Mental Health

Random Panic Attacks: Death and Dognapping Edition

Hey all,

First off I want to say that I’m finally get our little blog in tip top shape. It’s been a long time coming but it’s happening. So if you see new changes or something very wonky here and there just know I’m probably crying and rocking in a corner somewhere trying to fix whatever I did to eff it up. Please hang in there with me and it should all be look great real soon.

So today I’m going to talk about panic attacks. Like out of nowhere slap in the face, knock you on your ass panic attacks. I had a doozy a few days ago. Let me set scene..

I’m at work minding my own damn business. I start to get really hot and feel woozy. My chest is starting to tighten up and my breaths become short and face. My “oh shit” meter is going off and I know I’m about to go to a place I don’t want to be.

This time I actually got myself into the bathroom. My work bathrooms are the best because they are full brick stalls and full heavy doors. For anyone that appreciates privacy you totally get what I mean. Not those cheap ass stalls you see with gaps. If I can see you, you can for sure see me.

I get inside and the tears immediately begin to flow. If I’m being completely honest most times I get these I don’t really know what it is that’s bothering me. Just something is not right and then I panic about it. This time it was so clear and completely random.

My main concern was that my boyfriend was going to die someday. Like it could be today or it could be 50 years from now. Who the hell knows but the only thing I’m focusing on is him dying and what the fuck am I going to do to not let that happen. I’m completely irrational at this point. Crying and trying to control my breathing. Trying to con myself by saying he will never die which I know is totally making it worse. Again I’m completely irrational at this point so you know what I did…?

I had another fucking thought pop up in my head mid attack. So not only do I think my boyfriend is dying but why not think about someone coming to steal my dog at the same time. WTF?!?!

So a while back I read during Covid people were stealing peoples dogs to get a ransom from the owner. We all remember Lady Gaga’s dog walker getting shot right? Well my brain took me to a place where my babies are going to get dog napped and I will never see them again. I will get attacked and have to live with the pain and guilt for not saving my babies.

Meanwhile I’m starting to realize how long I’ve been hiding in the bathroom and really need to get it together. My two totally random issues collided in a huge way and not in the nicest of ways. It was probably only 10 minutes but it felt like hours with the added stress of being at work.

I’m super hard on myself and tend to say some not so nice things about what I’m doing. “Get it together” “Just stop” “ Your being ridiculous” They are not really helpful at all. Please if you can remember to be patient with yourself. This is happening and you can do hard things. It will pass and you can tackle the problem when your calm. Lean into the feeling. Acknowledge it and tell yourself you will work on it.

I posted about my panic attacks before and here is the post I talk about my soothing methods.

https://swearingtotallyhelps.com/real-talk-anxiety-and-depression-pt-1/

One or all may work for you or none whatsoever. There is never a right or wrong way to handle them. It’s just a matter of finding what can get you through in the best way for you.

I always feel a little weird talking about mine because I’m writing this with a safe and calm mind. Looking back it’s still seems irrational but they come when they come I guess.

Thanks for being here as always and let’s all try to be kind to each other this week.

XOXO,

Amy

Why taking a break is ok

Hey all,

It’s been a while but I really needed a much needed break. A break from everything really. I’ve talked about good days and bad days before. How triggers can completely transform a good day to a I need to lay down and hide under a blanket day. I really get so frustrated and can’t understand how I wake up so motivated to take on life and important projects and then one thing effs up my whole day. Then I feel I wasted good working hours and nothing gets done. 

I know I’m not the only one that goes through this crazy cycle. I am in many groups where we all vent about it. Wanting to conquer the world but can’t get out of bed to start.

I felt I needed to take a step back and recharge. Turn off every outlet into my brain. Like a huge surge protector plug In and I just clicked it off and everything went dark. 

I felt I was getting overwhelmed by the smallest little tasks. Crying because I knocked over a pen holder and they flew everywhere. Getting to Target and forgetting my shopping list and could not remember 1 thing on it.

I was completely stressing myself out because I was not getting what I needed to get done and panic set in and then the internal name calling and then shutting down completely. 

