The absolute worst thing in the world for me about panic attacks, is not the attack itself, but the 3-4 days of pain and suffering that inevitably follow.
With the blessed help of the coping skills I learned in therapy, changing my lifestyle and from my thorough absorption of meditation techniques I learned from reading Eckhart Tolle's book The Power of Now: A New Earth, I've been able to reduce the number of panic attacks I typically get from several a month to now having them once or twice per year. BUT, that almost means that when they come on, they're real doozies, and the affect they have on me is magnified exponentially.
This one happened on Sunday. As you've possibly even noticed, I haven't been very good at posting here lately. I've not just been busy, but I'm fighting off a new bout of depression. My monster is rearing it's ugly head, and there's no good rhyme or reason for it, he's just uneasy.
And while for the most part, I've been successful at keeping him at bay, it's taking every ounce of spare energy I've had to battle him.
Sunday, I got overwhelmed with the tidying and the cleaning. Seems to me that whenever I have a breakdown it's related in some way to cleaning. Every corner I went to was piled with stuff. And let me be clear that compared to some houses I've seen, even on our worst day, it's not "that" bad. But it got to me - I was overwhelmed, and I snapped. The panic attack took over and I struggled to breath, felt dizzy. Couldn't control it with my normal coping mechanisms, so I took my ativan and sat the hell down for a few minutes. I still managed to get toys sorted and put away, and played with my daughter, entertained friends for a quick short fathers day visit and put dinner on the table. AND THAT'S WHEN I GOT HIT WITH THE CRAPPY PART.
Aftershocks suck. They're not really panic attacks. They're just the residual suffering your body undergoes to heal itself from the damage done by the attack itself. I've been foggy for 2 days. My jaw hurts so bad, it feels like I've been hit upside the face with a 2x4 by Iron Man. My face is actually bruised along the jaw line and my teeth feel like they're about to fall out. My left shoulder joint is achier. My back and shoulders are as tight as boards.
All this, from a silly panic attack. The only saving grace is that they happen once or twice a year. And despite how awful I feel, I actually feel grateful that I'm aware of how my body is lying to me as it heals itself. Otherwise I would think I was having an actual heart attack.
This is how you get paid for life in the fast lane. Assuming you're not dealing with an addiction too, the truth is even average jane doe's with busy lives and no time to love themselves pay a price. This is the price - I'm not convinced it's worth it.