Gone Coastal

Monday, January 26, 2009

around the next bend

I should really learn to keep my mouth shut sometimes. In a previous post, I took you all on a ride with a roller coaster metaphor. I talked about what might come next, around that next bend. I left the door wide open with "something crazy and unexpected."
I definitely didn't expect what came Saturday morning. The Bear was working for the morning, and I was wandering through a typical morning with the kids, with wake ups, changes and food. Weighing out the options for what to do with the day, store run, library or pool. At some point, I recognized a slight feeling of uneasiness, not entirely unfamiliar on days when I know I've got the kids for the full day. Generally, this feeling translates to a little less patience with any testing by the kids, but the kids were pretty content.
But, that morning, the uneasiness took on a life of its own. I felt it building up, and I decided it would be a good time to take the kids and dogs for a walk. But long before it got there, it escalated to something I've never experienced. An anxiety attack. Crazy and unexpected. I didn't know what was happening or how far this might go. I was terrified that I couldn't do anything for the kids if they needed me. It was everything I could do to keep breathing. I called my two childcare options, but nobody answered. I called the Bear to let him know. And with much struggle, I got the kids haphazardly bundled into the stroller and we were out of the house.
The attack, which lasted probably 45 minutes, had started to subside a bit by the time I got out the door, and tapered off as I pushed around the block a few times, checking known neighbours' windows for signs of someone who'd be up and able to help. When I got back, I tried my daycare backup again, and she was home, so I went there with the kids, stayed for awhile until the Bear was home, and then left the kids with her for most of the day.
In talking with a few people, I've learned that mine was probably only a moderate attack, but it was quite terrifying enough. Seriously, it ranked up there with being screamed at by the angry schizophrenic with a roofing hatchet in hand.

When I came home Saturday, one of my urges was to blog it all, raw and real, as soon as possible, as it was such a strange, but internal, experience that I was afraid that if I didn't put it out there it would fade and I would be questioning if it really happened. I wasn't too far off, as within a few hours, my recollection was vague and fuzzy. But it did happen. And I'm looking into what I can do to reduce the odds of it happening again, as well as preparing myself to better deal with it if and when it does.
The kids are sick, and home with me again today, but I know if anything should come up today, daycare is just down the street. Writing about this has made me a little jumpy, but I needed to do it. I'm going to sign off now, and have some juice and a few deep breaths before I check on the kids again.


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