For the past few weeks I have been slowing down the pace of things. Makings lists to keep me on track but also with achievable goals. If I get one thing crossed off I do a little dance and pat myself on the back and take a minute to acknowledge I accomplished something. 

To many times I have dwelled on all the things I haven’t done but forget the things I actually did finish. Yes, there are many things that are still on my list but did I cross off the worst one first. Hell yeah!! Did you cross off two small ones but had to add 3 more. No biggie girl! It’s fluid. For me the main thing is to know things are getting done in a healthy way and I’m going to try not to stress that things are still there. 

Think of your to do list as just a reminder of things that can be done. DO NOT THINK IT HAS TO BE DONE RIGHT NOW. Nothing wrong with having an ongoing master list that you keep adding to. You are the one in control of which one gets done first and which ones can wait. It does not control you. 

I know what I’m saying is not anything new or some ah ha moment but this post really is just a reminder to me and anyone who needs it that’s it’s going to be ok. 

Just breathe, take a minute or a freaking few weeks, regroup and come back rested and ready to do the best you can. That’s all that matters. 

Xoxo

Amy

What to do when your partner sabotages your happiness and achievements

This has happened to me many times. Things are going great and I’m hitting my stride in something. I’m about to celebrate or start a new chapter and boom…a fight starts or silent treatment or whatever happens to dampen the mood.

Just how a partner can love bomb you to manipulate they can also turn the opposite direction and tear you down just as quick.

My abuser was the stereotypical narcissist. All about them but very rarely acknowledge what’s going on with you. In the beginning when he still let me work I was climbing upward in my career. Each job better than the next and a HUGE freakin deal for me. It never failed on the morning of my first day he would pout and huff and puff until I would ask what’s wrong. Then I would brace for a long tirade on how horrible I am and they will see they made a mistake hiring me. My first day jitters were just made 10x worse.

It seemed anytime I started to show self esteem and the threat of independence I guess it was time to tear e back down again. After a while I actually stopped trying hard for things. WTF!!!! I would decline job offers that were presented to me. I would stop sharing anything positive because I didn’t want to set him off.

In that time frame I was also going through a weight loss journey. The verbal abuse about my weight was increasing so of course I went on a diet to again curb the verbal assaults. With every pound I lost I did a little internal happy dance. So when my weight loss was getting noticeable it became a problem. I was getting healthy and becoming again more self confident. I noticed more and more fattening foods entering the house. Cookies,chips,ice cream and all the things that got me to my highest weight to begin with. Will power when I’m hungry is always hard for me. I cave so easy so keeping those things out of the house was a huge turning point. Playing into my weakness I caved and started getting lazy in tracking and for the most part gave up. I never got a you look good or I can see the progress..good job.

So what can we do when these kind of things happen? Here are a few tips I wish I would have done earlier to still celebrate my wins instead of hiding them,

1. If you have a small group of people that you can talk to about your big things let them in on it. I hid my abuse but I still talked to my girls about what I’m doing and how it’s going. Have a text chain that you all can share good news and can celebrate together with people that actually give a shit.

2. Never give up on your goals. Even if you have to keep them all in your head. Once I gave up on myself I slipped farther into the abuse. I started believing what he was telling me. If you still have the fire in you but just can’t pursue right now keep it lit! You will get there. Have a planning meeting with yourself each day on what little things can I do safely to move forward.

3. Daily affirmations. This one took me a bit to adopt. I just felt silly at first and to be honest I didn’t believe it. I had to truly fake it until I made it. Every morning and night when I brushed my teeth I would force myself to say 3 positive things about me. It can be the same every day but you need to give yourself a boost since your not getting it from your partner. Self love people

4. Never stop learning. Try new things if possible. Push yourself a little bit just to prove to yourself you can achieve whatever you need to do and crush it. Being in a funk is normal in these types of relationships so its important to still be true to you and keep bettering yourself. You are NOT a the words coming out of their mouth.

Hope this helps a little when your feeling discouraged.

Xoxo

Amy

Losing Naomi Judd

Hey all,

It took me a minute but I did want to address the passing of Naomi Judd.

First and foremost it’s a loss. She and her daughter Wynonna were a huge part of my childhood since their songs were always playing in the house. Big voices, big personalities and big hair. I was totally on board.

