I woke up feeling hot. The heat started to engulf me, stifling me, suffocating. I stuck an arm out the blanket, adjusting the covers and turning down my heated blanket. My attention goes to my stomach, it always does, and I feel it churning. My heart starts racing noticeably, my mind catching up. I do what Yoga has taught me, deep breath in and sigh it out in a noisy rush. This releases tension and hopefully some of the adrenaline. I do this three times. It feels good but I’m feeling trapped in this bed, the blankets are pressing down on me, lead-heavy and larva-hot. I need to get up! My mind is pulled from sleep as if it were fighting it’s way out of a tarry black pit.
I feel sick, omg I feel sick. What did I eat today?
Don’t be silly you didn’t eat anything that would make you sick!
But you had tuna that had been in the fridge for a day!!
So? Mum had some too and she’s fine. You are fine. This is a panic attack.
What?! Omg why am I panicking?? I feel sick!I feel sick!I feel sick!I can’t breathe!I feel sick!
Visualizations of myself being sick enter my head and I can’t take it any more. I get up and don’t even notice the cool air hit my naked body. Sheer panic makes me dither in the bathroom, sick? pee? splash face? bucket??
I pee. Then I splash my face and pat cold water on the back of my neck. Then I fetch the bucket and place it in it’s familiar spot next to the bottom foot of my bed. It’s a safety net. My emetophobia is not only a fear of being sick but especially a fear of being sick all over the place. So a bucket brings me comfort.
My legs are like jelly. My face is pale. My hands are shaking uncontrollably. I grab my laptop and switch it on to write. I can barely type, my arms feel like they are boneless, my fingers don’t want to listen to my command, they feel stiff and as weak as my arms. My heart is pounding so hard I’m afraid it will overdo it. My ribs rattle against it’s force and my breath comes out in gasps. My stomach is churning, I now have heartburn and feel slight pressure in my diaphragm. My stomach is a pool of acid. I fight to calm my thoughts and slow my breathing:
This is just a panic attack. Calm. Down. Just a panic attack. You know how to deal with this. You’ve been here before. Breathe deep. Distract yourself. You know you feel sick because of the panic. It’s just the adrenaline spike and your racing ‘impending-doom’ thoughts. Only thoughts. All in your head. Deeeep breath. There we go.
My heart is still thumping but it’s slowed. My breathing is calmer but still shallow. I am regaining the strength in my arms and my fingers are able to follow my command. My stomach feels acidic but I can feel slight hunger. I could eat. If I could think of eating food that means I’m not really nauseous. This is a good sign.
Slowly…slowly…my body and mind are calming down. It’s been about an hour since this all started. This has been a bad one.
I haven’t had a panic attack like this in a very long time. I don’t know where it came from. My mind is trying to trace it back to something…
It could be that I didn’t add up my calorie intake before bed and I was shutting Ana up as she freaked out over me eating more today? Man was she screaming. I just added them up now: 1094 calories. Ouch. But not SO bad because I did a Iyengar yoga session this evening. And it was mostly because I ate high calorie food today; things like peanut butter, some baked potato, a hot chocolate, some fruit smoothie. I also didn’t get to stand on the scale. I’m trying to listen to my body and eat when I feel hungry. And I felt SO hungry today 😦 This did cause me stress.
I was dreaming quite vividly? My abusive, drug addicted ex was there somewhere. A car that was aquaplaning. My friend jumping out of the car as she drove it across water on the beach. She was choking on water. That could be part of it. I remember the choking, gagging sounds she was making.
Stress of finding a lump on my ovary? Stress of my relationship and not knowing where it’s going right now? Stress of exhibiting my art in about 2 weeks?
I’m not sure what else it could be and have no idea why it was so incredibly bad. Only thing I really think it could be is that I am trying to fight Ana. I haven’t freaked out like that in months, perhaps not since the beginning of the year. With disassociation I battle to remember things so I can’t honestly say. I’m just glad that it’s passing. A full hour of panic and trying to calm down is not my norm any more! Oh god I hope they aren’t back.
Okay, I am going to try and read my book now, keep my mind on something else and try fall asleep. My lids are heavy still and my brain feels like it’s stuffed with cotton wool. Let’s hope I can get some sleep.