Sunday, July 15, 2012

One's Fear of Panic

This blog posting for today may sound a little off topic due to what I'm facing recently.  However, I can assure you that every Fibromite deals with health issues that seem unrelated to Fibromyalgia.  The sad part is, they really aren't and the more you know about what's going on inside you, the better you will be to handle flares.  Having said that-- here's the post:

The thought of leaving the comfort of my own home has been a challenge for me since my Fibromyalgia diagnoses.  I honestly hated going anywhere.  It wasn't until my loving but ever so persistently annoying best friend forced me out of my house that I started to realize I might have a problem.  I lived in fear of people giving me strange looks as I limped by them.  Some have even been nasty when I just simply couldn't move fast enough out of their way.

I remember a time in my life where I was the one passing out every slow-paced walker in the mall.  I used to power-walk on my work days during breaks for exercise.  The slowness of some people's gate used to frustrate me, so I can relate to the nastiness I now face, however, I was never rude to anyone who was walking slower than me-- not EVER.

Why?  The answer is simple, some of them may have found it difficult to walk.  Others may just have a slow gate by nature.  And finally, many were going to the mall to enjoy themselves.  Not one of them viewed the mall as a factory breeding stress.  They all found shopping fun.  I however, was not so lucky.

The mall and I had a brief fling when I was a teenager.  I walked every square inch of the local mall and literally knew every crack on the floor.  I enjoyed walking around with friends and looking at all the nice things the merchants had to offer.  I never bought much because I've always lacked the funds for my expensive tastes, but it sure was fun to look.

Today I struggle with remembering a time when I didn't have stress, anxiety, panic attacks, Fibro Fog, or pain every time I set foot out of my door.  Thoughts of leaving Grandma alone without me, along with leaving a dish (or 12) in the sink seem to creep their way into my head, and before I know it I'm having a full-blown panic attack in the tampon isle at Walmart.

There are times when I truly want to cry because I feel completely alone when this happens.  The sad part is that I'm never alone during an attack.  My children are always with me and I think this might actually add to my stress because I'd never want them to get into a car with me if I'm having a bad day.  My Fibro Fog has exacerbated this fear and there are days when I just completely avoid driving all together. 

I did this Friday when I was supposed to take my kids to the local science museum.  My attack was pretty bad and came on 5 minutes before my children's godmother walked through the door.  I asked her to drive out of fear that my attack would compromise my driving.  As we walked around the museum I started to feel a little better until we had to leave.  Panic rushed over me again as I looked down at my watch and realized it was lunch time and I didn't leave anything out for my husband to give Grandma.  I came home incredibly stressed and feeling the effects of a rapid heartbeat to a sink filled with dishes and a Grandmother convinced that she was left alone all morning long.

Now the reality is, my husband did feed her some lunch, but it was later than normal.  I'm glad he remembered to feed her, but that's all he did because I didn't remind him to do anything else for that morning.  I was just too focused on my own health to remember to say anything to him.  I could go into a long drawn out speech about how it's unfair that I have to remind people in my life about trivial things like picking up after themselves, but that's really their issue and it won't help me. 

You see, sometimes my fear of perfection is what gets me in the way of feeling healthy and that just simply shouldn't be.  Perfection can be a dangerous thing to strive for because we are all human and have limitations.  One of those limitations I struggle with the most is trying to be everything to everyone I love and that's not only dangerous, it's self-defeating.  I can't be everything, I'm not God and I need to somehow find a way to not only understand that for myself, but to get the people around me to understand that too instead of having the guilt card played on me.  Guilt is a terrible thing and should never be used on anyone to gain what you want because believe me when I say that the person you are talking to has already beat themselves up enough with guilt. 

Panic and stress happen all the time in our daily lives because things have a tendency to not always go the way we want them to.  I've tried to adapt to this as best as I can as an individual and now I have to gently show the others in my life that the fear of panic is just that-- fear of things not going the way you want them to.

Stay fabulous!
Love and friendship,

Kimberley
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