Naomi was completely open about her struggle with mental illness. She talked about while she was on the road she felt alive but the quiet times at home is when the bad thoughts set in. She was what they have called treatment resistant. Trying everything and nothing will break though.

I’m on 3 different meds and I’m still not 100% sure it’s the right mix but fighting to find it can be exhausting.

The one thing that kind of got me was the wording of her passing. “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness” I thought for someone who was so open about her struggles about her mental health and suicide thoughts they would have come right out and say that was what happened. I understand they were protecting their mothers legacy but it could also be a teaching and large platform for the prevention of these types of things.

Of course it has come out today that it was for sure suicide. I also understand as a non family member we are not obligated an answer. The pain the family is in is unbearable. So we mourn with them.

RIP Naomi. Rest easy and we will always remember the voice and the voice you had for others like you.

xoxoxo

Amy

If you or someone you know needs help…It’s there and it’s ok to call or text or message.

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Thinking the worst and jumping to conclusions

If thinking the worst and jumping to conclusions were an Olympic sport I WOULD DOMINATE on a global scale. It’s my go too, My wheelhouse, my comfort zone. Is it wrong? Hell yes it’s wrong..but can I stop? No way.

I always joke that I can go from sniffles to death on a simple google search. I can take a minor thing like not texting back right away to them being mad and hating me. If my boss asks to chat with me quick I automatically think I’m getting fired.

Just yesterday I picked up my guy at the airport. I typically get out of the drivers side to go to the passenger side so he can drive. After I pop the truck and get out so he can put his bags in the back we typically meet in the middle somewhere Iwhile I am going around and hug and kiss as a welcome home I love and miss you gesture. This time he walked right into the car and buckled up. No kiss, no hug NOTHING. I of course think the worst. OMG he is mad, he hates me, he’s going to break up with me in the car, He’s got bad news…blah blah blah. I run through EVERYTHING before I even get in the passengers seat. Meanwhile he’s all like what’s your deal while I run through all my feats with him before he pulls away from the curb. I panic and he’s like oh sorry..I was just getting in the car no biggie. He immediately calms my fears and we go about our day like nothing ever happened.

I’m highly aware how exhausting I must be, always having to reassure me the sky is not falling. I really do try and let things play out without a freak-out but if my anxiety is already at a high there is no stopping the panic.

But why do I do this? My therapist says it’s because I have had a lot of loss in my life. Like I need to make sure nothing else happens. Also because of my past abuse I always think I’m in trouble or in the wrong so I need to hurry up and figure out what’s happening so I can brace for impact of bad things and possibly try and fix it. Meanwhile the other person simply forgot to text back. It probably is just a small cold or in my guys case just wanted to get in the car.

So what can we do to try and stop the spiral? Here are the things that I do. It’s still a work in progress obviously but I do try and practice these steps.

  1. Stop Time Traveling– Most of the thoughts I have would be happening in the future. The what if’s. What if I fail? What if he’s going to be mad? What if I see a pretty cloud and am looking up and then get hit by a huge bus and DIE? If we take a minute to think in the present. We can maybe slow our roll. Maybe look at the clouds AND check traffic. Maybe wait and see if he or she is mad before you keep pestering them by asking IF they are mad. Fun Fact: It will probably make them mad if you keep asking.

2. Play out the worst case- So if you must go down the dark path of what if’s.. Then let’s go there. What if you fail? Ok we fail. Do we try again, move on or work harder and figure out what went wrong. What if he’s mad? Ok he’s PISSED. What can we do to make it better? Let’s apologize and figure out where we went wrong so it’s not an issue moving forward. Clouds and getting hit by a bus. Maybe we get everything in a secure place for our loved ones. Let’s not take the day for granted. Let’s always put our best foot forward and live for the moment. Unless that one foot is the foot that get’s you hit by a bus:) By playing it out you take back a little control and will know exactly what to do if the worst does come. You can totally let out a I TOLD YOU SO as well if it makes you happy.

3. Play out the best case- It’s the same game as above but with the better outcome. Again either way you are going to be in control with whatever way it pans out.

