Tuesday, June 1, 2010

glimmers of hope

It was a long Memorial Day weekend. In many ways delightful, in other ways exhausting, which is generally the way my life works. We were visiting friends on Fire Island—the weather was stunning, the beach perfect, we slept at night listening to the ocean. Delicious food (I'm a sucker for grilled vegetables), good conversation, naps in the afternoon. The more challenging parts: one child suffering miserably with allergies. The lovely cherry blossom petals fluttering down in the breeze, which reminded us of a summer snowstorm, had her eyes swollen and itchy the entire time. Nose stuffed, down on sleep. It wasn't pretty. And my other child had issues with never going on vacation with his friends. He was the younger sibling, the only boy, and while most of the time he was having lots of fun, there was also plenty of grumbling to go along with it all. Plus, I started my anti-anxiety meds on Friday and in retrospect, that was really stupid. Starting something new, something I was incredibly nervous about while far from home, out of my routines? Recipe for disaster. In the end, I handled it ok, with moments here and there bordering on panic.

But, I didn't fall over the edge.

Which brings me to this morning. I woke up several times—hot, sweaty, sticky from an ultra muggy night. But, at some point, as the sky was getting lighter, a cool breeze wafted through the window. It was 5:37 and I was thrilled that I had more time to sleep. Yes, thrilled. Happy. Gleeful. Enthusiastic.

I hadn't felt that way in a really long time.

I basked in that for awhile, delighted to be without the anxious edge that's overtaken everything.

Am I still that way? No. I think after I take the meds I get very jittery for awhile, whether real or imagined I'm not quite sure. I'm on the tail end of it now and am hoping it fades soon.

It's better than it was half an hour ago.

But this anxiety is revved up without the dread knotted in the bottom of my stomach. It's more like after drinking too much caffeine. Which is why I don't drink caffeine anymore.

My dream is calm.

I'm hoping I'm on the right road.


Bridget said...

Hearfelt good wishes are with you.
After suffering panic attacks 3-4x/yr beginning in 1987, I finally found out in 2001 that lorazepam helped. But when the attacks started occurring 3-4x/wk in August 2008, lorazepam was no longer reasonable. I began an SSRI while on vacation that fall. FUN!
The side effects wigged me out for months--not having nervous energy made me feel not "myself." But being able to function outside of the safety of my house was wonderful. I accidently went off the SSRI the summer of 2009 and found I no longer needed it.
Point is, bear with the side effects if you can; it may not need to be a permanent treatment, but even if it is, that's okay.
I now use SRT and have begun acupuncture (and the very occasional lorazepam) to deal with anxiety, but I'm glad I chose to use Citalopram to get through a really bad time.

Bridget said...

Also, I think it is helpful to share stuff like this, Elissa. SO many people deal with these issues and it's important to talk about them. I

Michelle said...

Hang in there, Elissa! The fact that you are seeing glimmerings of hope is definitely a good thing, and hopefully, the SSRI are only for the short-term. I cannot express how much I admire you for baring your soul to your readers. Your words help me get through my day, especially when times get tough.