Sleep Paralysis

My Psychiatrist prescribed me sleeping pills recently to try and help with my very disruptive sleep patterns. 

I don’t take them every night but the first couple of times I did take them I actually slept like 7 hours…in a row!!

But with any of my past experiences taking sleep meds, usually after about 3 days or so, I seem to become immune to them and history repeats itself and eventually they just stop working. 

So my Psychiatrist suggested that maybe I alternate between 2 different kinds to try and avoid building up an immunity to one particular brand.

The secondary pill he prescribed is pretty new on the market and came with a bit more risk to me when it comes to its long laundry list of potential side effects. Something I have to be very vigilant of given my history with most medications I take.

I tried taking them once or twice a couple of weeks ago and found that it made me extremely groggy and unfunctionable the next day. I decided to just save them for nights where I really feel I need one.

Last night felt like one of those nights that warranted me taking one. I was having a bad night and feeling super anxious and emotional. I also hadn’t slept the night before because I have been experiencing severe pain throughout my entire body the last few days which I believe to be a side effect from the recent increase in my anti-anxiety medication and I was almost too afraid to fall asleep. 

So Rich gave me the sleeping pill about 10pm. An hour or so later I could feel myself slowly drifting off to sleep, or so I thought.

My eyes were closed but then suddenly my arms and legs felt very tingly, I felt very weighted down under my weighted blanket, I kept trying to move but couldn’t and then my body went almost numb. 

I felt paralyzed and for the next hour and a half I began hallucinating and became extremely paranoid. 

I remember all of it. Every noise I heard and every image I saw including the one of a gun pointing directly in my face. 

My body may have felt very disconnected but my mind was still very much aware of my surroundings. I was completely conscious yet felt helpless against the danger I kept feeling I was in.

It was terrifying. 

Our brains can have a very cruel sense of humour sometimes. 
My body is so damn sensitive to drugs of any kind and that’s no joke. It’s really making me reconsider my decision to begin Ketamine treatment next week even more.

I could hear myself trying to speak aloud at times but the words weren’t always coming out of my mouth. I couldn’t catch my breath. I kept trying to take deep breaths but I was gasping for air each time I did. Those desperate and very loud gasps for air was what brought Hannah anxiously running down the hall from behind her closed bedroom door to see what was going on.

One minute I’d be hysterically crying and the next moment I was hysterically laughing. 

Maggie kept trying to lick my face. Her tongue felt like it was on speed. She could sense that there was something wrong.  

Rich held my hand the entire time trying desperately to calm me down while at the same time laughing hysterically alongside Hannah at some of the nonsensical and I gather from their outbursts of laughter, very comical things that I kept saying.

Laughter was all that was holding them together. I guess that’s why they say it truly is the best medicine.

**If you missed my blog yesterday about my upcoming Ketamine treatment please go to: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/10/05/ketamine-again/

Xoxo

#sleepparalysis #sleepingpills #suicidalmind #triggers #laughteristhebestmedicine #mentalhealth #hallucinations #paranoia #mentalexhaustion #ketamine #weightedblanket #treatmentresistantdepression #adogspurpose #mentalillnessawarenessweek

A Dog’s Sixth Sense

 

I’ve been living with a severe anxiety disorder on a daily basis for more than six years now (yup old news, I know) and I’m pretty certain by now that it’s something I will live with for the rest of my days. But I also suffer with a panic disorder and although I don’t experience panic attacks quite so often, they seem to be happening more and more frequently lately.

Many people think that anxiety and panic attacks are one in the same, but they are not. They often exhibit some similarities when it comes to symptoms (i.e: heart palpitations, chest pain, numbness or tingling sensations, shortness of breath and nausea), but unlike many of those regular symptoms that seem to follow me around on a daily basis, a panic attack will come on much stronger, often very suddenly and involve intense and overwhelming fear (panic). 

The other day I wrote a blog describing a panic attack that I had experienced the night before (https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/today-is-a-new-day) but what I left out was that I have not just been experiencing them more frequently, I have actually been experiencing them EVERY SINGLE NIGHT for the past week or so, and last night was no exception. 

As I lay in bed feeling anxious last night (surprise, surprise) my thoughts quickly intensified and without any further warning a feeling of panic and impending doom set in and before I knew it I was in the depths of a full blown panic attack, fearing that something very, very bad was about to happen. 

Rich lay helplessly beside me, holding my hand as tears ran down my cheek. I was hyperventilating and felt like I wanted to pull my hair out and jump out of my skin. The next thing I remember happening was Maggie laying on my chest licking my face. I truly believe that dogs can sense their human’s emotions and body language. They just seem to know when the right time is to snuggle up beside you or even help to wipe away your tears. It’s so much more than just a sixth sense and I’m really grateful to have this added layer of protection in my life when I need it the most.

#panicattack #panicdisorder #anxiety #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #endthestigmatogether #youarenotalone #youareenough #courage #itsoktonotbeok #emotionalsupportdog #pettherapy #sixthsense

THC Hangover

On Friday evening after experiencing several heightened episodes of anxiety throughout the day, I found myself right smack in the middle of a full-on panic attack. 

I did my best to try and calm myself down using some breathing techniques but trying to distract myself from what was triggering me in that moment I could barely catch my breath long enough to take some CBD oil; something I don’t hesitate to do several times a day when needed as a therapeutic. 

As soon as the CBD oil started kicking in and my heartrate began to decrease to a more tolerable level I curled up under my weighted blanket, still fully dressed from the day but I didn’t care because all I wanted to do in that moment was close my eyes and go to sleep.