4. Would you say this out loud? With the likes like the sniffles turning into a rare illness that will kill you in 6 months. Would you actually tell someone that? Out Loud? With things that can be a little out there I always ask myself that question to see if I’m willing to share my paranoia with others. If it’s my guy I’m more prone to blurt it out since he knows how my head works. If it’s a co worker and telling them my sniffles is going to kill me in 6 months so I’m gifting you my stapler is a bit harder. If it’s hard to sat to other people maybe take a step back and think to yourself am I making this a HUGE deal when it’s in the nothing stage yet.

5. Journal- Sometimes all the steps above are no match for anxiety. I have found that journaling or writing down the fears can have a positive impact. I play the best/worst case on paper so I can see just how outrageous it can be when I read it back. This blog is a bit of a helpful tool for me as well. I know if I write it down others can read. It’s a gut check sometimes.

Everyone is different is how they handle things. Some people are full on jumpers like me and others it’s just a quick thought and then they move on. Wherever you land on the scale just know that we all have moments like this. It’s just how you handle them that makes a difference.

The one thing I found that can help is once I play out worst case I can typically laugh at it so I thought we could all share (if your comfortable) our funniest worst case/ jumping to conclusions moments.

Here’s mine:

I dated a man that lived out of town and when he would come stay with me he always brought a little duffle bag with him for the weekend. One weekend he came and he had a lock on the bag. I’m not one to really go through peoples stuff but I was so worried why all of a sudden he had a lock on the bag. Why? What the eff was in there? Why now? Why can’t you be open and honest with me? Are they murder supplies like a knife and a tarp to hide my body? My thoughts got to the point where I finally had to confront my future murderer. He then opened the lock to the bag and pulled out a fancy blue tiffany’s box and presented me with my DAMN BIRTHDAY PRESENT. Yes folks, I confronted him on my birthday. He put the lock on it because he wanted the gift to be secure while he was traveling. UGH. I’m an idiot.

Ok your next. What have you done when you should of just slowed down and walked through everything?

XOXO

Amy

How to handle being alone on a holiday

Hi all,

Today is Easter and I’m alone. My boo thang had to be in a different state for work so I’m rocking the holiday by myself. It took me a bit to be fine saying that but here I am being a grown ass woman letting you know I’m ok with being alone on a holiday. That was not always the case.

Would I rather have a huge Easter dinner and dress up in cute outfits and be around friends and family and eat chocolate bunnies ears first? HELL YES I would. Sometimes things just don’t pan out the way you would like them too.

Over the course of my career I’ve had to work many holidays. For some reason I always felt that was easier than being alone at home. Something to keep my mind busy and just almost think that it’s just another day and no big deal. But when you are alone and you have the day off it is a bit harder to take. I would always hate the dreaded questions ” What are you doing for Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years?” Sometimes I would just make things up instead of having to hear myself say nothing. A quick going to see family or my friend invited me over to her house would stop follow up questions.

At my very worst mental state I would dread holidays. I would get so depressed. I would see all the fun activities and events and even though I could have dragged my ass out to them I was having a pity party of 1 at home. I longed for the set dinner tables, the traditional food and the fun and festive atmosphere of people around me.

Now it seems I’m a bit older and wiser and on the right about of meds (hahaha) I can totally do a holiday alone and be fine. Do I still prefer the social part yes but here are a few things I have done over the years to enjoy the days a bit more.

  1. Volunteer

Just because it is a holiday doesn’t mean shelters, services and people in need take the day off. If you find yourself alone and are wanting to get out of the house try and find an organization that could use you for the day. Over the years I have served dinners at homeless shelters, brought Easter baskets to a women’s shelter for their kids, walked dogs at an animal shelter and delivered boxes of food for the elderly that may be alone as well but needed a bit of holiday cheer. You are helping others but are also helping yourself if your struggling mentally with your own holiday sadness. Here is a website you can go to to check on volunteer opportunities in your area. Just type in your city and zip code and you will all things locally.

https://www.volunteermatch.org/

2. Find a local fun run or 5K

Try and look to see if your area has a fun holiday event you can take part in. There is always a fun run or 5K around somewhere. They tend to be holiday themed with fun costumes and festive atmosphere. They always say if your feeling down a good walk or exercise to get the blood pumping can do wonders to boot a mood. You may not know all the people around you but just being in a fun environment will do wonders plus a little exercise couldn’t hurt.

