11 March 2016

Logic doesn't matter

Here it is... that fire radiating from my chest out to my limbs. The tingling in my extremities. My mind going a million miles a minute. I know what to do and so I start my checklist.

1. I counted five things around me - my knitting, Tinkerbell, my phone, my work supplies, and my computer.
2. I acknowledged and touched four things around me - my hair, my chair, my glasses, my coffee.
3. I paid attention to three things I could hear - Tinkerbell eating, Hobbit eating, the washing machine.
4. I focused on two things I could smell - the detergent that spilled on my hands and the cat box (eww, must change that).
5. I acknowledged one thing I could taste - my coffee.
6. I know I am safe. I know I am healthy. I know this is irrational and illogical. I also know that logic doesn't matter... not when you're having a panic attack.

Deep breathe. Don't cry. Don't lash out at others because they can't see what is going on inside of you. Hug Hobbit and kiss her goodnight. Catch Pokey's eye and let him know - he understands and runs interference. Try the countdown again now that Hobbit is in bed... nope, not working tonight. Take a Benadryl and go to bed, things will be better in the morning.

That was my night last night and this morning is 90% better. I can still feel the slight burning of anxiety in my chest but it is not taking over my head - or at least I am doing better at not letting it. Panic attacks and anxiety are a new thing for me, meaning they've only begun in the past five years.

I remember my first one. I was sitting in the car loop at Hobbit's school. She was in first grade and I was overcome with this horrible feeling that something catastrophic was going to happen. I was literally going to die in my parked car and there was no logical reason for any of it. I had no idea why I felt that way and I had no idea on how to make it stop. I sat there and just cried. I'm working hard to not cry remembering it since I'm still fighting the residuals of an attack. Deep breathe - hear the spring birds outside - focus on the washing machine whirring - the dog is drinking his water - focus on your breathing in and out - deep breath. Stream of consciousness typing... got to get back to what I was telling you.

After that day, I lived in fear that it would happen again. That I was losing my mind. I told my husband about it a few days later and he smiled at me. Not condescending but more understanding. He used to suffer from anxiety - large crowds would trigger it for him - and he told me that I was perfectly normal. I made an appointment with my doctor and I explained what happened. She advised me that it was indeed a anxiety episode - or panic attack - and that it was normal, especially in woman my age. It was a symptom of premenopause... and it can last 15 to 20 years.

That was a rollercoaster moment - Yay, I'm normal... Holy wow, 20 years!! She laughed at me and said it would be fine. Now that I know what they are and how they feel, I can do a few exercises when they happen and it will lessen the effects. The one that works for me is the one I shared and when that doesn't work, I was advised to take a Benadryl. Most people only become relaxed with a Benadryl - I fall asleep within 30 minutes and I sleep for hours on end. It works most days. I'll take it night after Hobbit goes to sleep and I'm in bed well before 10, sleep all night long. It's rare that I need a Benadryl. Honestly, I hadn't had an episode in quite a few months so this one has taken me off guard. The fact that it's still here this morning is not surprising, as it usually takes me a good two or three days before it's fully gone. I also know that it's a hormonal thing and mine are apparently currently out of whack... joy.

One more inch to go - then, split for the cabled front section
Today, I am going to focus on my knitting of Pokey's sweater... at least at noon I will focus on it. I have things that need to be done prior to that and I must get them done first. Knitting and crocheting helps a great deal too - especially something that I have to focus on but isn't too terribly complicated. Charted lace wouldn't work but simple cables or just knitting in the round is great. I can get in rhythm and focus on that - count every stitch I make or focus on the feel of the yarn.

I don't know why I felt compelled to write and share that tidbit with the world. I know I always that this is my online journal of my life and that I simply welcome others to read it but I write for me. Perhaps I thought that someone else could benefit from reading it today. Perhaps I thought writing it down might help me today. Who knows what I thought but the fact remains that I did and I have. I still feel anxious and it's the same level as when I started but hey... I'm safe, I'm healthy, and I know it's not logical but I also know that logic doesn't matter.

07 March 2016

All I Did Was Blink

I can't believe that my baby is going to be 23 years old this month. How did that happen? Wasn't she just born last week? I swear, all I did was blink and she went from cuddly baby to beautiful adult. This will be the first birthday where she has actually made plans that didn't involve the family... and I'm a little bummed over it. I mean, I raised her to be independent but my goodness, why does it sting so badly when she exercises it. I swear...

Peanut's birthday falls in the middle of her last official Spring Break, as she graduates in just under eight weeks. That's a whole other post of 'where has the time gone', only one gut-wrenching realization at a time. So since it is their last Spring Break of their college careers, a group of them are going to go to Walt Disney World and have a grand time. She paid for her adventure with the monies she made working at the library during the term. When we asked her if she had enough funds, the response we got was - and I quote - "I've got $30 and I'm packing my food". See, independence kicking in - she wants to do it and she figured out a way to get it done.

Naturally, we could not let that happen so we decided to celebrate her birthday this past weekend. Over last week, I busted out my beautiful sewing machine and went to work.

Peanut's favorite attraction is the Haunted Mansion... can you see where I'm going here?
Her favorite color is purple... and the wallpaper inside is purple with black eyes so it's an homage to both really.
This is actually the back of the bag but it's just as pretty. You can kind of see where love lies just from the back...
But you can really get the idea from the front! I did my best to make it look like one of the cast member's costumes.
Inside, we put 3 $50 Disney gift cards and a $100 MasterCard gift card for her to use during her trip, however she wants.
The wristlet is big enough to hold her cellphone, wallet, small camera that we got her for Christmas last year, keys, and a few more odds and ends. She seemed pleased with it so I hope she will take it with her on her break.

I was really pleased with myself on how it came out. The black stripes were cut from the material and then sewn on top of the outside portion. The pattern that I used did not have a lining so I had to do that on my own with just my wits and previous experience. The wrist loop was not part of the pattern either, I just winged it.

Overall, I think it came out lovely. It is a great representation of my baby and all of her 23 years on this earth. One more major milestone and then she's off to face the life of adulthood. I'm serious though... all I did was blink.
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