Saturday, June 6, 2015

It's always 20/20

So, seven months ago, when we were packing our house to move here, I felt the beginning of a panic/anxiety attack.  At the time, I was packing suitcases for moving/living out of them for two months. While my husband and I were packing and I was feeling so overwhelmed, my heart was acting funny.  It wasn't beating fast.  It was beating HARD and super SLOW, but I felt out of control and panicky.  It was getting harder to breathe and my mind was screaming, "just STOP!"

I looked at my husband and said, "I need to stop now."  I dropped everything, laid down,  and tried calm down with deep breaths (thank you natural labor classes!) and used Balance blend oil.  I think I just stuck the bottle right under my nose and inhaled for at least ten minutes directly from the bottle.

At the time, I had no idea what I was feeling.  I described it a few days later to a friend, who then said, "it sounds like a panic attack."  What?!  I'd never had one but she described the few she's had and well, it sounded so similar to mine I couldn't disagree.

Fast forward to yesterday.

I am packing my house for our extended stay with his parents.  We have to pack up all our personal belongings because we are hoping (pray we can find good renters!) we will find renters while we're gone.

But looking at the enormity of it all...I guess that's my downfall.  I sometimes lack the ability to see small details when the big picture, all of the things that have to be done, are so overwhelming.

It started bad in the morning when I went to change a ticket for my best friends wedding in July.  I will spare you the details, but two tickets to the West Coast from his parents (which should be less than $1000) were going to cost us $2K.  Nope. Nope. Nope.  I cried on the phone.  I begged.  That poor lady really wanted and tried to make it right with the circumstances but just didn't have the authority.

Then I tried to pack stuff in the house into plastic tubs...and I shut down. My heart started beating harder, my breathing picked up, my mind went blank, and I was not functioning.

I got on my knees and cried.  I begged for help.  While I was praying, my sweet children, one by one, came wrapped their arms around me, until it was a big bear hug.  The oldest two cried.  The youngest two gave me sweet kisses and kept asking why I was crying.  That was my calm in the midst of the storm.

Our sweet firstborn picked up and fed her siblings leftovers when I was more or less checked out.  I am so grateful for her and that she took the initiative.

I took a nap hoping it would get better and it got worse when I got up to do stuff.  It had been hours of calm and storm and now the storm was winning.

I was texting my husband, who was really worried at this time, and had my good friend come over and check on me.

She asked me questions, and all I could answer is "I don't know" to everything she asked.  I just sobbed.

My friend gathered my kids and stuff and kept them at her house for a couple hours.  (I am so grateful for them or it would have been really bad when The Hubs came home.)  I stayed in bed for another 90 minuted before I could get all calmed down, took a shower, and then I tackled part of the dirty dishes.

The Hubs got home and got me out of the house that evening.  I came home much better from our date, but I still very much feel the lingering effects today.

So, like I put previously, I like details.  Now that I look back on this, and other experiences before, I realize that uprooting my life, changing things, causes me great anxiety.  This is particularly hard in this case, and completely worth it.

Now that I have 20/20 on this, I told my husband that our original career plans may not be such a good thing.  It required a lot of moving and at this point, I don't exactly have a great record with handling it well.  We've been leaning that direction for a while, so it's not a surprise for me to say that.  It just became very clear where we need to be when we're done here.

1 comment:

  1. I don't do well with change or the unknown or inconsistency - and by saying I "don't do well" I REALLY don't do well. I get stressed packing for a trip. Hayden is going to sleepaway camp in a few weeks and I have been stressing about packing for it.

    I like consistency and structure and routine. I don't adjust well, because it's hard for me to adjust.

    When we moved here (to Fayetteville - when I was 14), I was really unhappy. My mom thought I was depressed. She took me to a therapist. He diagnosed me with "Adjustment Disorder." Sortove funny in retrospect! It was a clear, early sign that I struggle to adjust...

    Suffice it to say, you aren't the only one has a tough time adjusting to change.

    And you are dealing with intense, sudden change which is even more challenging. Be kind and compassionate to yourself (that is my therapist's current mantra for me...). Take deep breaths and hopefully your heart and mind will settle.

    As a side note, I've never had a full-blown panic attack but I have come close... I am sure they are scary. If needed, you might look into a medication to help with them - or seeing a therapist. GOOD LUCK!