3. Cook your favorite holiday meal

Just because you are by yourself doesn’t mean you can’t have a feast of your favorite holiday traditions. I am the absolute worst cook but even if I can’t make things myself I will go buy at least a few things. Just because you are alone doesn’t mean you can’t have a large amount of pie:)

4. Make the day a ME day

Places may be closed but you can plan ahead and have yourself a little spa day at a day spa or a DIY day at home. The 4th of July for me is my worst holiday. I am embarrassed to admit but I am terrified of fireworks. I’m like a dog and all I want to do is crawl under the bed and hide. So my new and fantastic tradition I do every year is check myself into a really expensive hotel and do a spa day and eat room service and watch horrible reality TV shows all weekend. When the fireworks start at nighttime I’m already a bottle of wine in and I’ll fall asleep around 8. That’s my thing but you could totally pick and start new traditions for yourself.

5. Try not to stress about it

I type this with it being easier said than done. All I’m trying to say with this one is try not to dwell too much on things that your not doing. If your missing some traditions and it makes you sad do a few to keep you in the spirit. Don’t feel forced to do them if it’s just going to make you miss anything. Start your own traditions. Do your own thing and if you want to wear bunny ears just for your dog that’s fine. You do you! The day is just another day and tomorrow will also be another day.

For those of you celebrating with friends and family today enjoy! To those of you like me that are alone today I urge you to pick one thing that makes you happy and go do it, or eat it or just take a nap. It’s your day to do whatever you want. ENJOY IT!

XOXO,

Amy

Why I love being in the car alone..

For me and maybe many of you there is just something so damn freeing about being in the car and driving. I feel safe and protected. Just me and the open road. No fighting, no yelling, just some quality me time and it’s fabulous.

Most of you here know my past story about abuse. I was rarely allowed to do things on my own but when I got to get in the car and actually drive to do an errand or go somewhere he didn’t feel like going it was pure bliss. It was just me and my thoughts. I was in control and most of all I was free.

Most trips were small. To and from the grocery store, running to get dog food or going to the doctor. I always wish it was longer trips or I would daydream that I would miss my exit and just keep going. Nowhere to be, but wanted to be far away from where I was.

On the really cold days I would let my car warm up a bit longer just so I could stay in the car longer. On the hotter days I would jump in and let the heat wash over me like a hug and pretend I was on a tropical vacation.

I tried to run errands every chance I could just so I could get that quick little vacation. I craved it somedays. As excited as I was to get into the car the disappointment was just as great when he said he was coming with. I wanted to scream..”GET OUT, THIS IS MY TIME”

I’ve had some of my best thoughts in the car. Mapping out my life goals and how to get to them. Wild and outlandish business ideas were made and then I would laugh and think could I really get away with that?

But I will tell you my most memorable and life changing drive was when I drove from Illinois to Florida in February 2019. That was the day my life changed. I was driving away from the last 6 years of abuse. My freedom ride. I was scared but I could not stop smiling. Comparing myself to what a shelter dog must feel like breaking free from the kennel. Each state line I was giddy because it was one more state in between him and I. As the distance kept getting wider so did my smile.

It took me 3 days to drive. I started scared and alone, not knowing how I was going to make it with just what I had in my car. By the time I hit the half way point I had a plan on next steps once I arrived in Florida. By the 3rd and final day once I saw that Welcome to Florida sign I knew I was going to be ok. That cross country drive was just what I needed. No distractions, just me and my thoughts and nothing but time to get my life back.

That drive will always mean so much to me. Seeing the change in myself mile after mile is something that helps me remember how strong I can be. It shows me on my down times that I CAN do it and I WILL BE OK.

As I write this I am planning a road trip through Utah, Nevada and California. I work in a ski resort town do I am needing some warmer less wet weather:)

Have you all taken any life changing road trips? How has it changed you? I’d love to hear about it.

XOXO,

Amy

Daylights Saving Time and how it effects your body.

