Is that a light I see?

I had a quite nice experience yesterday. I started talking with a relatively new friend of mine (she's in a similar situation to mine), and she wanted to know how I was. I told her honestly that I've been feeling like crap for a long time now, and that it seems like I've developed - I don't know what the correct term is - a depression, anxiety and the panic attack. Turns out she knew exactly what I was talking about, and we spent some time discussing the topic. She showed me a text she'd written a few years ago when she was where I am now, and reading it gave me goosebumps. It was so accurate, so.. me. It could very well had been my text, my words, my thoughts. In some weird way that was a tremendous comfort to me, really understanding that I'm not the only one experiencing this. She had experienced exactly the same. She had the very same thoughts, the very same fears, when she was where I am now. She told me to not be afraid, to keep in mind that I'm not sick, and be open about it.

Suddenly I feel like this is something I can conquer. Maybe not tomorrow, but I will succeed. Now I'm going to focus on the good things in life, take my.. allergy pills, concentrate on breathing correctly, and start planning fun stuff for the year to come. I do have a lot of things to look forward to now, and I'm pretty sure they will help take my mind of the issues which are making me feel down. I feel like life might just be looking up a bit!


Changing the Strategy

As I briefly mentioned in a comment to some of my lovely readers of my last post, I experienced a quite terrifying panic attack this Tuesday. I don't know if it actually was a panic attack since I've never experienced one previous to this one, but everyone else seem to think it was a panic attack - and after reading about it on Wikipedia several pieces of my complex puzzle just magically fell into place. The attack itself felt horrible. I would describe it like I could feel my heart changing gears - like on a car - several times, before it raced away. I freaked out, had to lay down, and about 30 minutes later I started feeling better even though I was completely exhausted from the whole experience. My doctor immediately prescribed some allergy pills meant to have a calming effect on anxiety and such, and I've been OK since I started taking them. It's a very small dosage, and they are not addictive. It's only been two days, so it's really too early to say anything about how they are working, but so far they seem to have a good effect on me. Unfortunately they also make me feel like my brain is slowly melting away - I actually needed three tries to successfully type the word "prescribed" - and I'm feeling immensely tired for several hours after taking one pill.

I don't know when I'll get scheduled for my first appointment with a psychologist, but I'm actually looking forward to it. I think it might be helpful to share my thoughts with someone who doesn't know me, to get an objective opinion of things, a different view maybe. I was told it could take a few weeks. As I'm writing this I'm actually feeling a tad more positive, imagine that! I'll do my best to rapidly update my diary on what's going on, if not for everyone else then for myself, it might just be pulling me in the right direction.


My mind.. a place of chaos

Yeah, so I took another trip to the doctor's office today. I've been crying a lot lately, mostly because it feels so.. terrifying to be ignored when I feel like there's something seriously wrong with me. It's not a good feeling. It's like no one cares. It scares the hell out of me, and I've started imagining things. Like brain tumors and what's worse. I'm feeling dizzy, nauseous, sometimes I'm sensitive to light, sometimes it's like I've been staring at the sun for a long time. My right arm have been feeling numb on and off for some days now, and yesterday my right ear felt numb the whole day. Naturally I'm thinking it's something in my head. Thankfully - or whatever you choose to call it - these symptoms come and go, which is a good thing when it comes to the fear of brain tumors, making it much less probable. And I also know that these problems may very well be caused by my stiff neck, and the numb arm is probably caused by a pinched nerve. Most likely even. But the fear is just as real, just as scary.

Seriously, I'm not the kind of person who thinks the worst every time something's a little off, but it's a bit frightening to be me nowadays. I'm unable to control my mind and it keeps inventing these horrible scenarios where I have all kinds of incurable diseases, which in the end will lead to my death. I've never been afraid of dying, not even when I almost did die from severe pneumonia in 2002, but I've suddenly developed this insane fear of dying. I have no idea why, but the fear is there alright.

It really didn't help that I was told to consider getting a tracheotomy because of my lowered pulmonary function. I'm sorry, but that also scares the living shit out of me. Am I to become even more dependent of other people? Am I to become even more dependent of machines and inventions keeping me alive? Sure, I will absolutely consider a tracheotomy if, or even when that's the way to go if I want to keep on breathing, but please let me deal with this at my own pace! I've been told several times during this whole ordeal over the past three months that my pulmonary function has been stable for the last two years at least, so don't come springing this crap on me when I'm already feeling down and afraid there's something seriously wrong with me. Don't you understand that you're adding weight to the already sinking ship? I've been crying a lot lately, and you're not helping.

We have been talking about anxiety. And depression. I don't know what those two things are. Not the faintest idea. I've always considered myself strong and quite impossible to break, but somehow I think I'm broken. Do I have anxiety? I have no idea. Am I depressed? I don't know. How can I know? I spoke to my doctor about this today. He asked me a bunch of questions about how I'm eating, sleeping, feeling and so on. He asked me if I've been thinking about suicide. Suicide? I used to think of suicide as a way out if I was ever forced to live in a retirement home (I was 26 years old) - but no, to me suicide is the easy way out. I would never do that to the people who love me. See, now I'm crying as I write this. I have no idea why. Thinking of hurting my family breaks my heart. Maybe I am depressed? My doctor told me that I scored high on his depression test or whatever, so he wants me to see a psychologist which I'm quite fine with. Am I supposed to feel embarrassed about seeing a shrink? Well, I'm not. If I can talk my way out of feeling like crap, I'm all for it, it's worth a shot.

I like my doctor, he's a nice man. He listened to me. He seemed to understand my fear, and decided to have me get an MRI to rule out any brain tumors - in addition to seeing the psychologist. Maybe that will make me relax a little. I don't know. I'll just have to try to calm down. I know from experience that I'm much more prone to catching illnesses when I'm mentally down, so I need to pick myself up and be happy again. I've also started going to a physiotherapist for my neck problems, so hopefully that will add to the positive side of the scales.

So there you have it. This is the outline of what's been churning inside my head for the last couple of months. I suddenly remembered why I decided to start this diary, so here I am sharing my inner thoughts. Maybe it'll have a therapeutic effect on me. Maybe it'll even help in some weird way. I really don't know anything these days. All I know is that I need to find my way back to my old self again.