Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Night's Recap

Set out for my early morning walk with my headphones on and the Walkman tuned to Coast to Coast AM. It was our coldest morning yet with temps in the upper thirties. I was bundled in my heavy green fleece pullover and a pair of gray fleece lined sweat pants. I passed through the neighborhood that never sleeps as there is always a party going on. The police had arrived at one house with a woman fighting and screaming on the front porch. I shuddered to think that my life used to be like that when I was married. "I am going to kick your mother f--cking ass," she kept screaming drunkenly at what I presumed was her husband or boyfriend. I quickly put that neighborhood behind me and walked down into the mill village.

I often worry about walking at night that I could be seen as suspicious. Here I am. A white guy walking through a predominately black neighborhood way after midnight. I usually just shrug it off though and keep walking. I am harmless. Most people are asleep at 3 AM in the morning. The police usually ignore me.

I walked on down to my favorite park and took a seat. The skyline over the old abandoned cotton mill shone orange in the overcast from the lights of our city. The big oak's leaves soon beginning to show fall color stood stalwartly over me. The lone monument to industrial men long dead stood beside me like some blackened monolith. Breaks in the clouds showed stars and I thought wistfully of the many more lives out there undiscovered. We are not alone, I mused. I then lit a cigarette and thought of last night.

Last night I had another anxiety attack. They seem to be getting better -- not being as severe. My mother came over to give me my medications and crawled into the bed with me. I refused to take them fearing they are the cause for my attacks. "You sure you don't want to take them?" she said of my medications countless times almost pleadingly. "I feel they are causing me to get sick," I replied. Mom held my hand as we lay there and Maggie was in between us. Maggie kept trying to goose my mother in the face and it made me smile despite feeling terrible. It served to help me feel better. Finally, mom left taking those medications with her asking me one more time if I would take them fearing my father's wrath. I said, "No, mom. You're are going to cause me to have another attack."

Later, my father showed up to give them to me once again -- ever determined those damned medications are the key to my good being. It was almost midnight and I had gotten some sleep. I was feeling better and begrudgingly agreed to take them. He tuned the television to football which completely got on my nerves as my father has grown hard of hearing and plays the volume very loud.

"Your just having withdrawals from alcohol," my father told me over the loud din of the T.V. "Trust me. I am your pharmacist and the medications aren't causing your attacks."

"I would rather speak to my doctor about it, though," I said.

"You don't trust me???" he asked with an astonished and incredulous look on his face.

"I just think my doctor knows better," I replied. "I don't want to be on so many meds."

I gave in and took them causing me to feel so anxious I was going to have another attack. I never did and went to sleep it being well after midnight waking up around 2 AM. My father giving me a long hug and telling me he was bringing me a meal tomorrow.

I finally left that park forgetting about the time change. I had gained one hour tonight and I was going to use it to get some more sleep. I had also grown very cold. I trudged on home, through the mill village, and up through my home's neighborhood like some lost soul wandering through the night. Some dark, silent sentinel watching over the world as it sleeps. Onwards, ever, to Bethlehem, or should I say home?


July said...

Nice to have an extra hour.. unless you work graveyard like Be careful in the dark.

Summer said...

Morning Andrew. I hope this day finds you at peace. Would you consider posting pictures of the places you describe in your posts?

Mary said...

Morning walks are calming even in the cold. Being cold then getting warm and cozy may help you have a long peaceful nap. I hope so. Have a good day, Andrew. It's a struggle but you're on the right road.

CJM-R said...

Just a reminder that Joni is on CBS Morning show today! That should be inspirational!

Take care,

Anonymous said...

Have u heard of something called Pranayam? If not check it out and try and practice it diligently..might help with the anxiety attacks ! Good luck!

Josie Two Shoes said...

Good Morning Andrew! I was sorry to read that you had another rough night, but you got thru it, and I was happy that you and your father are back on peaceful terms. I was very proud of you for telling him how you feel about the medications. I do think you should review them with your doctor at your next appointment, that way you can be certain it's the best plan. Your early morning walks always sound so peaceful. I love being out by myself. I hope you slept better when you got home!

Anonymous Boxer said...

Have you ever looked up your meds on the Internet to see the possible side effects?

I believe "information is power" and you should talk to your Doctor about any question... small or big.. that you have.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Kelly Jene said...

Great post Andrew, the imagery is hauntingly beautiful. Definitely talk to you doctor. If you can lower your medication or find some other alternative, it relieve your mind. Or maybe you'd find out its not causing your attacks.

rody said...


Anonymous said...

