Friday, May 16, 2014

Darkest Moments

The other day I had an attack, it had to be one of the worst I've had in a couple years. 

Things have already been a little stressful with the move coming up, but after a really good writers meeting with awesome friends, a horrible and emotionally draining event happened. I don't want to go into details because I wasn't directly involved, but definitely felt the affects of it.
Later that evening I had to deal with an ongoing issue with a safety issue here at our apartment. This place has been a headache... we've dealt with theft, someone taking our cat, neighbors stomping around upstairs waking us, a woman being shot and killed in the building next door, and now this issue of flood lights not working in our hallway, for four days, after reporting it. People should be safe in their homes. Anyway, I'm getting off track..

Around 4:00am, while Randi was asleep, I heard a sound outside that reminded me of a gun shot. Who knows, maybe fireworks echoing in a parking lot? A sound like dropping a board from a third floor? So I'm not 100% sure, but it got my attention.  I was "OK" until the second one occurred.
Which resulted in me calling security to check into it.

The affects from the 2nd time it happened, is hard to explain. I tried getting my mind on something else, a video game which is always a good outlet for me... but suddenly, as I was staring at the TV, it felt as though I was no longer there. Like tunnel vision, seeing but not seeing. Images moving, but not being able to react to them.
Then my insides began to shake, not so much my body, just an internal shaking that made me feel like I no longer had control. I took prescription meds, but they were of no use.
Fear set in. I was afraid of the sound, of hearing it again. My mind went to other things happening like someone breaking in. It was a constant feeling of not knowing what was going to happen next, a "flight or fight" emotion that wouldn't end.

I was too afraid to go to bed, I wanted to. I was drained mentally and physically, and wanted to take something to help me sleep. But those damn thoughts of "what if I fall asleep and something happens, I won't be able to take care of Randi"
Not since the shooting on Ft Hood in 2009, hearing those fucking sirens over the PA system, have I felt this fear. Not everyone will get that or understand it... how a person who wasn't even in the vicinity of the shootings could be affected. But I'm afraid it can happen.

Dark, scary, trapped, the unknown, protective instincts - they all bombarded all at once.  I couldn't wake Randi because I didn't want her to worry. I had some friends who happened to be awake and online that I could chat with, which I am eternally grateful for. They listened, let me talk and get to a point when I felt somewhat calmer and the sun had come up.  I love them for that, for being there, even if they didn't get it.  That right there frustrates the hell out of me, them not knowing or saying things that don't always comfort someone dealing with this type of issue. But my frustration is NOT with them not knowing what to say... they were being awesome friends... my frustration is in not knowing who to talk to when these things happen (when Randi can't be there, or I'm not able to go to the doctors). It's a horrible feeling to go through it and feel like you're alone.

It has passed since then, I'm doing better, but it's still there. Buried inside, taunting me. A feeling that says "I'm still here, and I'm going to fuck with your head when you least expect it.".

Note to my friends - I'm sorry this one is so dark. I just need to get it out, to see my words and see if it can help me understand things. Thank you for being there!


  1. I'm so sorry you're going through this, Jason. I've been experiencing anxiety for about 6 months now. Mainly waking up at night with my heart pounding and then worrying about ridiculous things. It's not to the degree you are describing, but it's still unpleasant, so I can understand to a certain extent.

    Are there any PTSD forums online that you could join? If they are global, you might find other suffers who are awake to talk when you need them.

  2. Thank you for reading this! That means so much to me... and I'm sorry to hear about the anxiety you're dealing with. That's bad enough as it is, it's a horrible feeling..and I know what you mean about waking up like that. I hope that things get easier and you get through this. Take it a step at a time, and remember you're not alone. It's hard to go through these things, but there really is hope, I promise. As far as online forums, there are some out there, I just haven't searched for them, as a way to talk to others I mean. Just starting this blog has been a big step, and I've found that writing about my feelings helps. I'm always just worried about boring people to death with all the negativity :p

  3. Oh, never worry about boring people with negativity. The whole idea is to have a place to vent about what you're going through. Your thoughts might even help strangers who stumble across this blog and feel less alone because they relate to what you're experiencing. :)

  4. You really are a good friend, you know that? Thank you for the words of encouragement.

  5. Panic attacks are a demon I deal with a lot. My first one happened while I was driving home from a therapy appointment and I thought I was having a heart attack. The pain was so real I pulled over on the interstate and was rolling around on the ground. I had to be taken by ambulance to the ER. That was over 20years ago. I had some come close. I feel for you
    Environment does make a difference, but for me it's still a struggle. It's good that you have an online support system. You are very brave to share experience. Sometimes panic has no rhyme or reason. For me I am less afraid of dying than feeling the helplessness of the real fear and physical pain of panic. I don't have answers but know that you have a friend who cares.