Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Panic Attacks

All the damn time.

Can't sleep.

I wake up with my heart racing and realize only ten minutes passed.

I feel like an asshole.

* At work in front of my boss * In front of the phone repair guy * In front of my boyfriend (who does not handle me well like this) * On the subway * In the elevator of my building * Alone in the shower *

This is really embarrassing.

The panic attacks were around constantly when I first developed epilepsy. I remember very well sobbing in my room all night, afraid I was going to die and then on no sleep going to the office where I would hyperventilate and hide in the stairwell. I felt crazy. In recent years they have been far less frequent. They are usually triggered by something.  Ever since my last seizure they have been constant again but I have no idea why. Everyone wants to give me advice and tell me to get therapy and drugs. Thanks. I'm aware. I've been through this before. I will get through it again. I've talked to my doctor. I've discussed options on medication. I've seen a few therapists in the past. (I think the therapists bring on more anxiety than they cure.) It's my issue to deal with alone and when it comes down to it, my doctor agrees with me that given time I will adjust again. If I can find ways to cope for myself it will pass faster.

So, I say what is scaring me out loud. I work on coming to terms with it. I breathe and wait it out.
I'm still alive.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Notes from the Universe

My beautiful and always inspiring friend Darlene posted something interesting on the book of face the other day.  It was a note from the Universe. Basically over a decade ago someone came up with an excellent idea of sending out notes from the universe via e-mail and they are doing an awesome job at it. She said hers brought her to tears. I figured, I'm having a crazy-ass week so why not give this a go? If there is a time to receive messages, maybe now is a good time to open up to them.

So I signed up.

Today I received my first message.

Learning to disassociate your dream's manifestation from the illusions that now surround you, to release yourself from the burden of figuring out the "hows," and to trust what can't be seen, are the high watermarks of creative enlightenment.

And, Carly, I must say, you're disassociating, releasing, and trusting like never before.

Wow -
    The Universe

I'm aware of how impressively vague this message is, but who cares? I think it beautifully applies to all that I spoke of in my last post. Literally. This is what I have learned about the universe thus far in life, ask a question and it will find a way to respond to you.

Dear Universe,

Lately I have found you to be terrifying and awesome. You really know how to bring out the emotions in me. Emotions and utter confusion. I thank you for all that you are teaching me as it is the purpose of life after all.  Of course I'm writing with a request as I'm sure you are aware with your all-knowing abilities. Plus, humans are really needy. Alright I'll get to the point. Would you help me find another way into singing or performance in any capacity? I seriously started crying while watching The Voice last night and I don't even follow that show. I have zero investment in the contestants. I just felt jealous that I wasn't singing. I'm feeling stuck in place and don't know where to move. Will you please give me a hint?

Much Love,

Friday, April 19, 2013

A brain that doesn't quite work.

Something is wrong and I can’t seem to pinpoint what it is. If you've been here before, you know I've been dealing with epilepsy for years. It is scary and it seems, at least to me, to be changing. Perhaps it’s the darkness before the light in the discovery and end of my battle. Perhaps it’s something else I have yet to identify. Right now, I’m scared but optimistic.

This past week it has been unbelievably difficult to get my thoughts in order. The more time that passes the more blurry my thoughts and memories become. When I try to put it into words the proper structure eludes me. I’m somewhat convinced I’m going to die. We’re all going to die but I keep getting this feeling it will be soon. This isn't new so don’t worry. I had this feeling all the time back when the epilepsy was new.  In the past years I got over it but something changed this week. I remembered something. I remembered just a hint of something that should probably be comforting but more than anything keeps me from wanting to close my eyes at night.

Friday I felt strange but wasn't sure why. I felt shitty and nauseous.  I got on the train and headed downtown to see my boyfriend as we had planned.  I was only one stop from his apartment but had to get out of the train. I felt disoriented and panicked. I was hyperventilating but trying to pull myself together in order to take the train one last stop. I’m not sure how long this went on but my best guess is something like twenty minutes.  When I finally did make it that last stop I got out of the train and made it out to the street where I was able to make a phone call. Luckily my boyfriend answered so I asked him to come find me. Another fifteen minutes or so passed where I sobbed and shook crouched next to a building at the subway entrance. I was too afraid to walk anywhere. When he showed up I calmed down pretty quickly. That’s all I remember.

Saturday I went to rehearsal and then home because I didn't feel good again. Overall it was uneventful.  

Sunday I spent the whole day in the fetal position with the worst cramps I have ever had in my life. Now, let’s rewind for a moment. I shouldn't be getting cramps. Over a month ago I discovered my epilepsy might be related to my menstrual cycle. Catamenial epilepsy is actually very common and after documentation of my seizures and discussions with my doctors we changed my birth control so that I would no longer have a cycle and never go off hormones. Clearly this didn't work.  All day Sunday I was in pain. I knew something was wrong. Then the bleeding started.

Monday morning at 2am I remember sitting up in my bed. I remember my arm going up and I had no control over it so I knew a seizure was coming. I remember thinking that I was falling forward towards the foot of my bed. I was afraid I would throw myself off because I have an outlet with various plugs right there. One of which is broken. I was afraid to get my face caught in it while seizing. I remember I could feel that I was still on something soft so I knew I didn't leave the bed. The fear was still there. I remember pain. The feeling of electrocution all over. Then the sound that is similar to speakers blowing out in your ears. This is all normal.  This is all terrifying every time but I remember it every time.

This time I remember something new.
I…. I really don’t know how to describe this at all and I’m not fully convinced I should try. Basically the new element to add to what is already a terrifying event is that someone talks to me. In the moment it’s familiar and comforting. I am completely without doubt. This time I remember it a little bit but frankly the details are so foggy I’m not sure what is true. I knew I was alone in my apartment and when the voice came through the buzzing to comfort me and let me know I was safe and not alone I actually remember thinking “How do I forget about this every time?” I know I always say to myself “It’s okay, you’re okay, just pass out.” This is different though. This is a full conversation I had with someone I feel intense trust towards. I can’t tell you word for word what was said but I have glimpses of memory and feeling.

It’s a masculine voice. If it’s myself I’m talking to, I feel intense love for myself. I trust it. I consider them to be much wiser than me. I immediately recognize them and know it’s familiar. I think they are only there to comfort me but they take the opportunity to talk with me.  I think I might finally be going completely insane.  I remember being told something was going to happen that day near me but not too me and everything was going to be okay. I didn't need to worry. I like being with them. 

So there is my admission. I have no idea what it means. I don’t consider myself a religious person. I understand that when people go through traumatic experiences you start to hear or believe things. I don’t know what any of this is but I’m not going to forget it. Take it for what you will.