When An Anxiety Attack Keeps You Awake At 3 A.M.

2 Dec

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…So you’ve never had an Anxiety Attack. Bully for you! I think it’s great that you’ve never experienced the cold chill followed by immediate burning rush of panicked adrenaline, at a volume usually reserved for legitimate life and death situations.

…When you are clearly in no physical danger whatsoever…

…And yet your brain actually legitimately thinks you are in the process of your last breathing moments on earth.

…Across minutes that stretch to hours.

Cuz I gotta say, that shit is scary.

…It’s like your whole body is on phantom fire, which no one can see, no one can put out, no one can relieve the pain of.

…And this ball called “earth” that we live on, just keeps spinning at gross speeds which you swear you can actually feel…to the point you get motion sickness and wanna vomit, but can’t, because that too will bring a whole host of new fixating anxieties with it…and what you’ve got going on right now is plenty enough, thanks.

I’ve been up and having one for the past hour, real-time.

An Anxiety Attack.

…I’ve paced, and made my tea, and tried my bag o’ tricks to oust it from my brain…but nothing seems to be working. And so: I blog. (Which was this thing’s first purpose on inception, years and years ago.)

…Thought I’d take you with me, on this one…talk it out, and try to regain my center of calm.

YOU’RE calm. Just lookit you! Sitting there, reading this, at whatever normal time it is to be awake and reading things…

…Bet you aren’t shaking in a cold sweat, fixating on possible fatalisms too numerous to count…until actual physical pains begin to ghost your body as if to say, ” See! I told you I am a total legitimate possibility…!”

Bet you don’t have to pace the floor like Rainman, chanting positive reinforcements to your clearly failing mental state, like you’re in the final moments of coaching it to the performance level of winning an Olympic Gold Medal…and if you fail right now, we’re talking like DECADES of your life’s work will have totally been wasted.

…Down the toilet.

So don’t fuck this up, asshole!

…All meanwhile you physically happen to be in a perfectly warm and serene enviornment, with zero “tangible” worries befalling you, no great stresses you can put your finger on…in essence: freaking out for absolutely no reason at all.

Just: awake!

…Suddenly! And in total mind-coked-out panic! Here! Now! In an awful living-and-fully-conscious nightmare that you can’t shake off.

It must be nice, to be you…

…And not have any of that.

…But I wouldn’t know.

I’m “me.” And I have Anxiety Attacks. And though the world says, “S’all cool here, no need to freak,” my brain is heavily debating that right now.

…It’s a pretty good fighter. So good, that when these happen, no matter how logically I try and work my “process” through it, I’m always secretly terrified that this time: it’s totally gonna win.

The “it” that is my disturbed little brain.

…The same brain, which fixates so easily, that “study” and “learning” become like crack cocaine.

…The same brain that can get lost in a book-world so deeply, I could stay inside while on a bus full of screaming children, in the middle of an earthquake, while Godzilla makes his slow, giant, monster-steps towards us and our inevitable doom.

…The same brain that can multitask like a mutherfucker, retain two and a half hours of non-stop line dialogue, and put in a 40-hour day-job, and still puke out exhausting repetitions of emotional diatribes to paying audiences five or more times per week.

The. Same. Brain.

…Which is my blessing, as well as my curse.

…Like a really shitty Superhero.

…Who doesn’t actually “save” anybody or anything. But could totally tell you the plot in that one story, in great detail. Also: (at the moment anyway) virtually anything in the world about ten or eleven current topics of intense obsession.

Rescue you from a flaming building? Sorry, not my bag. Tell you about mid nineteenth century social, medical and economic conditions among the immigrant Irish: hold onto your damn hat!

Anyway…now you’re all caught up. Well, not “all.” “All” would insinuate you’ve been riding this joyeous wave of terror with me for the past…oh, look at that…hour-and-half now. Actually inside my brain parts, trying to duke it out…shot for shot…instead of just reading my “things to try when stuffs 1 through 45 don’t work” play-by-play.

…And you should be thankful for that, really.

You’re welcome.

~D

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4 Responses to “When An Anxiety Attack Keeps You Awake At 3 A.M.”

  1. Deborah the Closet Monster December 2, 2014 at 5:46 am #

    Have things settled down?

    I had my first anxiety attack as a plane I was on began to taxi. I was able to persuade them to stop the plane, totally sure I was going to die. As I de larded, I compared my experience with what I knew of anxiety attacks and felt a lot better for the knowledge though the attack was still in progress. The doctor was really excited to grill me about my realizing what was happening.

    Most of my attacks since have been in enclosed spaces, but I did just fly twice in a row without attacks. So glad for that progress.

    • She Writes A Little December 2, 2014 at 7:24 am #

      Wow, I think having one in a confined space would be oh…for sure one of the worst things to go through. It’s already so consuming and confining without any added help. As you said, I’m told being self-aware of it is helpful…in my case it means “get to work on all the things you learned in therapy to help cut off some of its air.” Exhausting work, but it’s better than just sitting there and wigging out helplessly. I’m too much of a control freak to be passive about them…

  2. Carolyn Cook December 2, 2014 at 7:24 am #

    Gaaaahhhh! I hope you are feeling much better. You’re right, I’m one of “those people” who has never had an anxiety attack, though I’ve had other disastrous mind-screwing types of experiences I’m happier without. All I can say is, there are people out here who care. From afar, perhaps, but still. We do care.

    • She Writes A Little December 2, 2014 at 7:27 am #

      Thanks friend 🙂 Also: maybe you can ship me a samovar of perked coffee to help get me through today…?

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