First of all, I’d like to apologize for not having another section of my Defective Detective story here for you guys who enjoyed it. I actually have it mostly written out in my mind, but the reasons will be made clear soon enough. Secondly I’d like to apologize for bringing my personal drama here. I understand that when you go to read a comic the last thing you need is someone bringing you down with their troubles. That being said, this is as close to therapy as I can afford, so please stick with me on this. I would appreciate it very much.
If you’d just as soon not know anything about this part of my life then read no further, I would completely understand if you chose not to.
Those of you who’ve been with me for a long time may remember at the end of the comic’s first story I went to the hospital thinking I was having chest pains. Well, I mean I was having them, they just didn’t have anything to do with heart troubles. They were caused by a very bad panic attack. The worst I’d had in years. It cost a lot of money for a doctor to tell me there was nothing physically wrong with me. A cost that wasn’t offset by insurance, as I have none. Needless to say I am hesitant to return to the arms of the medical community, so now I must suffer without hope of relief.
I’ve had panic attacks since I was 16 or so. For those of you who don’t know, a panic attack is a sudden rush of irrational fear. The causes can be various things, or nothing at all. I’ll try to describe what it’s like:
Try to think of a time when you thought you were in real mortal danger, like you made a bad move in traffic, or something. That moment, when you think you’re about to be hit by another vehicle, is what it’s like to have a panic attack. Except it doesn’t stop. You never get that moment afterwords, when you don’t get struck by an oncoming car, and relief washes over you. Sometimes it only lasts a few moments, and you can get yourself under control, but other times the feeling just goes on and on.
That’s what it was like for me this morning. It was way too early for me to need to get up, but I startled out of my sleep. Everything was cool for a moment, then it started. Suddenly I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Then it spiraled out of control from there. The rational part of my mind knows there shouldn’t be anything wrong with me, but that instinctual voice kept telling me there was. I mean I can’t completely rule out that my situation hasn’t changed since last time. It’s unlikely, but there’s just that sliver of doubt and terror can creep in. It just kept building and building. My heart was pounding, my body was shaking, I felt like I was going to vomit, and it just kept getting worse, which the original panic feeds on. Even as I type this out my body is threatening to start up again. The mere memory can be enough to start another attack. Luckily I don’t have anywhere to be today. I’ve been having “aftershocks”, for lack of a better word, all day. Sudden rushes of shaking and fear. The body can’t keep the the fight of fight response going indefinitely. I’ve been able to get something like sleep in the down moments.
It has not been a good day for me… I kind of knew this was coming though. I had a really bad attack a couple of weeks ago, and a little one a night or so ago. The cycle will likely continue till I can find some way to break it. Last time it was months before I got to a point where everything evened out.
One of the ironic things about all of this is that a lot of my panic attacks are probably caused by being overtired. They happen when I’m all alone, in my bed, trying to rest. So I associate the fear with going to sleep, which makes it hard to rest, which leads to more trouble…
All I really need is an expert to tell me there’s nothing wrong with me, so I know that what’s happening is just regular panic like I’ve dealt with for all these years. As I said, this isn’t an option.
I know that there are people in the world who are way worse off than me. I know I’m not a unique snowflake, going through things that no other human could possibly understand, and I’m trying not to sound whiny. I’m just looking for advice, or insight, or something that will help me make it through these bad times.
Even if you don’t have anything to say, I appreciate that you came this far with me. Thank you very much for reading the comic. My little issues should not affect the posting schedule in any way.