Full blown panic attack

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by LilaWynnter, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Freedom08

    Freedom08 Member

    It was bound to happen to me sooner or later. These last 8 days have been hell. Not knowing if my child is safe is torture and reading her tweets (I KNOW!. I need to stop) panic me even more. I have kept busy this week but haven't been sleeping but 3 hours a night and my eating has been terrible. I either don't eat or eat too much. My younger one has had hockey every day this week but not sleeping doesn't do me any good. We have extended family in town and they came to his game tonight. All was good until we were waiting for him to come out of the locker room. Out of nowhere I had my first full blown panic attack in a very long time. It was my wake up call to start taking better care of myself. I seriously thought I was going to pass out and die. The whole week has been one step forward and a million steps back.

    I just want to know she is safe. How do you sleep not knowing that?. It's time for a doctors visit. I cannot do this alone.
     
  2. Carri

    Carri Active Member

    I sooo feel your pain Lila. Isn't it horrible how it can consume us? I don't know your story, how old your daughter is, etc... I've been living with a son in active addiction for over 12 years now and it does get easier, but it's always "there". I've done my fair share of snooping on the intranet too, but it doesn't help, so I try not to do it. If I pray at bedtime, I mean really, really pray, it soothes me to sleep. I just ask God to watch over him...it's all I can do. Take care of yourself. Hugs-Carri
     
  3. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    When I was having panic attacks regularly, when it isn't dietary trigger on top of emotional state, the thing usually came about from lack of physical activity on top of stress.

    I avoided medical intervention on those for years - bad experience with prescribed SSRIs. If I can, I figured out, since a panic attack is an adrenaline overload, I found one way to handle it was to exert myself hard. There've been times when I dealt with one by grabbing a shovel and freaking just digging a hole. If I am being chased by a lion (the kind in one's soul) might as well run from it, eh? That's when I took up running about a decade ago. I don't run these days - I think the last time I really put effort into running was last fall when we had to chase down a newly delivered Princess Special Snowflake Hamburger the Holstein Heifer Cull (oh lord is that hilarious in hindsight. I'll tell that story someday. How is she? Delicious.)

    A panic attack is something I see as similar to an allergic reaction - instead of your immune system, it's your danger response system overreacting. Fortunately instead of having to carry an Epi-pen, I learned to carry coping mechanisms. Physical exertion, "ki" breathing (slow in through the nose, out through the mouth, which incidentally kept me conscious during my one and hopefully only really dangerous asthma attack until I could get to the walk-in clinic), and sometimes just reminding myself it isn't my objective reality signalling a lion in the grass.

    Another that that might help you is something from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series of books. It's called the "Litany Against Fear" and is frankly the most enduring part of the series.

    "I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

    (Source: http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Litany_Against_Fear)

    Good luck.
     
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  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    When they are out of our house, hon, we never know if they are safe, even if they are not looking for trouble. In fact, less street smart kids are bigger targets for rapists and predators. I am totally against handing kids things like their own cars, but I was so worried about my Easy Child at college, we gave her one of our two cars so she didn't have to walk around college campus. It's in our name, but she's the one who uses it. Both of my daughters have been assaulted, although they were not on the streets. One was at her best friends house when visitors were there (a man did it to her at age 8). The other was a child we adopted who did it to my younger kids under our noses and once we found out he was gone that day...if we had not had such a strong family bond, the entire family might have imploded under the pressure, but we survived and thrived with a lot of professional help. I still feel guilty. In my house. I didn't know. They didn't tell me. The day he was "caught" was the last day he ever stepped foot in our house and we dissolved the adoption.

    Our street smart kids are far more likely to know how to avoid this. That doesn't mean it won't happen. Just saying worrying doesn't change anything. Nothing. Most of our homeless adult children learn how to live on the streets, where to go for food, where they can sleep etc. Bad things can happen, but they can also happen to you or your Easy Child.

