Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Of Parks and Clerks and Cameras

Had another anxiety attack last night.  It corresponded with me drinking two regular caffeine filled cokes. Won't do that again. The attack went full force when I was at the grocery store and I left a buggy of food as I ran out and drove home panicked.  Dad bought my groceries noticing the cart, and came and sat with me until it passed.

"Dad, I need to call 911," I said pleadingly. "They will give me a shot to calm me down."

"No," he said. "You just sit with me and calm down."

Dad talked to me for what was close to hour -- the talking really helped.  He was already exhausted from working all day and I felt terrible for holding him up.  Dad had also brought my camera which was a complete surprise.  I thought the order had been canceled because the camera was on backorder. I began to "play" as soon as I got to feeling better -- this camera being very much like my old one with similar menus and buttons.

Set out for my nightly walk around 1 AM.  My favorite convenience store clerk greeting me when I walked in. It was a cold, starry night perfect for radiational cooling thus the cold, and the warmth of the convenience store was welcoming. We got on the subject of A.A. after I mentioned something about going as I stood there drinking some decaf.  I had said many of the clerk's patrons needed to go with the drunken antics he is always reveling me in.

"Does it really keep you sober?" the clerk asked me.

"You do all the hard work, but the meetings help," I replied. "I helps in that you don't feel so alone in your struggles."

"I've always wanted to go sit in one of those meetings," he then said.

"You can sit in any open meeting," I replied. "No one will say anything to you about being there."

I left my favorite clerk and headed for my favorite little park. I took a seat on a dark bench and lit a cigarette -- the smoke billowing around my face as I drank my hot decaf.  I prayed that another anxiety attack wouldn't happen.  They are such terrible ordeals to experience and are downright scary. I was so relived to be feeling better.  I sat for what seemed like hours as I watched cars parade by on the highway. Far off in the distance a train horn wailed and made me feel lonely.

There was a strange smell in the park -- a noxious smell of rotting flesh and vomit.  It made me nauseous.  Was unsure if it was my schizophrenia or not. I sat breathing through my mouth as I struggled to read an A.A. pamphlet in the dark about sponsorship I had picked up in a meeting yesterday and put in my backpack.  I sorely need a sponsor and some guidance about obtaining one.

Finally, I walked on home wishing I could sleep.  I seem to go through these spells of insomnia.  I am just exhausted after that anxiety attack last night feeling like I have been run over by a very large truck. I fear something is bad wrong with me as I feel another coming on as I write this.


Hope Springs said...

Sorry to hear you had another panic attack especially after you were feeling better. Mind you, I feel tense after fully caffeinated drinks but I can't imagine how you felt. I gave up caffeine completely a while ago and I think I am actually more sensitive to caffeine as a result.

Good luck with finding a sponsor. I didn't realise you have to get one yourself. So, good luck.

mapiprincesa! said...

My thoughts are with you. It sounds so petty and small...but deep breaths. In the meantime, I look forward to more pictures.

The smell you mention reaches my nose as I read you. It continues to live in my memory from my muggy N'awlins days, where I used to live just off the Audubon Park--of course, when living just off the Quarter, it just smelled like vomit. And urine. Ugh--I really feel for you there...when you feel such an assault on all your senses, that can be a powerful depressant.

Be well. Leaving you with peace--

philth said...

Andrew - you're doing so well - stick with it buddy!

Keep safe.

KYRIE said...

I hope u are feelin better Andrew right now. Insomnia can be such a bitch I know :)
Andrew, I dont know how helpful this is, but a friend once told me tht he used to write some inspiring quotes or phrases on his wrist, so when he gets panicked in public places , he tries to focus his mind on those words.

Terri said...

I've never had an anxiety attack but was there for a friend when she had one. It was scary. I'm glad you came out of it and dad was there for you. Where's Rosa been. You seemed happier and more relaxed when she was around...

justLacey said...

Those panic attacks can sneak up on you, but considering all you have had on your mind you are doing well. I know you must worry about the job thing in your own mind and anything that is weighing on your mind can do it. The caffeine doesn't help either. It's good for now to cut it down. When you stop having them you can have a little if you miss it. You have had a lot of struggles lately so don't let this discourage you. It will pass when you are more settled and less worried. I promise. I have switched from panic attacks to migraines in my later years. Lately I have had a lot. Stress brings them out more and hopefully in a few months things will be better and they will be less. You really haven't had anyone to talk to about your anxieties. You write them down and tell them to us, but that is kind of a one way deal.

kathyann said...

Just came across your blog by accident ,so glad I did .I used to suffer with panic attack's,couldn't stand in queues for too long as I could feel one starting and had to get out .I started to carry a brown paper bag with me and when I felt one coming on I'd go back to the car or go into the nearest toilets or just somewhere quiet and breathed into the bag until my breathing slowed down and I was calmer.I also cut down on the amount of coffee I was drinking and had juice or hot chocolate,that seemed to help.I do feel for you ,you will get over this , and good luck with the job hunting ,keep the faith and something will turn up .Take care,love and blessings ,Kathyann.(meg's mum's muffins)

Jenn said...

That sounds scary. Hope you have a better day today :)

Scott said...

I hope you feel better!

Josie Two Shoes said...

Sending lots of positive energy your way, Andrew. I hope you are resting peacefully by now. It was good of your Dad to sit with you while you calmed down. I know that panic attacks can be so scarey. Don't worry about the next one, focus on finding your peaceful place within. Just as you said in this post - you have to do all the hard work... but you're doing it, day by day, and also reaching out to friends for support - that's healthy! We love you!

The Bad Ambassador said...

Hi Andrew,

Hang in there buddy. Just look at all these people thinking of you and holding you in their thoughts.

In awe of your writing, I began my own blog today. Not that I imagine it will be as popular as yours. Just though you should know that what you are writing here does have an effect on people. Keep it up.

The Bad Ambassador


I'm sorry that you're going through this!!!

But, I have to say I'm glad what your dad a parent I'd do the same thing with my boys..

oh, and Happy Halloween!!!
Crusty~ :)
great great posts these past days..Fabulous!


p.s. I like the donation thing...very very good idea!!
How long does it for you to receive the donation is it through pay pal? :)

Le Fleur said...

I haven't been reading of late and I'm very sorry that you haven't been having such a great time. (((hugs))) Wish I could give you a few real ones :)

Ilene said...

Hi Andrew,
I'm Ladeda's sister. Just wondering what happened to the animal shelter and hospital volunteer job. You haven't spoken about them lately.

Portia said...

i'm sorry you have to deal with anxiety attacks. i think you are definitely onto something in noticing to correlation to the cokes. caffeine and sugar DRASTICALLY affect me in many ways. but i know how hard it is to change eating habits (i still consume a lot of both daily) so i'll just leave it at that. anyway, i'm glad your dad was there to help you through it. good luck with the sponsor!

Daniela said...

My name is Daniela.
From Italy.
I have happened by chance in your blog...
Compliment, you have a beautiful blog!
Excuse me, but I don't write very well in english...

Anonymous Boxer said...

Decaf, friend, decaf.

So sorry about the attack - I know they come out of the blue, when least expected.

Kelly Jene said...

I'm sorry about the panic attack. I have had a couple in my life and I remember it being horrible and frightening. I'm glad your dad was there for you. Take care and stick with decaf okay!