Saturday, September 15, 2007

That Old Crutch of Mine

I watch from this bedroom window as my neighbor goes to get breakfast every morning like clockwork at 5:30 AM. She will soon arrive home with a McDonald's or Krystal's bag in hand as she escapes back into her house to eat. It reminds me of routines and how integral they are to my life. Breakfast around here is usually served around 7:00 AM. Rosa will sleepily awake to walk into the kitchen finding me scrambling eggs or frying sausage as Maggie lies on the floor hungrily awaiting table scraps. We will sit and eat and then go crawl back into the bed for a few more hours. This morning was the same. I cooked and then Rosa washed up to then find us curled up in the bed holding each other.

"You feeling better?" she asked me amid plush covers.

"I feel scary," I said, lying on my back. "I worry the panic attack is going to come back."

"I can't imagine what you go through. You don't talk about it much."

"Last night I was desperate. I thought I was going to die."

"Next time, let's go to the hospital to have you checked out. That is not normal."

My family tries to assure me it is just a simple panic attack. There is nothing simple about my mental illness though. It is a complex series of events that will leave me exhausted and mentally bereft. I am scared to bother others and will not call 911 -- afraid I will just be seen as attention seeking. I could have used a shot of something strong to alleviate the symptoms last night though.

Soon, Rosa was snoring again. I have never heard a woman snore so much. It doesn't bother me. It is actually rather comforting as it is soft and not loud. Kind of like heavy breathing. I looked over and brushed the hair out of her face and pulled the covers tightly around her.

"Sleep well, my cherub," I told her quietly.

I lay there thinking and realized I would always drink beer when I got to feeling this way -- mentally unfit. The alcohol would calm me and the time would fly by. I would end up drunk and depressed for yet another day. Usually, to drink and drive to buy more. I long for a drink right now. My escape. They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I realized my pattern of drinking was insane as well, but when my prescribed medications don't work, I seek out other avenues of help to alleviate my pain. Oh, to be curled up on the couch with a case of beer and a Saturday filled with football. That malty goodness sliding down my throat and chasing away what ails me. The rush of inebriation as I escape my reality and the dourness that can be my life. Soothing. Calming. Drunken bliss. I want to forget my days ever happened and a case of beer will allow this.

I can't drink normally though. I drank only to get drunk -- one beer after another like some madman spurred on by an insatiable desire. My whole life will fall apart around me and the castle of beer cans sitting on my couch side table -- a monument to my sickness and the desire to wallow in self pity. One day at a time as they say in AA. I don't always have to abstain, but I choose to abstain today. Just one day. I can handle that. I can't imagine going the rest of my life without drinking, though.


KYRIE said...

It has been generally a crappy week, my blogger friend (:
I am sorry to hear you had such horrible day yesterday.
Take care of urself okay.

Maybe next week will be a better one, I hope for u, for me, for all those who had it bad this week.

SOUL: said...

it's so good that you write these things here. it seems that the power gets strangled from those desires... at times... when we admit them. weather we say it or write it.... and trust me.. i kNOW that many of what you write about... is just (for us) better left "unsaid" sometimes.

one day... one minute... one second.. at a time, my brotha.
you know the alternative is not your saving grace, but your destruction.

hang tight to those you love and who love you.

and keep writing.
get that fishin license!

Josie Two Shoes said...

Amen to what Soul said...
"one day... one minute... one second.. at a time, my brotha.
you know the alternative is not your saving grace, but your destruction." You CAN abstain for just one day, today! :-) I can understand how scary last night must have been for you, we don't often speak of the fears that terrify us, the worries for our future that we share with no one. But you are better today than you were last night, and if you can realize that you do get better again after going thru a bad time, you will see that there is always hope for the future. Fear is our worst enemy, it robs us of today. Have courage, Andrew... you have been here before and gotten thru it, and you will again. Get out for a little fresh air maybe? (((Hugs)))

mosiacmind said...

wow can i relate to what you wrote both about the panic attack and the day after. it is amazing to me how many people who come to the rooms of na or aa have deal with issues such as panic attacks or bipolar and such.i know even though at first i did not think it would help many times just sitting on my porch helps or at times i just need to crash on my bed or couch. i know that with our minds we can think that it would be so so so much easier to use but we know that in the long run it is not.thinking about you...i hope that your day is full of peace and what you need for it to be...

Eric said...

There is no way I can honestly understand the struggles you go through daily. I applaud your continued success. This line is the most telling of all as the example of the success you are making: "...but I choose to abstain today."

Anonymous said...

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Dave said...

I can only try to imagine what you go through. One thing that brings me back here is your honesty about life. You are perceptual. All the best as you live your life day by day.

The Talker said...

Hardest part of life, is being candid, with ones self. You made the right path choices here, from the rocky ones. Success to you.

The Psychics Blog -
The Healers Blog -
Razors Edge -
Razors Edge Two -
Nothing But The Truth -
The Ancient One Speaks -
See What I See -
Peaceful Warrior -

Ropheka said...

Nice Blog :)

Cheryl said...

I can't imagine starting my day off with McDonald's, or getting up for breakfast and then going back to bed. But we all have our routines, and this panic is definitely not a part of yours, and I know you like routine. I can tell from your comments how many people suffer from panic. Pretty amazing. You're doing your best, and it will get better. You got through today.

Has the weather been beautiful where you are? I'd love to hear you describe a walk. What's it like by the river where Ferret camped out?

Lara said...

Just keep going one day at a time. We all have our issues that require that perspective... yours are just more visible.

Just remember how many people are rooting for you... there's no need to be embarrassed when your body fails you... just be proud when you are able to stand up to its failures. You made it another day. Congratulations.

Thank you for the bravery you show in sharing your tough times with us. You'll be in my prayers.

chumly said...

I agree, but somehow one day at a time got me 17 years so far. Stick with hugging Rosa not beers.
Find a special friend to talk to about your ups and downs, there are plenty of us out there. Keep writing and blogging, it is one of the best things you can do.

Sir James E. Watkins said...

Overcoming adversity, I know it well.

You write.

Me too.

Experience the promise, the Promise of Light:

Tee said...

You are making the right choices. One day at a time. Keep making them.

Anonymous said...

I've visited this blog for a few months. I've never left a comment until now. Are you faking out your readers? I think you're trying to. You've written a story, not a true blog of YOUR life. Am I right.

Nikita1 said...

well done, Andrew for abstaining!! keep going like that! You're a winner!!

EE said...

I have panic attacks, too. My current medication (Effexor) has been a life saver.
I rarely drink nowdays, because I too have a hard time stopping at one. You're doing a great job abstaining. Keep it up!

Matt said...

My first panic attack occurred in a nice restaurant with a group of friends. I felt like I was holding on to a live wire my arms were tingling so badly. They had to take me out on a stretcher in an ambulance. While drinking can alleviate the symptoms, I have found nothing brings on my panic attacks worse then a bad hangover.