    Be nice to yourself and get therapy. I am prone to panic attacks myself and have learned some amazing skills to stop them in their tracks. They are so scary. I take medication too for my depression/panic disorder. That helps my depression, but the panic is still possible so I had to learn coping skills. A great book is "Don't Panic" by Wilson and Reid. It was my panic Bible for years. I put it in my purse and took it with me everywhere. If I felt like a panic attack was coming on, especially at work, I'd go to the restroom and lock myself in a stall, and read the chapter about how to stop the attack. Al-Anon is a good free resource I used and that helped me with my daughter when she used drugs. She quit!!!! It can happen!!!!! Ironically, she was assaulted as a poor young child, not as she roamed the streets at night hanging with drug dealers.

    Life is weird.

    Don't fail to take good care of yourself because if you don't you will be no good for your other child, any friends or family who love you, or most importantly yourself. I would stop looking at the social media other than to glance to see that daughter is alive. Don't read the content. Yes, it's possible :)

    Hugs for your hurting heart.
     
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  5. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    I so enjoy Frank Herbert. He has taken me through the most amazing things.

    Cedar
     
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    It's easier to deal with the eating than with the sleeping - because we can be conscious of what we eat. I can use will-power to eat or not eat, but will power doesn't put me to sleep or keep me sleeping.

    So, when I get stretched too thin and stress is high and sleep is low and eating is crazy, I focus first on the eating. I don't force myself to eat, but I do force myself to drink - and only healthy stuff: water, milk, juice, herbal tea. I avoid caffeine because when under stress it's effects can be less predictable. I aim for a 6 ounce glass every hour. Next, control what you eat. Avoid bread and pasta like the plague. Keep fresh fruit and fresh veggies washed, cut where applicable, and ready to eat - so if you feel the slightest bit like eating "something", there is something there to just grab. Keep no-prep protein sources around, too. Milk, cheese, yogurt, cold cuts, nuts. Try to include a protein source each time you eat. (A glass of milk or dish of yogurt is a balanced snack - can be used alone.)

    See what I'm doing? Controlling blood sugar spikes and dives, and dehydration. When I do that consistently, I sleep a bit better (as in, I still wake up but can usually get back to sleep for a couple more hours), and the panic attacks are not as severe.

    It might or might not work for you, but thought I'd toss it out there.
     
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  7. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    It sounds to me like you know exactly what you need to do. You'll do it when you're ready.

    I feel your pain Lila. My 20 year old, drug addicted, son with mental health issues decided to live a life on the streets instead of facing the consequences of his illegal actions. He's on the lamb. Don't know where he is, or who he is with. Large sums of money go in and out of his bank account. Whatever he's doing, it can't be good.

    For the first few days I was almost catatonic. I couldn't stop shaking, I couldn't eat, all I could do was cry. I was scared both for him and myself. What would I do if he called? What would I do if he showed up at my house? Was this really happening? I kept hoping to wake up from the nightmare, that is, if I ever fell asleep.

    I'm better now. I'm on the road to acceptance. Realizing that there is absolutely nothing I can do to control the behavior of my son. I'm letting go. It isn't easy, but it sure seems a lot easier than beating my head against the wall.

    What's that saying? "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." Rings true to me.

    You have a life worth living to its fullest. You have a supportive family who wants the best for you.

    You can do it. You can be happy again, even though this will always be a part of you.

    Huggs
     
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  8. Freedom08

    Freedom08 Member

    Another that that might help you is something from Frank Herbert's "Dune" series of books. It's called the "Litany Against Fear" and is frankly the most enduring part of the series.

    "I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."

    (Source: http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Litany_Against_Fear)

    Good luck.[/QUOTE]

    That's beautiful. Thank you. I will read it over and over again
     
  9. Freedom08

    Freedom08 Member

    I SLEPT!! Thank you all for the kind words and advice. I am in awe of your strength. I had to work last night for what was supposed to be a 10 hour shift. I lasted 5 and could not keep my eyes open. I called off sick and slept for 7 hours. It was wonderful. I know I need to avoid caffeine but I LOVE coffee. The smell, the taste everything and it doesn't seem to effect me too much. Soda on the other hand I can't drink. The combo of sugar and caffeine make me ill.