Hey all,

I know I’m late on this one but lets chat about the crazy thing that happens twice a year that makes us cranky, moody and tired. Daylights Savings Time is not ever a surprise and we know it’s coming but damn if it doesn’t creep up and bite you in the ass at 4pm when all you want to do is go to sleep.

My thing is why does it actually make you so tired losing an hour when we all have had way less nights of sleep. This just seems worse and hard to adjust too right?

Every time it comes around so many people talk about it and complain and I know this time the Senate actually passed a bill to end it..but will it make a difference?

I know that losing/gaining an hour and having sunsets and sunrises mess with sleep schedules and they are the least of our world problems but studies have shown it does take a toll on the body.

Here are a few things I found on this thing called Google

  1. With DST, between March and November, your body is exposed to less morning light and more evening light, which can throw off your circadian rhythm,” When your internal clock is out of sync with the sun’s clock, you can feel tired in the morning and awake in the evening.

2. According to the American Heart Association, in addition to the fatigue, the transition can also affect your heart and brain. Hospital admissions for an irregular heartbeat pattern known as atrial fibrillation, as well as heart attacks and strokes, increase in the first few days of daylight saving time.

3. Losing an hour of afternoon daylight after setting the clocks back to standard time can trigger mental illness, including bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression. A Danish study found an 11% increase in depression cases after the time change.

4. A 2020 study found fatal traffic accidents increased by 6% in the United States during daylight saving time.

Then I found this gem…

Strange as it may seem, Daylight Saving Time might mean you find yourself in more serious legal trouble. According to a 2016 study from the Association for Psychological Science, judges hand out harsher sentences the day after the DST switch.

So basically if you get arrested the judge is going to be cranky like the rest of us so your fate is in the hands of a sleep deprived, moody judge. Good luck folks:)

So what do you think? Are you a fan or hate it or indifferent? I think it’s just the norm now and we all power though but do you think it’s a good idea to do away with it completely?

XOXO

Amy

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My in real time mental breakdown starting in 3..2..1

Hey all,

So what you are about to read is extremely hard for me to post. I’ve been gone for a few weeks due to me relapsing into a deep state of depression and panic attacks triggered from my abusive past.

During my worst meltdown, I decided to write out all that was going through my head. My worst thoughts, the panic rambling, the trying to understand and getting more and more frustrated.

I promised myself that I would not edit or alter my words. What you read below was me in real time writing my exact thoughts. No filter. No spellcheck. Just raw painful emotions. I’m fully exposed here and this is just as terrifying as the episode itself.

Why would I share this? Because it’s real life. I’m just one of many who battle mental health issues each day and below was my day to battle.

Here we go.

Feb 20th 2022 at 2:35am

What the fuck am I doing up again? I’m so tired but I’m wide awake and I can’t sleep. My head feels so heavy. It’s like my body and brain are so disconnected. My body is barely moving. Exhausted. My damn brain is telling me all the things I hate about myself. Right now I believe every word. I want the words to stop. Each word is flashing like a neon light.

Worthless, stupid, idiot,fat,ugly,broke,selfish

It feels like one of those scrolling news feeds on CNN or ESPN. Constant and never ending and I can’t shut it off.

I’m on the bathroom floor. It’s cool on my skin. I want to cover up. I’m embarrassed being exposed even though I’m the only one here. I want to wear so many layers to hide but I’m too fucking lazy to get up off the floor.

I hate that I’m like this. I’m so embarrassed. Everything is falling apart. My body, mind, relationship, money. I feel like a piece of shit not worth being here. I’m more of a burden than a asset to anyone. C has not spoken to me for a week. He left for Florida and has not called since he left. My heart is beating out of my chest and it’s hard to breathe. He can’t handle my past very well and doesn’t understand my future is still traumatized. I need to stop letting it interfere. It’s ruining everything. My ex 3 years later is still in my head hurting me. I’m not allowed to be happy. Please god make the pain go away. I can’t take much more.

My heart hurts like it’s going to explode. I can’t calm down. Writing this down is keeping me alive I think. It’s making me look at the words. I hate words.