Hi Andrew!
I am new to your blog. I was passing through and started to read and now I look forward each day to follow your progress. I noticed you were having some problems with panic attacks and that stopped me in my tracks as I read how uncomfortable you are. I saw the video you made during one of your attacks and I wanted to send you an email but you it seems the link is gone. I have had panic attacks for MANY years --they make you feel miserable. As I continued to read your blog, I thought I might be able to share with you.
If someone hasn't already told you, it's best to TRY and stop the panic as soon/or at the very moment you feel it kicking in. I attended many support groups over the years and someone told me to wear a rubber band on my wrist at all times (thin or thick - doesn't matter). When you feel the panic about to start, snap the rubber band -- it helps to take your attention away from the awful feelings and bring you back into the moment by a simple snap of the band -- it's worth a try, right? If you decide to put your email link back, I will be only too happy to share all I can with you in hopes that you can find a bit of relief. Until then, my thoughts and prayers are with you, give yourself some credit, I think you are doing just fine!

Grad007 said...

Hey Andrew,

You're pretty good-looking that new profile picture of yours! :-)

amelia said...

Stick to your guns about seeing your doctor and see him ALONE!!!

Your father has waaaaayyyyy to much control over you!!!

Whitney said...

I have heard of people talking themselves out of panic attacks. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about them and how you can talk yourself out of them. I used to get them bad right after I had my first child, but fortunately they eventually went away and I haven't had one in quite a while.

Tee said...

Try the rubberband trick. It's worth a try and it's CHEAP, there are not side effects, so go for it. I hate this slow time. I wish we would stay on daylight savings time year round. It will be pitch dark by 6:00 p.m. this evening and by the middle of Dec. it will be dark by 5:30 p.m. Depressing!

Cheryl said...

HI Andrew,

Whew...I've had a day. I'll try to write later, but just wanted to stop by because I was thinking of you. Are you going to write tonight?

SOUL: said...

just cruisin through, thought i would say hello!
hope you have a better night tonight.
take care

Barb said...


I visited the Homeless Guy's blog before yours, and listened to Tanya Watt's song, Comberland Angels...Wow, it hit me between the eyes, being reminded that we are living as we are, with no guarentee! Damn!!!

Knowing you, has opened my eyes, and put me on a new plane. You have made the difference in someone's life, and I thank you.

B~ Feel strength knowing you strengthen others!!!

Summer said...

I'm hoping that your day has been better than your night. Be careful when you're out walking late. It makes me nervous for you just thinking about it. Must be the mother in me. I loved reading how your mother laid next to you in the bed until you felt better. Your mom loves you more than you know.

Sweet dreams to night.

Leann said...

I enjoyed the extra hour to sleep in this morning.

I hope the day brought you less anxiety and a peacefulness you've been missing.

I too enjoyed the thought of your Mom laying with you to make you feel better. Hope you get a peaceful nights sleep.


This was a beautiful post dear Mr 4th!!!
How did Joyce do this weekend?
I'm glad that you stuck up for yourself with your dad, just because you want to speak with your doc about the meds does not mean that you don't trust your only means that you're trying to improve yourself by yourself...
Hope tonight holds well for you. How about Rosa? Anything new with her?

Lynette said...

I read the whole weekend's posts. It seems to me that on the balance sheet you came out well to the positive. Passing up the beer was a major success. It sounds like you managed your concerns with your Dad pretty well too. I am glad for you.

Le Fleur said...

I'm glad to hear that your mother is such a blessing and I agree that you should talk to your doctor about your medication. No one knows everything.

The extra hour is not very good for me, my body thinks I should be asleep now and its only 9:15. I'll get used to it though.

Anyhow, I hope you get to ditch some of those meds when you see your doctor because I always thought drugs were killers. Be well, luv :)

Anonymous said...

Andrew, your father is not your enemy. He just wants what is best for you, and I'm sure has seen the downward spiral when you are off medications. Who can possibly care more about your well-being than a parent?

PipeTobacco said...


Although I think you likely will not pay heed to my suggestion, here it is anyway:

I think that the interaction between you and your father is unhealthy. He is a PHARMACIST. That is NOT A MEDICAL DOCTOR. He is doing very inappropriate things by changing, altering, and modifying your medications.

I wish you would speak to your medical doctor/psychiatrist and take ONLY the medication HE/SHE prescribe for you. Your father may THINK he is doing good... but dammnit, switching and modifying your medication like that is not good or appropriate. You know that is the truth.

I wish you would also have your doctor/psychiatrist help you get your designated payee changed.

If you were to do the above two things, your relationship with your father would become more loving and appropriate for a father and son.

Please consider what I am suggesting.


P.S. Your mother, in my eyes, is very much a "saint" for you. Rely on her love as you struggle to get the above under control.

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kicking.and.screaming said...

tsk.. to be a boy. to not fear for safety..