Hello, dear readers. i have spent the last couple of days stuck in a terrible state. caught me by surprise and knocked me right off the rails. Here we go…
It started after i went to church on Sunday. i really was not sure how things would go, as i have a lot of ecclesiastical baggage on board, but decided it was something i needed in my life.
Now i know i have said things about the Jesus people in past posts and you might get the impression i am totally against the Sunday gathering place. i am not. I read a book a long time ago that helped me navigate some perilous waters as a young pastor: Well-Intentioned Dragons: Ministering to Problem People in the Church by Marshall Shelley (1985). There are certain people who seem to pop up in every congregation, almost as if it is mandatory.
Let me be clear on another point; i did not meet any dragons on Sunday. Not one. It was a smaller crowd, which is fine by me. Children were present and involved in the service, another plus in my book.
They are between pastors and, no, i am not looking for a job. Retired and planning to stay that way.
So people are taking turns speaking and a older woman (i forget her name) spoke on the need to be kind to others, including those who are not kind to us. Hard to argue with that…another plus. Plusses all over the place.
i was invited to go to the Station Inn for lunch with some of the folks, and lunch is one of my favourite meals, so i was in for that. Lunch was great and we talked about various things. Pretty low key, really.
And then it happened. i must have become nervous at some point about something. I know people were talking about the local hospital, but i really do not remember anything unsettling. But i did notice i was talking…a lot…and fasts…that is what i do when i am nervous. Ok. i talk a lot most of the time, but even more when i am nervous.
i knew i needed to get out of there, so calmly (i hope) i excused myself, saying something about football. Almost forgot to pay my bill. Can you imagine? New guy comes to church, goes for lunch with us and then leaves us to pay his bill! Brother!
Got to the truck, managed to get out of town, and then it hit full tilt. Panic. Massive amounts of salty water spilling down my face. i did not dare to stop driving. All i could think of was rushing to the safety of the house and an afternoon of football.
But i could not find peace at home. i would calm myself down and then, whoosh, another attack. I finally medicated myself after a day-long battle, and went to bed.
Woke up in a panic. Do not know if i was dreaming and woke up in the middle of something or what, but there it was. WTF?
Thankfully Sarah and i were able to connect this morning and that helped a lot. i miss her incredibly when she is not around. Sarah reminded me of some of the things i have been doing well and gave me encouragement. She really is my best friend, and life is easier when you have someone to confide in.
So here i sit, trying to figure it out and i cannot. i thought if i wrote about it, perhaps i would uncover something i missed, but i cannot. And please don’t send me notes telling me what you think it might have been, you Psych 101’ers.
i was so discouraged. Eating properly. Check. Exercise daily. Check. Doing Gratitude stuff. Check. Reading positive, uplifting, helpful stuff. Check.
i am not a screw up. i am not a failure. i am not self-destructive.
i am growing and changing. i am succeeding in so many different areas of my life. i am taking strong, decisive steps toward my own self-care. So i am ok.
There you go. Sometimes life throws the mentally ill a curve ball, just like everyone else. But i made it through. i’m doing what i need to do to get back on track. And i just thought, if you needed a little help, i’d let you know that sometimes, it is just life. Not you. Not someone else. Just life.
i came across a good article which is helping me recover from this latest episode. maybe it will help you too. 11 Tips For Feeling Better After A Panic Attack
Hang in there,