My eyes are burning from my tears. I have a huge rash on my neck and chest that is starting to itch. Last time I scratched until I bled. I’m going to not do that this time. I did hit my head when I was falling to the floor. I’m sure my head will continue to pound until tomorrow. I hate that I am so pathetic. Why cant I be strong like I used to be. Or was I ever? Was I always this shitty? I’m spiraling out of control and nobody is here to catch me. I don’t blame them.

I feel like screaming “please help me”. I want someone here to hold my hand. To speak softly to tell me everything is going to be ok. But I’m so alone. Sometimes I think I’ll die alone.

I think that is scarier than anything.. dying alone. I’m an only child. I don’t have kids and my relationships are spotty at best. Who will be there for me? Am I worth taking care of?

I want to go to bed so bad but I know if I get up off the floor I will start spinning. My vertigo is in full force once I hit this manic state. If I move to quick I throw up and fall over. So here I sit.

It’s been over an hour now since I’ve been in here. My heart rate is slowing down and I feel I can breathe better. The feeling is coming back to my hands and feet. They always tingle when I’m hyperventilating. Popping the Xanax once I got to the floor was a good call. I hate taking it but it’s works so well for me. I wonder if this will always be my life. Crying on the bathroom floor ashamed and popping pills to calm down.

I’m finally getting sleepy and I’m both mentally and physically exhausted. I’m wondering if I should write these attacks down more often. I helps me focus on this I guess even though I’m rambling. I’m going to try and get some sleep until my alarm goes off at 7. It’s going to be a long day.

So there you have it guys.. Whew! I hate reading that to be honest but it’s my truth sometimes and that is ok. I do want everyone to know that I am ok and no need to worry. I am on the right meds. A support team that just needed a breather and I’m doing much better.

I will always be a work in progress and some days are WAY better than others. I am pretty proud of myself for the courage to post this. I know everyone says you are not alone but you really do have allies out there, I am here fighting right along side with you. We can have better days and as long as we have others to rely on on the not so great days we will be ok. All you need to do is reach out and ask.

Love to all,

XOXO

Amy

The dreaded silent treatment and what to do when they will not speak to you.

I have been through this so many times that I can’t even tell you a number. And each and every time it hurts like hell. When I was going through it I always felt like I was invisible, insignificant and not worth much. Why wasn’t he speaking to me and trying to work this out? Why does he shut down and ignore? Doesn’t he see how much this hurts and it’s making me go to places in my brain I do not want to go.

Well…

They do know. They are trying to hurt you and yes, they are trying to make you slowly go crazy. The silent treatment is a form of abuse and it’s a way for the abuser to control you.

How many times have you felt the need to apologize just to keep the peace? They flew off the handle, but you’re the one being punished. You feel like you have to apologize to make them feel better knowing damn well you did nothing wrong. I am realistic here and let’s just say you did make a little mistake you should be able to talk about it in that moment and it should be ok. Sincerely apologize and keep it moving. That’s how it should work.

When you are in a toxic relationship this could be a daily or weekly occurrence. You start to question if you really ARE the problem. What is so wrong with you that you make him so mad all the time. The answer is nothing. Every couple will fight…it’s going to happen but how you treat each other in that moment is what will make or break a relationship. Being heated and maybe saying something you shouldn’t happens. We are human, that’s normal, but saying something hurtful to your partner then shutting down and ghosting you is not.

So what is the Silent Treatment and what can you do to help your mental health while going through it.

The silent treatment is when your partner, parent, friend is hearing what you say, write, text and they purposely ignore. It’s a control tactic they put in place to make you the one that is struggling with the silence. I will talk about Gaslighting in a future post but this is a form. You are the one that is the problem and they want you to know that they are not happy. They want you to be the one groveling back and saying sorry first. To admit you messed up. To beg them for forgiveness. It’s all about having the upper hand and making your point of view and feelings pushed back and non existent.

Some woman I talk to will not think of the silent treat as abuse. They say they are not getting hit or they are not being yelled at and called names..it’s just silence. I completely understand there are levels to things. Each of us has a story for sure we could tell. But what the silent treatment actually does to your mind and body is 100% real. You may not have a bruise or a screaming partner in your face but you do actually have long term effects from it.

So what does it actually do to you while you are going through it. Well some studies have actually shown that the silent treatment triggers the brain as it would if you are being physically hurt.

