Life in a Bubble
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
So I'm going to take a big leap here soon. I'm going to post my need for a service dog on FB, not just my page, but my husband's too. Most people don't know I have anxiety or any of it. I guess that is why they call it a hidden illness.
We are going to start a fund raiser on gofundme.com and see if people will help with getting the service dog. I'm going to get everyone I know to take it to their church or work and see if we can't raise some money. I know God has got this, and if we are supposed to have help, we will. I'd like to ask my friends here to do the same, take my plea to your churches or work and see if others will have the compassion to give, even just a little, toward helping me get my life back.
You see I've been living life inside a bubble. Several bubbles. One bubble is how far and where I drive. I don't drive to new places, and if I do I get very anxious and sometimes have a panic attack. I can't drive where there is a lot of traffic like Atlanta or I have an panic attack. I can't see well at night to drive so I'll have a panic attack if I do. My world is very small and restricted. I even go to the same grocery store for everything even though they don't have all the stuff I want because the other store is further away and the one that is closer is really hard to get out of the parking lot. Even if I am a passenger in a car I'm cringing the whole way and have to take my medicine, which means I'm lethargic or sedated by the time we get to where we are going, and not much fun.
I have a bubble around me that I only let a few people in. There are women at church who want to get to know me, they have told my husband this, but I don't know how to let them inside the bubble. I have a few friends here, but they are people who said "I like this one, she's a keeper" and decided we were going to be friends if I wanted it or not. And I love them for that! The worst time is on Sunday at the 'meet and greet' time, which I now avoid, even though I know most of the people in my section by sight (I sit in the same place every Sunday and feel anxious if I sit anywhere else). And classical conversations where I have to interact with all the other Mommies.
It's gotten so bad that I can't sit through all of church. This is huge because this is the one place that I used to not feel anxious. I only go because my DD's see their friends this day and I don't want to deprive them of this. I want to help out at church and volunteer, but I'm afraid my anxiety will get in the way and I won't be any help at all. I love my church, the pastor is real and does an awesome job. But in that crowd of people I just can't handle it.
And now I get anxious about being anxious. Especially when I'm alone (aka no adults). By the Grace of God I've not been alone any time I've had an anxiety attack that was really bad. You see one of the ways I have an anxiety attack is to hyperventilate. I can breath in but I can't breath out. My lungs are like a giant balloon that can't take any more air. I have to be given the Heimlich maneuver to get the air out so that I can breath, otherwise I'm left gasping like a fish on dry land. Another way is that I get very disoriented and feel like I'm going crazy. If you ever wonder what going crazy feels like, having an anxiety attack is one way. I was hospitalized once when I had an anxiety attack so bad I truly thought I was going crazy. Another way is to feel like you are having a heart attack. Usually goes along with the feeling like you are going crazy (for me). It literally feels like your heart has bands around it and it can't pump right and it hurts. Another way, and I've discovered this recently is to get really nauseated and usually throw up, while being extremely disoriented. My last big panic attack I hyperventilated and then threw up. Throwing up while you can't breath is horrible. I just kept panicking more and more because I was afraid I was going to choke on my own vomit. Wasn't much DH could do other than just be there.
Sorry, hope I didn't gross anyone out there I didn't mean to go into such detail. Every person has panic attacks in their own way and every panic attack is different, kinda like a snowflake (only not as pretty).
This is where having the sevice dog comes in. When I start to have a bad anxiety attack the dog is trained to distract me or comfort me so that it won't be as bad. They are trained to use deep pressure therapy, to jump up and lick my face, or any number of things to keep me from focusing on the panic attack and making it worse. Some are trained to notice before you even know you are going to have an anxiety attack and bring your medicine to you or warn you.
Knowing I have a partner, that can lead me to safety (take me to an exit or find my car, or just be there to lean on when I get dizzy) will greatly alleviate the anxiety of anxiety. Plus a great opener to a conversation is having a service dog.
There are so many things a service dog can do, I can't think of them all. Please add me to your prayers for my anxiety and for my future service dog.
Thank you and have a wonderful Thanksgiving