal is another story)
Today, I called Environmental Services, wanting advice etc.
I called Environmental Services at our local government office. I asked for advice re rat prevention. She took my name and address, and I thought “hmm, leaflet?” Then she said, “the Pest Control Officer will call you, and come out and get rid of the rats”
I said, “I just want advice really…”
She said, “Yes, the PCO can advise you as well”
So, now I have a complete fucking stranger coming out to my house. I think I’d rather have the rat…
See, I’m afraid of men. I’m afraid of most things, actually, but the idea of a strange man coming into my house – possibly when Ginger is not there – scares me to death. I also DO NOT want them to put poison down. I tried to explain this to the lady on the phone, saying there were lots of cats in the neighbourhood. She told me that if the PCO used poison, he’d put it out of reach of cats. I’m thinking this woman has not had much contact with cats…
I’ll wait and talk to the PCO when he calls. Except answering the telephone is another phobia I have. Bugger.
Yesterday, I did something that I thought I would never do.
I walked calmly up to a man in the pet store (we were stocking up on litter and stuff) and I said, “D’you mind if I pet your dog?”
Why is this so monumental, I hear you ask. Well, when I was about 16, I was set on by a rottweiler. I wasn’t bitten, but I was scared out of my wits. Ever since, I have been very wary, even afraid of big dogs. I have been trying to overcome this fear, partly because I don’t need another thing to be afraid of, and partly because my friend has a German Shepard, and well, it’s a pain in the arse working around a dog.
Cassie, the German Shepard, is actually a sweetie. She is really well trained, and has a ‘soft as muck’ temprament. I now feel completely comfortable around her.
So, the dog in the pet store. His name is Max, and he is a FIFTEEN STONE Mastiff. I have never in my life seen a bigger dog. So of course, I had to seize the opportunity to say hello. I got down on my haunches (Max was lying down) and let him sniff my hand. Then, I stroked his head and lovely soft ears. I am so proud of myself!
Max’s owner told me that he eats ten kilos of food a week. He is also taller than their 7yr old child…
Petting Max was one of those things that I just had to do. I’m glad I did.
With Ginger working nightshit (sic) I am totally bored. I can think of a million things to do, (as always) but I have gotten to the point where I’m too bored to do them. How the hell is that possible???
Yesterday, I received a HUGE parcel in the post from Chicago. What happened is this. In January, Ginger and I decided that we could afford to go to meet some friends in Chicago. (We are in England in case anyone is wondering). Then, Ginger was made redundant from work. He is still there – only just – but he has not been able to take any time off for holidays, as the Receivers have told staff that if they do, they will loose ALL their severence money. Bastards.
Anyway, it turns out that my conniving friends wanted to make this a memorable visit, and had some towels embroidered for us. Two have our internet names on, Ginger for him (spelled Gingah because that’s how I apparently say it) and Kitten for me. Then, two with Happy Anniversary on, because it is our wedding anniversary this month, and two with the name of our little online gang. Dab your eyes with kleenex, because that’s not all. Tinka, who is Martha Stewart reincarnated (Sorry, Tink!) rolled the towels and wrapped them, and with the help of some silk flowers and ribbon, turned these beautiful flowers into a ‘cake’ with three tiers, and complete with candles. It is totally beautiful, and at some point today, I will edit this post to include a photo.
The plan now is to go to Chicago (or somewhere central for everyone) next spring. If I have to swim, I will get there.
So, how does this work with agoraphobia? Honestly, I don’t know! Ginger is my safe person, and I have been able to go most places with him. A couple of years ago, we went to see Robbie Williams in concert, in amongst a crowd of 70,000 people, and I was shitting myself, but fine. I think it was the whole excitement overriding the fear. Plus, we were very near to the front of the crowd. I think if I’d seen all those people in front of me, I’d have panicked. I don’t know about getting on a plane and travelling 3500 miles, though. I suppose I’d need to get some strong meds just in case!
Strange, isn’t it? I am planning (or have been planning) a mega trip like that, yet I can’t walk to the end of my drive alone without having a panic attack…
Over the past few weeks, my head has been a mish-mash of emotions. My body – well, I’ve had flu, which developed into a chest infection, then developed into pleurisy. So, I haven’t been at my best.
As I sit here and wonder what to write, I think of the times I have attempted a blog entry, then thought, “naw, what a load of crap” – right before I hit ‘delete’. So, I have decided to bear it all. If I don’t like the ‘me’ that comes out on screen, I have the power to change myself. I need to write. I need that release of emotions that may be just too strong for my long-suffering husband to bear. I also want to set myself goals, and stick to them. I think I will be better able to do that if I think someone out there is reading.
How do I prioritise my goals? There are so many things I want to achieve. So many things I want to do on the web, in my house, and in my garden. So much stuff going around in my head. This is why a weblog would work for me (assuming I stick to it) because I am the kind of person who always has a million thoughts racing through my head at a hundred miles an hour. I have the attention span of a toddler, because there is always something else to think about. It’s not Einstein kind of stuff, but there’s a lot of it.
For the next two weeks, I am going to go mad. Ginger, my husband, is working nightshift, and is working every. night. for the next two weeks.
This is the scenario. The company Ginger works for has gone bust, and is due to close. Ginger was due to be made redundant on 2nd May, but they asked him (that morning) to stay on and work for a couple more weeks. The pay will be excellent, but I worry about him and whether he is doing too much. He is shattered. He has had the same flu as me (sans chest problems) and the whole redundancy thing, plus caring for me, his agoraphobic, panicky wife, has taken its toll.
Ginger has soaked up my emotion like a huge sponge, and thinks he has to carry it. I know he can’t help but worry – he is, after all, my soulmate and partner of 15 years – but I want him to step back and take a deep breath. Focus. Let me share some of the burden.