A recent study at Perdue University shows that the silent treatment triggers the anterior cingulate cortex which is the same area in the brain that triggers physical pain. 1400 participants in the study also showed extreme bouts of panic/anxiety attacks, depression, erectile disfunction and unitary and bowl issues. Different levels of emotional stress could lead to more serious health risks, such as eating disorders, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, blood clots and cancer. Just because they are not laying hands on you this is STILL a form of abuse and should be taken vary seriously.

I have totally been there. When it first started happening it would consume every inch of me. If they were in the house I would talk, cry, have panic attacks and feeling so low about myself that going to a dark place was easy. I just wanted the pain to stop. I would always say I would rather have them yell and me because at least I was being seen. Sometimes I even thought that I’d rather get punched because the physical pain subsided easier than the emotional.

If they left the house or not around me I would rapid fire texts off telling them how I feel, how bad it hurts and I’m so sorry I hurt you and please forgive me and blah, blah, blah. Why the Fuck am I apologizing when they were the ones inflicting pain. I always did it though. I was desperate to be seen. To be heard. To be acknowledged, and understood.

The more he did it to me the crazier I would become. I was playing right in to what he was telling me. Your too emotional, Why are you so crazy, You are the reason why I need to leave he would say. Was I? I was crying a lot, having panic attacks, am I the cause of all this? I would tell myself awful things and start to believe I really was the problem.

So what are things you can do to power though the silent treatment and remain calm as to not damage your body and self worth.

Make sure you know for sure if it truly is the silent treatment. Some people really do need a cooling off period.Most rational and an effective form of communication would be to say ” I need a break from this but we can talk about it later” This shows that they really do care about the topic..but maybe they just need time to collect their thoughts, calm down and come back to resolve the issue TOGETHER.

Calmly state your feelings verbally or in writing. Let them know that the silent treatment is hurtful and draining. Let them know exactly how your feeling and don’t leave anything out. Make sure he knows what his silence is doing to you and how it’s effecting you mentally and physically. If you feel strong enough you can stand up and let him know you will not tolerate this behavior. Please only do this if you feel safe.

Step back and control the urge to keep talking. As much as you want to keep talking it’s best to fall back a bit. If you calmly expressed how you feel and they still did not respond then you need to let them be. Even though they are not responding they ARE seeing your messages and with every crazy text it just makes them feel more in control. They know you are hurting and that’s exactly what they wanted. If you say your peace and then stop you are not giving them the satisfaction of watching or hearing you break down.

Put your mental state first. You need to take care of you during this time. You may be crying or going crazy on the inside but please try and remember your self worth. You do not deserve this and the only person that will take care of you is you. Take a shower or bath, go for a walk, work on something you can’t do much of because of your partner. What brings you joy and a distraction? I personally take a hot shower. I allow myself to cry a little bit alone and then I try and tell myself all the things I do well. Give yourself a pep talk. You ARE worth it.

I know not everyone has the same situations. I’m fully aware the consiqences that some of these can bring. First and foremost I want you to be safe. If you really can’t express the hurt and pain it causes you then it’s best not to say anything. Meanwhile use that time to work out a plan in your head on how to get out. When I was at the worst point with my ex I would use the shower as an escape to be alone with my thoughts. I could never tell him how I felt because it would end badly but he could never take my internal thoughts away from me.

Bottom line is that the silent treatment is NEVER ok. If you have a mutual respect for each other it should be ok to talk things out opening. You should never feel like your being punished. That your words do not matter. Cooling off is fine as long as there is a time you can talk later. I know it’s so hard to process when you are left with nothing and no idea when it will end..just know you deserve better and deserve a partner that will always listen to you if it’s good or bad.

Author Edit:

Wow! After reading this again I can feel the anger and hurt I still have when I think about it, I’m 3 years removed and sometimes a trigger can set me back a little bit but it’s all about a process and everyone is different. It’s good to be open and honest with yourself about how your feeling about certain things. My truth is that this set me off a little bit. I can sense it in my writing and how I said things. I can feel the panic and pain I had during those times. Time to take a shower and have a little me time with my thoughts.

That’s all for now.

XOXO

Amy