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My dream stuck with me so hard all day yesterday (despite spreading the wealth out to all of you) that after work, I went out to the local antiques mall to just relax a little (some people shop for clothes, I shop for vintage doll house bits).  In the middle of the store, one dealer had two of those Government-issued "Fallout Shelter" signs from the '60s that were unused, and pretty cool, but they made me look around and realize that the building I was in had no protection from a blast, and I was right by the flimsy roll-up doors to the loading dock, and...

Whoopsie, panic attack.

That hasn't happened in a very long time.  I mean, I get panic attacks all the time, it's part of my charm, but getting a panic attack from a dream association is very rare.  I think the last time it happened, I dreamt I was sitting on top of the St.Louis Arch, and a nuke went off, and I fell, and woke up just before I hit the ground, like you do.  I had such a strong panic attack I had to get up and watch the news channels for hours to assure myself that no attack was imminent.  That was almost eighteen years ago.

I had not discovered the wonders of Xanax then, so I had a pretty hard time of it.  Indeed, I didn't realize that what I was experiencing was panic attacks.  Later, when I started getting them almost constantly (as the end of my first marriage came closer), I recognized them as such, but the option of going to a doctor for treatment was out of the question.  My ex even accused me of getting them deliberately, in a bid for sympathy that he didn't think I deserved (usually after some imagined trangression on my part - I hate arguments, and I got yelled at a lot). 

Panic and I have a long relationship.  Most attacks are of the petit weird variety; a vague sense of impending doom that grows and makes me twitchy. Occasionally, I get the "large crowds freak me out" kind - that's what half a pill is for, and why I always keep a stash hidden in my purse.  The minor ones I've learned to control by distracting myself, but the ones I get when I'm trying to sleep need to be slapped around by drugs before they go away.

I hate those ones, because jerking awake with a feeling like I just realized I left the kettle on is exhausting, especially when it happens all night long.  So I love my little pills, though I don't take them very often (it goes in phases).  I love pharmecuticals, what can I say?  They make my life functional.

Anyway, I'm just saying, that even with taking one last night to help me sleep (and I did), I'm still a bit in the throes of a petit weirdness.  I'm actually wondering if the weirdness in due in part to revisiting the bad days of my first marriage, as I don't normally think about it much, but writing about it brought back the helpless and trapped feeling I had back then.  Who knows.  It doesn't normally bother me, but then I don't normally dwell on it, except to compare my current happiness and know I'm damned lucky to be where I am.

No matter what caused it, I might indulge myself and self-medicate with a trip to the thrift store this afternoon (my therapies are usually pretty cheap, assuming I don't find a ton of awesome stuff at the antique store).  If I find something good, I'll be sure to take pictures. 

If thrifting doesn't do the trick, I'm buying more glitter make-up for the party tomorrow.  I may be a fierce and progressive woman, but I loves me some glittery makeup (and high heels).

Oh, and I finished all the outlining on the jacket pieces last night.  700+ hours.  Now I start the fill.  *anticipation*

Comments

( 8 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )
mistressrhi
Dec. 30th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
"Most attacks are of the petit weird variety; a vague sense of impending doom that grows and makes me twitchy. Occasionally, I get the "large crowds freak me out" kind...I hate those ones, because jerking awake with a feeling like I just realized I left the kettle on is exhausting, especially when it happens all night long."

Oh, wow. I live that life too. Sucks, doesn't it?

I haven't had a full-blown attack in years (oddly enough, not since my divorce), but the "I need to get out of here" feeling occurs with some regularity.

Forced reduction of stress is on my list of things to work on in 2010, along with posture. ;-) We'll see if I have any success.
ravenessdotcom
Dec. 30th, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you are very lucky to have your current husband and get out of the bad relationship. Make sure you let your husband know you appreciate him for what he does for you. We take it for granted that our better half knows what and why we appreciate them...Mine is always surprised when I tell him.
Now where are the in-progress jacket photos?!?! ;D
thornbury
Dec. 30th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC)
I mean, I get panic attacks all the time, it's part of my charm

I stopped noticing a long time ago. There is a lot of awesome in you to distract one from any of your declared quirks. :-)
florentinescot
Dec. 30th, 2009 04:02 pm (UTC)
Oh, honey. I so know how you feel. After that damn antibiotic (Avelox in my case -- if you're prone to panic, please PLEASE stay away from Fluoroquinolone antibiotics! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluoroquinolone for the list). Panic, anxiety and psychosis are all KNOWN SIDE EFFECTS! and this damn shit is still on the market. I lost almost 2 years of my graduate program because of it. ...-um, oops. I'd better get off my soap-box now before you thwap me!

But yeah. Panic like that just sucks -- and even when you know it's fake, you really can't stop it.

Good luck! I'm glad that you found something that works for you. Wish I had as reliable a treatment!
victoriapringle
Dec. 30th, 2009 04:49 pm (UTC)
While I am not glad that you get panic attacks from your dreams I am glad to hear that people other than me have that problem. My dreams can influence my mood for days.
eggies_red_dres
Dec. 30th, 2009 06:57 pm (UTC)
Yes, I agree with this statement. I call it a 'dream hangover' without any of the drinking leading up to it. :(
liveinlovemunky
Dec. 30th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Not alone!
I sometimes freak out in large gatherings... crowded SCA dining halls where i am trapped have been a big trigger for me but Ive noticed it helps to sit on the outside with a clear escape route.
I dont get the general impending doom issue but i have dreams about home invasion that make me freak out for the rest of the night. Ive been known to check locks a lot and sleep heavily armed! For several reasons those nights make for a pretty crappy day. Are there any other things (relaxation techniques, etc...) you use to calm down?
wulfsdottir
Dec. 30th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Panic attacks are awful. I'm glad you've found a way to mitigate them. I get lingering dream effects sometimes, too. Some dreams, it makes me cranky. Other dreams, it's not so bad. ;)
( 8 brains — Leave a chunk of brain! )

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