Thursday, August 17, 2017

Acknowledge, Accept, Engage

Ya might think this will be a political post and it isn't. The truth is that I've been having a rough time and I haven't posted about it because I'm self-conscious about posting too often and/or posting incongruous posts. Well, that's life with mental health diagnoses. I can have glorious moments on family vacation and horrible lows all in the same week-or day.

So here goes.

The Friday before we left for our road trip I had my first full-on panic attack in months. My anxiety had been elevated for weeks and I think the pre-departure stress put me in a very vulnerable position.

The class that day was probably around triple the usual size because of an altered schedule that week. We were doing an exercise that involved many people dropping barbells almost in unison. That first round put me over. The tears came on, my body began shaking, my heart rate sky rocketed, and a flush came over me beyond my workout glow.

I grabbed my water bottle and purse, bounding into the front room to haphazardly open my emergency pill container that dangles from my wallet at all times. Between the shakes and my restrictive weightlifting wrist bands it was quite a task! After popping my pill I ran cold water over my hands and face before grabbing some frozen sponges and taking some time to walk around outside to calm myself. A friendly childcare/office lady talked with me during this time and helped me calm down as well.

Yesterday, I had to run out of a workout again.

I haven't been able to manage my anxiety the last several weeks and injuries preventing me from engaging in my workouts as I'd like have been quite upsetting. With the elevated anxiety I wasn't able to think straight and ask my coach for help scaling, instead I panicked when the workout began and subsequently walked out before a full blown panic attack struck.

I collapsed on the grass in the sun outside the gym and cried.

My coach hollered from the warehouse door to see if I was okay and I told him it was anxiety and that I'd be fine.

Later, after the workout, he asked if I wanted to talk about it. I started crying and shrugged my shoulders. He asked if the anxiety just "cropped up" and I told him that it had been a problem for a while. This time, it was more than anxiety though, the suicidal impulses have returned. I told him that I had some mental health diagnoses that involve anxiety and chronic suicidality. That these disorders require me to work out frequently at a certain intensity or things can get dangerous for me. My injuries have been gumming that up.

He thanked me for talking to him and I thanked him as well. A couple other folks inquired as to my well being and wished me well.

I love the support I've received there. It does freak me out that I'm experiencing such intense symptoms where I feel most safe. I can understand it, sure, I'm just concerned that I can't even relax at my relaxing place.

I'm very scared. The dips are persisting longer than they have in a long time. I've had suicidal episodes since moving here, they were acute though. This is a different animal. A slippier animal.

The hubs has pushed things into high gear looking for alternate housing. I've been trying to avoid my family as much as possible. I still need to pull out my DBT book and focus on really working some skills...

My brain is slow yet my thoughts are fast.

My body is weary yet I can't relax.

I have to acknowledge this isn't just a little dip. I've had a few intense episodes since the move and this isn't that. It's been a slow, sneaky descent. I find it more difficult to recognize the dark logic as my disease and I'm starting to romanticize suicidal ideations.

I feel like I'm walking a very dangerous line. I feel desperate. I am afraid. And I'm crying at the drop of hat-more and more in public and when driving (not exactly safe).

Moving here was a bad, bad idea. I came in with the best intentions, trying to tamp down the fear and focus on meeting the challenge, but I have to retreat.

Over and over I think, "my family is killing me," and it haunts me. I feel guilt. I feel anger. I don't think they mean to and yet a sense of victimization overwhelms me. It isn't fair. Why me? So many other people have it so much worse... It's so messy. It's so hurtful. They aren't safe. This can't be malicious, you can't hold them accountable for ignorance... I feel like they would be offended and confused to hear this and yet I can't deny it. I don't want to hurt them, I don't want to blame them (though it is so hard to delineate between fact and blame for me)... but a cut needs to be made. I need to excise this threat.

Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain for staying, pain for leaving.

I suppose my brain chemistry at the moment doesn't help either.

Hope this isn't too incoherent. Thanks for being here, from vacation to crisis :o)


  1. Sending you hugs and best wishes that your situation will soon improve -- I hope your husband finds that alternate housing fast! Getting away from your family's constant presence will be healing for you.

    1. Thank you, I think so too. It's very difficult to accept that I'm better off away from them... I think that it's all for the best.

  2. I hope that you find your blog a place where you can express all of your thoughts--good, bad, logical, illogical, etc. Don't ever be afraid to share. We care and want to listen.

    I know that you know all of the coping things to do, but I understand that you need to be well enough to do them. If need be, let hubby initiate contact with you previous doctors and therapists. And tell him that you want to review your DBT training. I don't know much about DBT, but I know that my friend said it saved her daughters life. She was suffering with suicidal thoughts also.

    And remember, even during these really rough times, you are surviving. You are making it through each situation and coming out the other side still alive for BB and your husband. Being alive is the greatest gift you can give them.

    Also, even when you think you are rambling, you express yourself very well. You are helping others express their difficult feelings whether you know it or not. I'm sure more than one post has been shown by someone suffering similar things as you to their family. What a gift you have given them and can continue to give them as you can show them that even when things get bad, they will get better.

    Love to you.

    1. Focusing on staying alive for BB and the hubs has been a big motivator for me, even in the darkest moments. Thank you for being here for me! Love and hugs :o)

  3. Oh dear heart. Hurting for you, hurting with you.
    Your rambling is very, very clear. Thank you so much for the courage it takes to share just how bad and how frightening and how dangerous life has been.

    1. Thank you, knowing people care is a huge help. Hugs!

  4. Hannah, as someone who has been in dips like the one you are experiencing I'm wondering if you need to go to the hospital? I know it's the last place you want to be but it's the safest. Please dear one, please keep yourself safe until this has passed.

    1. We keep that possibility open at all times. Calling 911 is always an option and I've made a lot of progress when it comes to admitting that I'm not safe! Thank you for being here for me :o)

  5. Hannah, can you call your therapist? You are not rambling, but this is very worrying. Please stay safe. Hugs!

    1. Thank you for being there for me :o) I am able to text my therapist whenever I need-staying safe is priority #1. Today was a better day :o)

  6. Hannah, i like what Birdie said above. Your husband will find an alternative place to live soon, till then, please stay safe. Sending love and hugs.

    1. Thank you, I'm trying to focus on my health and what I need to do instead of the fear, judgments, and stress!

  7. Is it possible for you and BB go stay with your in-laws until you are able to move out.

  8. Hannah, please stay safe! Whatever it takes, make sure you put yourself as a priority right now. Get medical help if needed. And I hope you move to a better place as soon as possible! We don't get to pick our family members but we do get to pick whether we live with them (or near them) when we're adults.


Thank you for reading and commenting!

Be well, HBF