Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When Anxiety Attacks

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Like many days of the week where we have a writing topic in play, we end up switching gears to address things that are vexing to us, if only to clear out the space for concerns and topics of other natures; like more stories about our life to help us heal, and interests such as hopes and fears, relationships, therapy, art, entertainment, social mediaopinions, reading and writing, food, music, life, and endless ranges of interests that encompass our mind, and daily life.

Writing makes us feel good, we find comfort in written words; playing with them, rearranging them, using them to convey our feelings, emotions and thoughts; it's really one of the reasons we like Twitter so much, and why we write everyday.

On Tuesdays we have one-and-a-half to two hour deep tissue massage therapy session to address the pain that riddles our body from our car accident. Today was our third session.

The first two sessions were wonderful, and really helped take away much of the pain that had accumulated over the years, and some of the new pain. Pain The Other Girl covered up the last two years by smoking copious amounts of marijuana, a habit we kicked just under two months ago. Within days of cessation the pain began to seep in, and within a couple of weeks it felt like we'd been hit by a bulldozer, which when coupled with our mental illnesses, and all the havoc that that issue has created recently with former friends and lovers, just about killed us.

The pain was making us near crippled, so badly so, that practical strangers could could see the anguish, not flash, but radiate, from our face and body. We could barely make the short walk home, and we didn't want to live anymore. A sufferer of chronic pain that we encounter each week suggested we might have Fibromyalgia, which makes sense because it's chronic pain and we harbor most of the symptoms. Wonderful.

The first two sessions of these past two weeks have done wonders for taking the edge off of the pain, providing almost complete relief for a 20 minute period following each tremendously painful massage. If you've never had a deep tissue massage, then you might not understand how painful they can be. It has taken the crippled feeling out of our life, but the pain still ebbs and flows, rising to it's peak by the end of the day on some days.

Todays session left us very uncomfortable because of an anxiety attack, however, and this was disheartening.

About three-quarters of the way through our massage, we felt the creep of anxiety. It started around the edges of our brain and can only be described as a feeling like the walls of our cranium are caving inward. Darkness falls. The feeling causes our heartbeat to rise, or breath to become short, and our head to fill with swirling static, not unlike a lethargic tornado. We actually don't know if this is what anxiety is, we only know that this is how we describe that uncomfortable feeling that makes us fight back tears of fear when we become scared of the combinations of these events taking place within our body. Sometimes you can see it in our eyes. We have very expressive eyes.

We lay there on the massage table, with this near stranger attempting to remove the pain from our body, while causing great pain at the same time. We are suddenly uncomfortable and want him to leave. He tries to talk to us when we are not screaming "mother of god" or cursing under our breath; or yelling "fuck off" at on of our cat who is making distractions and increasing the swirl in our head. This causes the massage therapist to laugh. He doesn't understand. Did we mention he comes to our home to provide this service? It's the best.

On normal days we are chatty, sometimes we fade in and out of consciousness, on the edges of our mind we see #hashtags and in-vision Facebook messages from the man we love, that we know we will never receive. It's almost like a dream state; a state hard achieved these days when we can barely get more than 4 hours of sleep, but for the weekends, when we can pull a solid 6 from somewhere, magically. Insomnia. Time doesn't exists. But it did today.

We are no stranger to anxiety, and The Other Girl suffered from it long before we did. Behtany recalls their first anxiety attack, at 18 years of age, while attending a street festival with a boyfriend, TOGs first love, prior to meeting The Ex Husband. She remembers experiencing feelings in their head which made them angry; that made them want to scream at and shove people in the crowd. 

These days most of our anxiety comes from going to work and dealing with the public; and sometimes being out in public in general. It doesn't always happen. Lately it happens more because we are afraid of the people from our Home, who might verbally attack us in public, who may have found this blog already and put the pieces together connecting us to it; because they don't understand who we are, or what has happened to us now, and they don't believe we are ill - they only know that The Other Girl has disappeared, and they think we are her.

This anxiety attack tonight made us very sad, we hope it doesn't continue. We felt we needed to write about it because we know some of our readers experience these feelings, and it's nice to find out you are not alone. For everyone else, even if you can't grasp from these words how it might feel to have an anxiety attack, a storm ready to cascade over you; it can help you understand that the person who lashed out at you today, might just be trying to weather the storm they see on the horizon with their minds eye; and it's really not you that they are mad at; but sometimes it is.

Written by "Stabby" (he will not give us his name yet)

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