of heatwaves and trippy heart shit

I think summer is here at last. For the past two days, it has been warm and sunny, and a good excuse for me to get out and about.
I walked to the end of the street again on Saturday, and on Sunday, I made small talk with a neighbour I don’t know that well (I know her cat, Ben, more than I know her) I told her about how I make catnip pillows, and fetched one over for Ben. I felt proud, that I was talking to someone without trying to get out of the situation.
Also on Sunday, I finished my front garden. Now, I have a lovely little brown picket fence dividing my garden and my next-door neighbours, and a deep border in front of it. I have planted all blues and whites, and have included two blue glazed pots filled with lavender. I have a beautiful blue buddleia, and two flowering hebe’s – both blue. I feel happy that I have got all this done, however I now have a fucking trapped nerve in my shoulder (this happens every now and again, but is still annoying and painful).
I’m typing with pins-and-needles in my fingers…
The trippy heart shit is weird. I don’t know what it is, or what causes it, but I sometimes have real trouble at night sleeping because of it. It feels like a surreal cross between heartburn, pins-and-needles, being tickled and being hyper-sensitive. I’ve had lots of theories as to what it is, ranging from being hot, to actual heartburn, to a kind of panic attack. It lasts for several hours, and I usually need some meds to help me sleep. I have tried all sorts of things to deal with it, treating it like a panic attack. I’ve tried reading, watching TV, the usual diversional activities. It’s worse when I lie down, but makes me restless anyway. Often, I’ll come online, because it is something to take my mind off it, and I’m sitting up.
So, it was 2am before I got to sleep last night. The hot weather didn’t help, and I think that started me off being restless. I mentally paced up and down, there was nothing on TV apart from some EMT Rescue thing on Discovery. I couldn’t concentrate on the internet, so I went downstairs. I had a drink, I lay on the sofa. I sat up again, removing two cats as I did so. At 1am, I went out into the garden in my nightie and bare feet, and walked around the lawn, breathing in the delicious night air.
With my feet still damp, I went back to bed, and managed to sleep until around 7am.

Someone praise me…

I just walked to the end of the street on my own.
It’s not far, but it’s a start. Can you say “heart in mouth”? I’m shaking, but I didn’t panic. I tried to ring Ginger while I was out, but he didn’t answer, so I wrote him a text message instead. I need some praise, dammit!!!
I think texting while walking helped – it took my mind off Being Outside.
Bugger! I feel weird…

oh boy… oh boy…

I’m meeting my CPN here at home for the first time this afternoon. He’s due here at two.
I’ve met him once before, at the doctor’s surgery. We had a long chat about my anxiety and panic, and his aim is to get me to face my fears.
Well, him being in my house is facing one fear. By choice, I opted for an appointment with him here, because I need to get used to people being in my house. I need to feel comfortable with that. So, here I am, at one thirty, with chest pains and palps, and I can’t sit still. I think I am going to wear out my hoover. I have cleaned the upstairs and downstairs bathrooms, the kitchen, and the hall. The lounge was okay, but I have hoovered for England.
The fun part is, he doesn’t like cats. I have let the cats upstairs, where they are happily sleeping on my bed (except Minnie is on top of the wardrobe with her feet in the air) They’ll not bother coming downstairs, especially if there’s a stranger. I’m not sure how to take people who don’t like cats. It’s almost like they don’t like something about me – as my cats are such a big part of my life.
I’ll keep you posted…

Mean Reds

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…

…and another

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.