Monday, August 8, 2016

Mad Cow Disease, Lead Poisoning, or Severe Anxiety: Thanks, WebMd

Last night I knew I was feeling anxious before I even got into bed. I can tell now, after years, when I won't be able to sleep without a pill. So I took an Ativan and got into bed. I put a movie on, hoping I'd fall asleep watching it and be able to wake up early to start driving for Lyft. They have a $1,000 guarantee if you do 50 rides in a week, restarting every monday while promotion lasts. I need the money to pay my first month's rent when I arrive in Paris.

2 hours later the movie was over and I was an anxious wreck in my bed. I'd never experienced a pill not working. I take them sparingly, only when I anticipate an attack coming on or when I start to have one. It wasn't helping. My body was hurting, feeling tight through every joint and muscle, and I couldn't stop moving. I tried to tap. "I am safe. I am ok. I am safe. I am in my body. I am safe." I repeated as I tapped the anchor spot between my ring finger and pinky knuckles. It wasn't working.

I was so exhausted I began to drift off, uncomfortably, and fall into a nightmare. I woke a few moments later to the sound of my voice screaming at myself to wake up. It's the only way I've figured out how to wake myself from a nightmare.

I began to cry. I couldn't figure out why I was crying, so I tried to go over the events of the day. Everything that happened was sad, especially my niece's face when we talked about my leaving. Somewhere in the wee hours, hot tears stinging my face, I fell back asleep and into another nightmare. There was an intruder in my home. They were getting closer to me, their wild eyes piercing mine. "Wake up!" I yelled, and finally I did. At this point I knew that staying awake was the only way to survive. I felt sick to my stomach and considered going to the bathroom and trying to vomit, but I haven't puked in a decade and I know my body just doesn't work that way.

Starting to sweat, I threw the covers off of me. Derby at the foot of the bed was too close to me, I wanted to be alone and uncovered to deal with this. I started to get goosebumps and shivers though I was still sweating. I drifted in and out, the time I was in nightmares eclipsing the time I was awake. The anxiety carried over into the dreams. It hurts my entire body. The nausea carried over.

In my dreams the world was ending and no one could do anything about it. The sea had been sucked up into the sky, and we were constantly in darkness, the dense blue green of the salty water covering the sun and the moon. We were waiting for it to drop and drown us all. Planes were crashing into buildings. There was nothing to be done. I was alone with a man who, in waking life, I know is not interested in me. And it was the one piece of joy I could feel in a world doomed for destruction.

I woke up at 10:30am to a text message. I was drenched in sweat, my clothes and hair soaked through, shivering cold and wet. Three hours later than I had intended to wake and feeling awful. My tongue was numb and tingling. Is. My tongue is numb and tingling. My fingers are numb and tingling. My head is pounding and I can barely open my eyes except in darkness. The migraine is here.

I start to cry again, hopeless. I checked my barrage of emails and messages realizing I couldn't handle any of it today. I can barely keep my eyes open. I can barely think straight. I go to webmd and put in my plethora of symptoms. I'm not surprised that, among things that I am surely not suffering from, severe anxiety is listed. The numbness, tingling and migraines are new symptoms for me, I usually just get the fear of impending death, loss of breath, terror, and pain in my joints and muscles. I've been suffering from those symptoms intermittently for years. Like when I ran all the way down and across Manhattan one fourth of July without telling anyone I was leaving while suffering a panic attack. If I hit all the possible symptoms do I get a prize? Will I spontaneously combust?

The numbness (especially in my fingers) and the migraine are making it difficult to type this, but I am hoping to get some relief by puking it all out. It's exactly 7 weeks and 1 day from my departure to Paris. I have nowhere to stay, no job lined up, no potential means of income, my Dad is barely talking to me and still forbids me to go, and so much to do here before I leave to set things up to run smoothly for Brunch Club that I am completely overwhelmed and paralyzed. I am unable to do anything in this state. 

I think this particular attack started yesterday when I stopped by the atm to check my balance. I said aloud "No" in the vestibule before walking home and doing all the math in my head. I do not have enough money to stay anywhere when I arrive. What a fucking failure I am, 32 with absolutely no money. How close I am to being homeless myself. Will I sleep at the train station when I get to Paris? The tears are stuffing up my sinuses with snot and adding so much pressure to my head that it feels like it's packed, inch by inch, so heavy I can barely keep it upright on my wavering neck. It feels like I'm trying to balance the world on a toothpick. I just can't do it.

I'm scared, angry and can barely see or think. I'm cold, hot don't know what to do about this attack that's now lasted longer than any I've ever had. I'd call my therapist but she'd tell me to take Ativan, and I did that, remember?

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