It’s a beautiful day outside and here I am, sitting in my room, panicking.

I’m trying to decide which university to go to for my BA and MA. I applied and got accepted into three, narrowed it down to two, and now I cannot decide. Both are good schools (one is considered a bit more “prestigious” than the other, but not by much, I don’t think). Both are about an equal distance from my current home. Both have my major, except for one, I have to apply and submit writing samples to get accepted into said major, while with the other, I can jump straight it. Both cost about the same. Both have roughly the same acceptance rate, graduation rate, number of students, etc.

Why am I stressing so much about this? Well, one of the schools gave me a deposit deadline of TOMORROW. I also have not visited either one of these schools yet, which is a huge determining factor, I know, but I’m essentially out of time.

I’m trying to listen to my gut instinct but my gut instinct doesn’t even know.

I just feel really panicked and scared and stressed and I wish someone could make the decision for me. There’s not really one thing that makes me say, OH, I’d rather go here. Nope. I can’t tell if I want to be unconscious, dead, or drunk, but I know I do not want to be in my current state of my mind. I have the desire to scream and cry and punch the wall or maybe drive myself off a cliff or into high-speed traffic.

– Z


Calm Down, It’s Just A Panic Attack

I’m sitting cross-legged on my bed, writing a paper.

I have felt the threat of a panic attack all day but have ignored it. My hormones are out of whack at the moment, I’m under some stress, and I’m normally highly anxious anyway. So what if my body is shaking uncontrollably? Just ignore it and it will go away.

I stop typing and rush down the stairs and out the back door. I’m standing barefoot, trying to breathe, realizing it doesn’t fucking matter how deeply I breathe, really. It feels like I am going to die. I tell myself I’m not going to die, but I don’t believe that. I think I might be having a heart attack. No, it’s a panic attack. I’m not going to die, but it feels like I’m going to die, and honestly, I’d rather die.

I just want to go to sleep now. I just want to be unconscious and feel safe. But there’s nothing I can do. I can’t stop it. I can’t control it in any way. There’s nothing I can do to prevent it from happening again. It’s inevitable. It could be tomorrow, it could be a month from now. But there is another one waiting.

There’s always another one.

– Z

Panic Marathon!

I really don’t know which is worse – debilitating anxiety or debilitating depressive episodes?

Last night I was hanging out with my brother. We did a little coke and then I fixed myself a drink. Everything was peachy. Halfway through my second drink, though, I had terrible heartburn (not uncommon for me) but was also very, very nauseous (thanks, Lithium), so I stopped drinking. I dozed off while we were watching Breaking Bad, then when the episode ended I got up to pee, then got settled back in to go to sleep. I was out for maybe twenty minutes when I woke up totally alarmed and panicked.

I didn’t know what to do. If I tried to listen to music, it made me more uncomfortable. I couldn’t even look at my phone so I knew turning on the TV wouldn’t help. I just laid there, trying and trying to fall asleep, doing deep breathing, but to no avail. I did consider waking my brother up (he asked me today why I didn’t) but I didn’t want to have to explain I was having a panic attack because that tends to make one panic more.

So for about four hours I was having a panic attack. I eventually got my heart rate and breathing slowed a bit, but I literally thought I was going to die or have a psychotic break and had to repeatedly remind myself it would pass, which was frustrating considering the insane length of time this panic attack took place in. I tossed and turned on the couch for hours, just desperately wanting to go to sleep. I made a note of how I was feeling at one point, since writing down how you feel usually helps me a bit when I’m panicking.

I’m panicking. I’m not entirely sure why. I need to stop what I’m doing, but Jesus, I just want to feel better. I can’t enjoy anything. I can’t even close my eyes. I just want to sleep. It feels like my skin is crawling and my chest is so tight and I might cry but it’s not coming. I feel like I’m going to die. But I’m not. I’m riding this out. I just wish it would end soon. It feels like it never will. Sleep would help me. God damn it. Sleep. Just need sleep. Please. Please. Please. Let it stop.

Now obviously doing cocaine is not a good choice for anyone, but I’ve never had this problem with it before. It also really bothers me that I couldn’t even finish two drinks because the side effect of nausea. I can live without cocaine, but alcohol…that’s overkill (the nausea will probably subside once I’m more adapted to the Lithium, but still). I think this panic attack was a combination of blow, booze, and stress, but what baffles me is why it happened so suddenly and out of nowhere, literally. One second I’m asleep and the next I’m having a full-blown panic attack. It’s really scary, and I feel helpless.

To add to this, I had a job interview at a doggy daycare place today (I LOVE animals and I’ve exhausted my search for doggy daycares – I REALLY want to work with animals, seriously). After answering a question about a specific time at work when I felt frustrated and what I did to fix it (I talked about a change in the computer system at one of my old jobs and how I like to get things right the first time though having someone around who can help you out is always a good thing because learning new things takes time) I was promptly told, “Based on that response, this isn’t the job for you”. Uh…okay? “This job isn’t for people who get frustrated easily”. Okay, point taken, except…don’t most people? Also, working with dogs is exponentially different than working with technology. The real killer was the very plain statement of, “I’m not going to hire you”. Okay, dude, thanks? Appreciate it.

It’s been a rough day. I’m doing all I can right now, but Jesus Christ, I just really want to be better.

– Z

Rattle Skull

Today started out as any other day – I woke up, ate breakfast, took my vitamins and anti-anxiety medication, and started to get ready for the day. I put on perfume and then went back to my dresser and my vision did something…weird.

It’s honestly quite hard to describe. It was a bit of this sensation of my brain (or rather, my eyeballs?) shaking in my skull, and my vision didn’t exactly blur, but I’m not sure what else to call it. I immediately thought to myself, That’s strange, but I kept going about my business. Yet it kept happening. Something really felt wrong by this point.

I still tried to shake it off. I went downstairs and grabbed my car keys, walked outside, and the same sensation grew in my head. I wasn’t dizzy or off-balance, it was just as if my field of vision shook around for a second. I went back inside and told my mother, upset and trying to breathe deeply because I could feel myself growing more panicky about it and I didn’t want to experience an anxiety attack before my day had even begun.

My father said it could be the high dose of Tegretol I’ve been taking. I initially thought it was 1400mg (an unusually high dose), however, as I’m writing this, I just realized that I’m taking 1800mg…a dosage that’s basically unheard of. I just started this dose three days ago. I’ve also been taking fish oil for about a month, maybe a month and a half now. My father said that when he was taking fish oil, he experienced strange vision issues, like seeing geometric patterns and things in his immediate field of vision disappearing, but they pass fairly quickly. He suggested that it could be the high dose of Tegretol, the fish oil, or both.

I sat motionless on the couch for a little while. There was a pressure in the very front of my skull and in my eyes that I had never experienced before, and it made me worried and uncomfortable. I didn’t want to move, fearful that I’d experience the same bizarre change in vision.

Eventually I got up and went outside to turn my car on to warm it up, giving myself a “test run”. I seemed to be better, so I decided to go to class. I’m grateful I didn’t have an anxiety or panic attack this morning and I’m glad nothing happened on my way to class.

It’s just a strange experience I felt like sharing. I’m not going to take fish oil anymore, that’s for sure, and my psychiatrist is supposed to give me a call later so I can explain what happened.


I just had a little chat with my psychiatrist. He said I was probably in the toxic range of the Tegretol (lovely!) so we’re cutting it back down to 1200mg for the next week, then down to 800mg the next week. That sounds about right. I hope nothing like this happens again. Vision issues with Tegretol are side effects no one should experience, as they are serious.

– Z