    Thanks again. I have to work again tonight but I think I can handle it better now that I've slept
     
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  10. Childofmine

    Childofmine trying to do this thing one day at a time Staff Member

    Lila I am so sorry for your fear. We all understand that kind of bone deep fear. You can get through it to the other side and you can live with not knowing. That is a focus you can begin: living with uncertainty.

    Pema Chodron's Living beautifully with uncertainty and change is a book i recommend. Also another good one of hers is When Things Fall Apart. Start filling your mind with this type of thinking.

    One quote from her that shifts the focus of the bad things that are happening back to us and to a higher level of seeing: nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.

    Google her. There is a lot of her work that has helped me.

    I so agree with others who talk about physical exertion like exercise and just digging. I call it Weed Therapy. When things were really bad with Difficult Child I would go out in the yard on my hands and knees and dig weeds. No roundup for me, just endless digging. I also used to clean the kitchen floor on my hands and knees a lot. I think the combination of the scrubbing and pulling and being on my hands and knees and then seeing some progress behind me was important. Keeping things very clean and simple when everything was so very hard.

    I found that if I could change my thinking then I could change my behavior in time. My feelings were separate from my thinking and acting and I have learned more about feeling my true feelings but not acting or reacting to those feelings...instead letting time pass and waiting and using silence to calm me.

    Just a few thoughts and tools that you can consider when you are ready. This stuff is very very hard so be gentle and loving and patient with yourself. You are 51% and your daughter is 49%.

    We can't keep other people safe. We can never know what can happen to anyone we love in an instant. Living with that uncertainty takes practice and time. We're here for you.
     
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  11. Natsom

    Natsom Member

    This resonated with me. I struggle on a daily basis to separate my feelings, and my reactions to them, from what I know I should be thinking and acting.

    It's slow, but I see progress. Instead of having a knee-jerk reaction to a comment or situation I take a moment to reflect. It takes self-control, but more difficult than that, it takes remembering to use self-control.

    Peace.
     
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Lila,

    I am right there with you. Last night, I had achieved a sense of relative peace, direction and strength. I woke this morning feeling desperate with an aching pain and fear. What can I do to make my son understand that his life is at stake if he does not take his medicine? What can I do to give him the stability to be able to take in the reality of his situation?

    My answer this morning was NOTHING. There is not one thing I can do today to change things for him. The only thing within my power to do is to take care of myself today. To make myself stronger and happier so that I can go on.

    Maybe after many, many days choosing for myself, my own happiness and security and strength, I will have within me the fortitude and compassion and patience to bring my son nearer to me to lend him for a time some of what I have gained, so that he can begin to do for and to choose himself.

    That time is not now. For you or for me. Right now we must choose to mother ourselves.

    There is nothing else that I can see, as possible, right now. I will choose to take care of myself now, and let my son sit with and take responsibility for himself. As he can.

    For today, I will do that. And tomorrow I will reserve the right to decide differently.

    For today, I choose me.
     
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  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Lila, you sent your child to kindergarten. S/he lived. You lived. (You changed gender articles in your posts. What do you prefer, she or he?)

    This is no different. Even when we are sure our children are safe. They may not be.

    I am working on this too. It becomes a question of trust. Of yourself. That you can handle whatever you need to.

    That confidence is within your grasp. I do not know when, but I know you can find it and make it your own.
    The strength you see here in these posts is yours to have.You will find it in you because it is there already. Signs of it are already manifesting. Trust if you can that you will continue stronger and stronger every day, every week.

    There will be bad mornings, bad nights. That does not take away strength. It is there.

    As living creatures we react, we respond. Feelings help us navigate to a point. We learn from them. But we need to have ways to talk back. You are learning the ways. So am I. We are learning to balance what we know and need to learn; what we have and fear to lose. Where we have been and need to go. We are doing it.

    You are doing great. Keep posting. Keep talking to us. We are always here.

    COPA
     
  14. Freedom08

    Freedom08 Member

    Thanks Copa, I can't say thank you enough. You've given me a lot to think about. As for gender, it still feels foreign to call he who I knew for 17 years as she. She prefers she so I should respect that.
     
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