Under attack

Today has not been my best day. I knew it would be a hard one, as I was saying goodbye to my parents ahead of tomorrow’s return to Scotland, but I didn’t expect the day I had.

It started with me feeling unsettled and emotional, preparing myself for goodbyes. After the goodbyes, I stopped off at the cemetery to visit Paul’s grave before making my way to my sister’s house on the other side of the pass.

But I was so emotional that I had to pull off at the next exit to convince myself that I wasn’t having a heart attack, I was just upset. Then I got back on the freeway only to have a wave of panic hit me again.

So I turned around and went back to my folks’ place to relax and calm down. Only I realised that every time I started to think about the next few days’ travel, I began to panic again – and began to wonder if I was having a heart attack. Which just made me panic even more.

In the end, I opted to get a ride over the pass, knowing that I needed to get there but worrying that I might have another massive wave of panic whilst driving. And that meant having my eldest niece drive me with my father following to bring her back. This means that my eldest niece might now think I’m a great big scaredy-cat cry-baby instead of a strong, confident woman.

I think the panic attack is because of my conflicting emotions about leaving the Homeland and my parents – but there’s also a little bit of personal stress as I’m worried about my own health just now. (I’m sure it’s nothing; I’ll be seeing a doctor shortly.)

It’s also because of the stress of making another international trip that feels more like a move instead of returning from holidays. In part, because it’s been such a long and emotional visit to the Homeland but in part, because when I arrive I will be moving into a new home – but not one of my own, rather I will be staying in a friend’s spare room for the foreseeable future. Which was such a generous offer but will bring its own level of stress (brought on by me; not placed on me by the friend).

So, basically, I have been feeling extremely overwhelmed and have been overthinking a million little things and it’s all now manifesting into these massive panic attacks that are leaving me feeling weak, frightened, helpless, and embarrassed.

I have a sinking feeling that tomorrow’s flights are going to be filled with stress and panic. And I am dreading the train journey from Manchester to Edinburgh because I fear that lugging all of my luggage will just add to my stress and frustration.

I remain convinced that I will calm down once I get settled back into life in Scotland; once I begin to create a bit of a routine and once I start to feel a bit more secure about my future. In the meantime, maybe I need to start reading up on relaxing breathing techniques.

2 Replies to “Under attack”

  1. Dear Sweet Fran, I admire your openness. Anxiety came over me after my car incident in 2003. I fainted in class. I was lost on campus. All the cycles of panic and anxiety seemed to own me. It only got worse for years. Then, a person I married started to mentally emotional, physically, and financially abuse me. It was a shock and turn about I was not equipped for. The worse the abuse became, the worse I became. He started hitting after my second cancer surgery. Hitting me in the head. And he never said why. You can imagine the mess I became. I fled from my own home I was frightened and alone. I flew to my dad’s house for some safety and rest. Meanwhile back at my home, the x- was selling all of my belongings in yard sales and telling students I was dead. He gave my clothing away. He flooded the house while I was with my dad. When I got back he bombed my house. My anxiety was barely manageable. I suffered day and night for years now. I am convinced that I needed to settle somewhere safe and I have found that place. I was hospitalized last Friday for a severe panic attack, sharing the same symptoms you describe. I have walked in the same shoes. It brings me absolutely no joy to know what you are suffering and I pray for God to bless you more than you could ever think of. Returning you to the new life you are building. My symptoms and cancer related “secondary” illnesses are not going to go away. I am working diligently to regain a sense of confidence and hope for a future. I also know that I may not succeed. I am glad I met you when I did. You are such a beautiful person. I am here if you want to write me. Love, Bea.

    1. Oh, Bea. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that. I know how hard that time was for you, and how much you’ve struggled since then. I hope you’re feeling better since last week’s scare and that you’re continuing to grow stronger. You are often in my thoughts as I journey through this world. You’ve been one of my strongest supporters and I might not be here doing what I’m doing without you!

      Love you!!

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