Tuesday, March 10, 2009

honest


Circles Become Me and Virginia were nice enough to nominate me for the Honest Scrap award. Many thanks to both of you.

I think you're supposed to share ten honest things about yourself, but right now I have only one: I've been having these intermittent wellings up of panic, doubt, dread. They don't seem to really have an object or a focus. Instead, it's an unsteadiness that makes the physical world seem to tremble and go out of focus, like a craze of tiny lines in the glaze of a china plate.

It's like the time I was standing in a library, reaching for a book and the floor buckled under my feet, lurching like the deck of a ship. It was just an earthquake, a tiny one, but, just for a second, all I could understand was that something had gone terribly wrong with the world.

Does that ever happen to you? What do you do?

19 comments:

Tash said...

I have this feeling pretty much every time I look at Bella. And it makes me THAT mom, the overprotective, "Be Careful!" one. I hate it.

Yolanda (the callipygian chronicle) said...

I think we call them anxiety attacks. Yes, it has happened to me. Breathing helps. Just holding on and taking a breath. Or two. Or ten.

Elspeth said...

Oh, Niobe. I had this happen to me several times a day for years after my baby daughter died. It was terribly disorienting, but I did grow accustomed, with time. It became, in time, simply how I was in the world: not quite here, but in some ghostly nether world, with my baby.

Nowadays it is only once in a while that it happens, and I am reminded of how it used to always be, all those years ago.

Trish said...

I think that what you are feeling is natural. You have a brand new baby, another child about to leave for college, and are starting on another surrogacy journey. You are also dealing with finding day care for Cole and the prospect of returning to work. Who wouldn't feel panic? Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I basically close my eyes and repeat to myself "This too shall pass".

Magpie said...

You, dear, have a lot on your plate right now. Hang on, and with luck, the attacks will pass.

Marin said...

I had a few after my friends died. It's connected to how it happened, what happened, and then what follows.

I haven't had one since.

Furrow said...

I used to get a true sinking feeling in my stomach. It was a lurch, like going down a steep drop on a rollercoaster. And then I'd get a little mini-wave of despair. And then it would pass. It usually happened when I was pinned in some awkward or tedious social occasion. It's been a while since I've felt it. Now when I'm maxed out I get chest pains. (Hi, mid-30s, nice to meet you.)

Having a new baby caused me to have considerable chest pains. BTW, do you have daydreams of horrible things happening to Cole? I have them of Zora all the time. There's a name for it, I think, if it becomes overwhelming. Some sort of syndrome.

Furrow said...

And by daydreams, I don't mean the good kind, of course. Daymare? Is there such a thing?

My Reality said...

I try and focus my breathing and *try* to calm myself down.

I know that feeling all too well.

Aunt Becky said...

At least 3-4 times an hour since Amelia was born with her encephalocele. Let me know if you find anything that works because I could use any help I can get.

Kristin said...

Honestly, with everything you have going on, moments of panic are normal.

Christine said...

yes. it actually sounds like a very mild panic attack, something i know far, far too much about. it sounds corny but deep breathe. also count. not just to ten but objects like the books on your shelf or the bills in your wallet. reconnecting with the concrete world for a few minutes can calm the feeling considerably.
xoxo

leanne said...

I've had my share of anxieties and panic. What do I do? I try to relax, take a deep breath, and try to be rational (I'm not saying this always worked, just what I tried). I don't like feeling helpless. But more and more I'm realizing that as much as I try, I can't control everything. I still try sometimes.

You say the feelings don't seem to have an object or focus, but could it be, as other commenters have suggested, that you are overwhelmed by all that is going on in your life? Or is it more than that?

Hoping these feelings subside for you...

niobe said...

Tash, Furrow: I do sometimes feel anxious that something awful is going to happen to Cole. But often, the feelings really do seem disconnected from anything real -- a kind of free-floating anxiety...

Anonymous said...

Is it a kind of existential feeling? It seems like you already have your brain logically wrapped around it but that doesn't make the moments any less scary. Is it related to things going well? Crack lines in a plate are the marks of history.
allypally

Meg said...

I have also had panic attacks in the past and it almost doesn't even feel like you're upset about anything. For me, it always felt like my body was freaking out. But, when I feel one coming on now, I just FOCUS and breathe. It really does help. Hope things get easier. :)

Coming2Terms said...

Take seriously deep breaths and find a seat. I've only ever had two bona fide panic attacks but they scared the bejesus out of me...

B said...

Once you know they are panic attacks they aint so scary. I'm guessing that if you are good at brain patrol, (controlling your thoughts etc) then sometimes the anxieties manifest physically. I get that with depression sometimes. I can stop the thought cycles but then i wake up weeping or i have constant trips to the bathroom. It's not attached to specific thoughts per se...... as I have beaten them into submission...... but it is attached to everything.

Smiling said...

This is an experience I am familiar with. I started calling them panic attacks, and my body seemed to also throw hot flashes on the top. I don't really think panic attacks is the right word for me because I didn't help me to think of it as a psych/medical condition... instead I came to think of them as my body's way of reacting when it was overwhelmed by processing lots of change and when there was something not quite right that I needed to sort out. I had them heaps in college when I was in a fine sitution, but one that kept me from my following my heart and dreams. I get them heaps when there is a big transition or life decision ahead or whenever a big project is wrapping up and all I see is a blank canvas in front of me.

As for what I do, I walk in the moment and give myself time to process. And know that eventually I'll be back into the thick of life again unil there is another chasm to leap over or rappel down. Still its a very disconcerting feeling when my body tells me that there is something is off in the world and my heart and mind is playing catch up....