Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Anxiety, Mass and Childhood Friends.

Wow, what an incredibly hectic week I've had. I haven't been able to blog in nearly a week because of everything that's been going on. I don't even know where to begin.

Well, on Monday (which was a holiday here in the States) I ended up in the E.R. because of a massive panic attack I got. Hyperventilating, lightheaded, chest pains, crying -- the whole thing. I'd never gotten one as intense as it before. The best way I can describe it is feeling like I was going to go nuts. Panic attacks don't usually last more than 15 minutes but I somehow got about 2 - 3 in the space of about an hour (and in the middle of the Liverpool v Aston Villa game) so my mom worried and I was taken to the E.R. I spent about 9 hours there before I was released and basically, they already told me what I know... everything that happened last year has begun to surface and I've been feeling extremely anxious because of it. I was relieved to hear that I'm not going crazy and that I am in fact physically healthy. It just sucks to know that it's going to take a couple of weeks to start kicking the anxiety out of my system. Luckily, I'm taking the semester off so I can work on that before I go off to my new school.

And speaking of my new school -- apparently that is a HUGE source of my anxiety, which I never even considered. I've felt okay with the whole thing but apparently it's a bigger stressor than I had realized. Luckily, I've found these lovely counselors that are willing to work with me at a university nearby (and for dirty cheap -- compared to other places -- because I'm a college student) so I'm on the right path to getting better. I am going to have to postpone writing my book, or at least parts of it, for a while because I can't deal with additional stress until I start my therapy sessions.

You know... it's VERY common for people in this part of Southern California to have counselors, therapists and/or psychiatrists. In fact, there's a running joke that everyone and their dog has one. lol. It's very true though. I live in a very drama-filled city so I can see how that "joke" started. In my case, having to deal with my father's cancer (for the second time in 5 years), just coming off illness myself, having to plan my moving away from home, going through the transfer application process, having a heavy courseload (and I do mean HEAVY), and trying to keep this family together... NOT a walk in the park. Oh and I had the absolute worst summer (I took two 5-week courses, with professors who were partially insane, that were super intense) so... yeah. And, actually, this is the first time I've had vacation in a year. I was in school all of '07 (winter and summer included). Everyone who's had to help their parents out with major responsibilities and/or have had way too much on their plate because of things that have come up -- I completely for you and I know how difficult it is. I don't know how some people are able to cope with all of that but power to ya!

I'm very lucky that I know why I'm going through what I'm going and that I'll be able to work on it to get better again. Like the doctor said, I should be thankful that I'm not depressed (I'm a little too happy and joke around too much to be depressed, lol) and I have a great support system in my parents and my best friends. I know I'll be fine; I just need to really work on it and remember that I've dealt with worse things which I was able to overcome. I'm definitely going to be praying a little more than I was, spending a little extra time asking St. Dymphna for her intercession. As I always say, God never throws anything your way that you can't handle.

I was proud of two things while I was at the hospital -- 1) I was able to bring comfort to an older woman and 2) I was able to make people laugh. While we were in the E.R., I befriended this older lady who was maybe in her 80s. She was fine for a while until she started worrying about her surgery. I asked her if she was Catholic and she said she was. I gave her the St. Jude prayer card I had with me. She read it and then wanted to give it back to me but I told her to keep it so she'd have it as a source of comfort. Her daughter saw what I'd done and she thanked me, telling me that they were actually devotees of his. After that, the older woman seemed in better spirits, which made me so happy! That's all I would ever want -- to cheer up someone who was feeling down, despite how I am feeling. I was very happy I was able to make some of the other people laugh too. Apparently, no matter how much pain or how miserable I may be, I can still manage to make people laugh. I hope I never lose that ability.

Okay, I have said enough about what happened on Monday, which I want to put behind me. I ended up missing mass on Sunday AND Monday which makes me very unhappy! I felt icky on Sunday morning but when I was ready on Sunday afternoon-evening, dad had start getting sick so... I had to stay home. It's all a conspiracy to keep me from mass but, pfft, next Sunday I will be there! I HATE missing mass. I don't feel right... and I am perfectly aware it's a mortal sin (although I know it's not as bad if I miss it because I'm sick or because I have to stay home to take care of my dad). Bah! It's back to confession for me on Saturday, too (for missing mass). If anyone ever wonders why I seem to go to confessions almost every week, it's usually because I miss mass due to circumstances beyond my control. That and Liverpool games make me say mean things about refs who don't do their job properly. lol. Bah humbug! Oh wait... that's a Christmas-y saying, isn't it? lol. Well, you get what I mean. :D

Ooh, this is something interesting that happened last night/this morning. I had the most RANDOM dream about this guy I went to school with... when I was 5 - 11 years old! We were friends all through elementary school and when we went off to junior high, that was it. But it was so WEIRD to have a dream about him. Never in a million year would I have thought of him if I had not had that dream. I think I still have some pictures from when we were kids but I'd have to check. Anyway, I wonder why I had the dream... and it's made me very curious to know what he and his sister (who was also a friend of mine) are up to.

I still keep in touch with childhood friends but most everyone has lost track of everyone else. I find it funny that out of the friends I've known since ages 4 - 11, (that I still keep in touch with) only 3 of them are girls and only because my parents see their parents so we send each other hellos and messages through them. All the rest of them, the ones I personally talk to, are guys. The friend I have known the longest still comes and visits when he's in the area. We've known each other since I was 4 and he was 5. I also still keep in touch with my childhood sweetheart (my first 'boyfriend' who I've known since we were 5 years old), as well. He's off in the Navy so I pray that he gets back home soon to because I'm sure his wife misses him terribly. Thinking about it, it's so WEIRD to think that most of my childhood friends are married, with kids or engaged. Only one of the guys and I are still single. I know it's part of growing up but it's just funny because everyone thought I'd be the first to get married and have kids and I'm the last one. lol. I'm serious. Being the hopeless romantic, everyone pretty much bet I would be the first to marry (and as young as 17). I should've bet a lot of money that I would be the last. lol. While I do have someone I care about, everyone's gonna have to wait quite a while longer before they have my (potential) wedding as an excuse to have a reunion. :D

Yikes, I've written way too much. Sorry, I'm just making up for the last 5 days. Hopefully this will be the longest entry I'll ever write. I will go back to my shorter entries next time. :D

Anyhoo, if you've made it this far... have an imaginary cookie or go get yourself a real one as a reward. If you know me personally, come over and I'll make you cookies. :D lol. Thanks for reading and God Bless.

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