Monday, October 04, 2010

trigger at the store

today is no bueno. i can already tell. okay, i don't want to set myself up for a self fulfilling prophecy, which i am prone to (thank God my general disposition is one of cheer and optimism) but i have felt from the get-go that today i was out of sorts. i have been taking the 20 mg of celexa for few weeks now and i am starting to tell that it is regulating in my system and it is not enough. however to get the dose adjusted i have been encouraged to see a psychiatrist and was given a name and number of a good one. the hitch is that an agoraphobic must leave the house to get help! i must continue to find humor in this irony. i had another panic episode this weekend, which is always discouraging.

let me back up and tell a small back-story to explain part of the panic attack. last week a neighbor invited augustine over for a play date. i don't know the mom all that well but we get along really well at the bus stop and we seem to have a lot in common, as do our sons. so leading up to the playdate on friday, wherein she was going to pick augustine and her son up from school i was feeling a little tense arranging how to get augustine back home. my natural preference would be to have her walk/drive him home (they live on our street but down a few blocks) as it is kind of a crap-shoot how i will feel venturing from the house. and given my history to have my anxiety ramp up when i *have* to go somewhere i thought it best to just be upfront about my needs and limitations and ask her to bring him home. i felt like hyperventilating a little bit as we were talking, knowing i wanted to bring up "my situation" but then i felt this sense of calm come over me and i felt, instead of talking about that that God was telling me to invite her to church with us! i was like umm okay... here goes. keep in mind i know nothing of this friend's spiritual leanings so it was kind of awkward but hey, we are called into weirdness when we are called into a relationship with God. so we chatted about where our family went and i got to really talk a lot about how community driven our group is and how amazingly supportive and raw everyone can be. at which point i realized that God was helping me segway into my situation. so i told her what happened and how i just started coming to terms with it about two months ago and how my healing process is slow but progressing in a good direction but that i had definite limits. she was so sympathetic and sweet and told me that she pretty much had the same rape experience years ago and she had a similar reaction in terms of shutting down and feeling fearful to be outside of her comfort zone outside the house. she then went on to tell me that she actually SAW HIM at the grocery store down the street and she (like i would do) hid in the bathroom and had a panic attack.

God is so good to open our wounds and make us deal with them!

so anyways, saturday was a crazy-busy day. we were having a party, augustine was going to a birthday party which david was taking him to, we were getting groceries, and going to the farmers market -- all of this before 11 am. i needed a specific ingredient that i could only get from kroger so we stopped there before the farmers market. david said he would just run in himself since it was only for one ingredient. he doesn't even make it out of the parking lot before i start losing it and i jump out of the car, yell his name, and motion him back, where we hold hands, and i apologize and feel stupid and weak and foolish. i clearly am remembering my friend's story about seeing her violator at the grocery store and yet even though i know this is incredibly improbable, i am triggered into a post traumatic episode that i can't stop. david is at his best when i am at my worst, i swear. he is so calm and gentle and kind. everything you would want in a supportive friend in a moment like that. i am beside myself with gratitude for his strong and capable heart. i am convinced that God wants us to be in pairs for times such as this. when one is weak the other can pick them up and get them moving.

we get our errands finished, david departs with augustine for his birthday party, and all of our neighbors start arriving for a potluck. i adore my neighbors and we had a fun and filling time but i still had a lingering sense of defeat and dejection. it is so odd to me how undoing an episode is. logically i know that a trigger is in a sense, mildly reliving trauma. so it is not just "feeling weird" it is EXPERIENCING something very, very unpleasant and jarring. i put pressure on myself probably to tidy up my emotions and "move on".

so yesterday i made the decision to up my own meds from 20 mg to 25 mg. i know, i know don't lecture me. i WILL get into my doctor soon. as a result of the bump i'm having classic side effects of mild disorientation, mild disconnection from events, restless sleep, mild anxiety. it will taper off in a day or two but yeah... heavy boots today.


Georgie said...

Hi Jenny,
I just got diagnosed with an anxiety disorder which manifests itself in horrible panic attacks, I take 20mg of Citalopram which definately helps, but by far the support of my therapist has been the most valuable treatment I have undertaken. What she taught me was progress isn't linear, and that you shouldn't beat yourself up when you have little relapses, whenever I have a bad day with high anxiety or panic attacks, I force myself to remeber what I had achieved before this point, all the positive things I have done! You're doing so well and your blog is inspiring to read, keep going and don't be discouraged!

. said...

sending prayers!

Eva said...

I agree with Georgia! Your blog is so inspiring and don't be discouraged, you will get through today

bronwen said...

Hi there!
I read your blog sometimes and certainly find peace in it, so just wanted to share in return that some friends (here in montreal) put together a beautiful zine about anxiety (it's a compilation of stories and art about a bunch of different people's experiences with anxiety)- i could send you a copy if you want.

Dallas Ann said...


I am so glad your neighbor was so understanding. <3

Anonymous said...

I can completely relate to how you described that "undone" feeling after a triggered event. I don't have PTSD, but I do have anxiety, and after I experience an episode, that feeling of "defeat and dejection" definitely lingers. You put it so simply, but I found myself nodding as I read your words. -Carly