I've got to sort out my thoughts. I've got to figure this out. Its really time to sit down and deal with my struggles with panic. According to all the research online I have 'panic disorder.' There. I said it. I have it. I have had more panic attacks in the last few months than no one person should have their whole life. If you don't know what a panic attack is... take a moment to thank the good Lord above, and read more here. They pretty much are the worst feeling you will ever feel, ever. I have dealt with, had, and gotten through attacks since I was a kid. Some say it can be a chemical imbalance, some say its your body over/under producing adrenaline, that your body doesn't metabolize the adrenaline as quickly as others. Really no one knows for sure. I was always told I had an over-active imagination as a kid, my mind is always going, the mind is pretty powerful. Usually onsets of "flare ups" are brought on by something major changing in my life. Like when I quit dance after nearly 15 years. Or friends moving, while relationships end. They come on, I take some time to deal, and they soon fade away. This time though is different. I guess the last 3 years or so have been nothing but big life changes and challenges, no breaks, no rest, no resolution. I guess I should time-line it out huh? Shannon and I got engaged in '08, things were going great. We both had great jobs (yes at the same place, my families business), we were excited, in love, and planning a wedding. Then, it happened, the economy crashed, and our field of work (manufactured housing) was the first to take a hit. Just months before the big day the company began to struggle, and our pocket books began to shrink. We got married in October, and it was magical. Everything I had ever dreamed of. Soon though, it was back to reality, and let me tell you, sometimes reality sucks. Just 2 short months after wedding bells rang the company shut down. Yup, hello un-employment. It was devastating. Not just for us, but it was heart breaking watching my dad, see everything he had worked so hard for come crashing down. Life change number one. Not long after that, did we find out we were pregnant. Say WHAT? I've always wanted to be a mom, I was looking forward to it, and we were planning for it. In.the.future. But things happen, and hello baby. I just always thought it would be, "ok lets have a baby" not "oh my God we're having a baby." That day we found out will forever be embedded in my brain, what a crazy mix of emotions. Life change number two. As we began to prep for baby my dad, brother, and husband began to pick up the pieces from the old company and started to rebuild. My pregnancy went great, I was very lucky. You think you are preparing and prepping, and are so ready for that baby. And then September came, I went into labor
and 32+ hours later bam your a parent. I get to take him home? Ok which one of you nurses is coming with me? That first day home was a trip, settling in, and realizing we left as 2, and came home as 3. whoa. Life change number three. The first few months was kinda a blur. Because work was still so slow I was lucky enough to have Shannon home quite a bit. It was great for both of us, and something I wish our country supported more, you know, families? It was and is amazing to see the bond he and Quinten built those first few weeks. But work started to come in and he started to leave more and more. I know, I know, totally normal, every mom does it yada yada yada. But I wonder how many of us had these feeling of AAAAHH, and just never said anything? We don't want to feel embarrassed or unequipped. Hey we're moms now, we can do it all. But in the end we're only human. Settling into stay at home mom life wasn't easy. I went from 'free bird' to what felt like 'jail bird.' You're busy all.the.time. But a lot of the business isn't mind busy. And when my mind isn't busy, things can go haywire. Oh ya and living on a single income isn't stressful at.all. When Quinten was about 5 or 6 months old, I guess the build up had reached it's explosion point, and they came back. Full speed ahead. I had almost forgot what they felt like. Something I never wanted to remember. But now it was so much different, I had a little person to worry about. I had to be there for him. And so began the emotional roller coaster of dealing with panic disorder, and being a mom. The guilt, the frustrations, the exhaustion. Pushing myself harder then I have ever pushed myself, hiding things I never thought I could hide. Quiten will be 3 this September, and I still don't have it all figured out. I am so lucky to have a supportive family. One that at the drop of hat, or ring of a phone, will drop everything to be by my side. I hate it, I really do. I guess I could call myself an over achiever, a perfectionist an all or nothing kind of girl. I want to do it all, be it all, all by myself. It took nearly 3 years for me to accept I had to take medicine to help me. My dad would get SO MAD. I just didn't want to be one of those people that had to rely on medicine ya know? I should be able to handle it on my own. But I can't. Accepting my human qualities is something I'm still trying to do. I guess sometimes, although my family and friends accept me for who I am. I don't. I love me, but hate this. This is the one factor about me I have the hardest time accepting. But I'm trying, and I'm getting there. And once I can accept that this is a part of me, I can start to deal, and move on. We want to get our business up and running, which will also be a huge help for my busy mind, we would like to move, and eventually add another little munchkin to our family. I know we can get there. I have started this no bull attitude. Trying to just get stuff done. No excuses. Its works, sometimes. I remind myself; that worry is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do, but gets you no where. Except queasy, dizzy and a little crazy. I don't know why I've all of the sudden decided to share this. Maybe in hopes that getting it on "paper" will help sort my feelings out. I have found that as I have been talking about it more, I'm more quickly figuring things out. Maybe so 6 months or a year from now I can look back and see how far I've come. Maybe in hopes that if someone else is dealing with something similar they will read this and not feel so alone. Because in the midst of all this, you do feel very alone. Its so comforting to know you aren't crazy, that other people deal with this. And it can be controlled. Or maybe its just so people will understand me, a little bit more. If you or someone you know is dealing with this, take heart and know you aren't alone, there are people out there ready and willing to help you. We'll come out on top!
"Telling someone with panic not to worry, or to think of something else, is like telling someone with turrets not to tick"
So there you have it. This is me. I do think I will be writing more about this. It does feel good to get it out. Get it down. I hope I can help even just one person smile a little more today. Because laughter really is the best medicine.