I’ve been blogging less for a while now because I’m not really feeling inspirational and because I’ve been having panic attacks, maybe PTSD. I’m not even sure which came first-slowing my writing or the attacks, but I think they’re related because now I realize that writing was bringing my issues forward and probably would’ve helped me deal with them had I continued writing, but I held them in and they grew.
I wanted to blog a lot of brain cancer life inspiration for those who needed it, patients, caregivers, and to generally help educate the community. Instead, I got to a point where there was nothing else positive to say, or if there was, I couldn’t see it. Problems and fears were all around and I felt trapped.
Four years post surgery is past emergency mode, yet a pretty low margin for normal and challenges, realizations, and life-problems continue to grow. If I had to guess my own diagnosis, it would be PTSD based on living with cancer everyday as opposed to the diagnosis and treatment basis many others are traumatized by. I live quarter to quarter, MRI to MRI waiting to see if the cancer’s come back. Every single day is a tangle of pressure to make my life and relationships the best, watching my mistakes and failures often through others’ eyes too, and often feeling mocked and replaceable. That’s not inspirational, I’m not a liar, and I didn’t want to claim it so I slowed my writing and mostly stopped.
I now realize my blogging, whether helpful to others or not, had been beneficial for me. After surgery, I struggle with ideas rolling around in my head and writing helped me organize my thoughts. It helps me categorize and even work through issues. I’ve developed some methods and kept my thoughts on paper (well a screen) rather than in my head. Without all the ‘big issue’ ideas rolling around in my head, I could actually think more clearly about everyday things when I was processing my thoughts through writing.
I began to fall apart more aggressively at an event that triggered huge panic attacks. I blogged about the initial trigger immediately the night it happened, but quickly changed the post to private after its first view because my writing was so raw and I couldn’t be that vulnerable exposing my triggers, so instead I kept it private other than my husband and counseling. In hind site, maybe I should’ve tried again to address it in a better way, maybe facing it with baby steps, I don’t know. It’s been growing inside me and seeping out unexpectedly ever sense and got to the point that it was overwhelming daily. I’m getting even more help now, but Im still afraid and I want it to go away.
So to try to follow my intent of using my experiences to help others, I’m going to share what I’ve learned so far. Before my panic attacks happened, a much lighter version of the long-term issue existed. I tried to deal with it but was unsuccessful and wonder, even think, that if I had, the attacks wouldn’t have emerged. Lesson- Deal With Shit ASAP! Don’t wait- dealing with it is the only way it goes away.
My “issue turned to panic attack” began as an exponential definitive identification at a triggering event. I want to talk about the attacks, not my personal issue, so I won’t get into the “what” at this time.
It built over three distinct events plus some minor ones over about a span of about eight days. The first two and minor ones were within the first three days, I was trying to deal with things, then a big trigger happened and sealed the deal. Not that I’ve never experienced a panic attack previously, but not anywhere near this magnitude and not on this triggering subject.
It’s so big and hard to manage and I’m panicky and don’t know if I am even seeing straight. I just want to run and hide like a little kid hiding in a closet with my eyes shut tightly and my hands over my ears. Sometimes I think I’m going crazy. I’m having trouble differentiating proportions of reality. I can see what’s there- it IS there. But how much? I want to see what’s real so I can decide what to do.