But whose kidding who? Like is sleep ever an option for me? Even if my panic attack had just taken every last ounce of strength I had left inside and crushed it with my blanket, I was still preparing myself for a sleepless night ahead.

And I knew if I lay in bed much longer I would most definitely end up having another anxiety attack of some sort, so I reached for my other bottle of CBD oil on my nightstand, the one with the THC in it. 

I regretted my decision almost immediately even though it took a while for it to kick in. It did not reduce my anxiety or relax me or even help me sleep, instead I spent the rest of the night fighting off my paranoia and hallucinations and by the time morning arrived I was still feeling the effects from the THC and spent the entire day in bed yesterday with a “hangover”.

They say it’s nearly impossible to OD on cannabis but if there is even a slight chance of that happening then I’m pretty sure I managed to do so. Cannabis is supposed to give you a feeling of euphoria but like every other prescribed medication or therapeutic treatment I’ve taken along my journey, including that of Medical Marijuana, “Shrooms”, Ketamine and Edibles I’ve experienced adverse effects from them all.

By morning my Psychosis had pretty much gone away but it left me barely able to finish a sentence or swallow. I had a headache, I felt exhausted, I was beyond nauseous and dizzy and whenever I tried to stand up I felt myself passing out on the floor moments later. But not to worry because I can always count on my family to look after me, and they did just that while between fits of laughter and snapping pictures and recording videos of me to ensure they captured all the highlights. 

I have tried and tried for years now to reap the benefits from using THC and other similar treatments but I think that after what happened to me this weekend I have tried for the very last time and I am just grateful that at least my regular doses of CBD oil still helps me in some small way.

#cbdoil #thc #cannabis #youareenough #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #panicattacks #anxiety #depression #suicideprevention #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #mentalillness #selfcare  

The Aftermath Of A Concussed Mind


I made a promise to myself that I needed to take several steps back during the last few weeks of 2019 in order to help me figure out how I could step forward into 2020 but here I am just over a week into the new year and I have spent most of it in bed with a concussion. 
It’s certainly not how I ever imagined the new year unfolding but I guess I have learned to “expect the unexpected” and it has been a very challenging week to say the least. The bumps and bruises on my body are physically beginning to heal but in turn I am now left dealing with even more bumps and bruises on my mind. 

In my most recent blog “My Safe Place; Feeling The Weight Of My Blanket” (January 5, 2020) I talked about how I needed to rest in order to heal and that spending all day and night last Saturday curled up underneath my weighted blanket was very comforting for me. Lets face it we could all use a day like that every so often but right now my safe place feels almost too safe and scary.

Since the incident last Thursday morning when I fainted again and again and AGAIN I have not left my house other than to see my doctor and visit the emergency room and although I have been doing exactly what the doctor’s ordered by getting lots of rest, I now feel like I am severely paying the price for it mentally.

When many of us imagine a person battling with depression they immediately imagine a person curled up in bed sleeping all day and night. Well I can tell you firsthand that this is not true for everyone and is even further from the truth when it comes to me. 

To begin with, I barely sleep! I will admit though that most of my days do not begin at sunrise (I am up at the crack of dawn, just not physically out of bed) and for my own mental health and wellness I avoid making too many commitments or appointments in the morning hours unless they don’t allow for it. I also know that in order to start my day off I must take a shower first (another great untruth that a person with depression doesn’t do).

But this week all I have wanted to do is lay in bed curled up under my blanket; doing absolutely nothing (yet still unable to sleep). I am especially finding that my concussion symptoms like headaches, dizziness and severe nausea are at their worst in the morning hours for some unknown reason; or maybe there is a reason and I’m just not up on all the concussion lingo and the thought of even taking a shower most days is painfully overwhelming too. 

I know I am probably being too critical of myself as usual and I am feeling so much guilt as though I somehow caused this to happen. I am also feeling more worthlessness right now than ever as I am unable to complete even the simplest of tasks and want nothing more than to lie in bed day and night until I heal my body and mind.

I wish I was able to let go of the negative self-talk in my head in order to allow my body and mind to both heal properly but in the meantime my goal for today is to be able to try and make it out of my home in order to go to my appointment with my therapist because that would be some pretty big steps into 2020!

#babysteps #concussion  #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #selfcare #depression #anxiety #masksoff #blogger 

My Safe Place; Feeling The Weight Of My Blanket

So far I can’t really say that 2020 has started off exactly the way I had hoped for, but as you can probably guess by now, I wouldn’t have expected any less. I mean I have enough trouble feeling hope at the best of times and then add to it the unwritten rule that New Year’s is supposed to bring with it new beginnings may have actually been what threw both my body and mind into overdrive this week landing me with further bumps, bruises, aches, pains and a concussion to boot. 

I mentioned a few days ago that I’d needed to take several steps back over the last few weeks of December in order to figure out ways I can try to help myself move forward into 2020 as I am completely overwhelmed by so much in my life which in turn was probably just setting myself up for failure and further hopelessness (See Blog: What Is Your Proudest Accomplishment of 2019; January 1, 2020). Ironically I also wrote that in order for me to regain those baby steps forward I must first learn how to crawl again before I can learn to walk or run and on the second day of 2020 I found myself desperately learning how to crawl. 

It certainly wasn’t in the way for which I could have ever imagined it to be or what I meant when I said I needed to learn how to crawl before I can learn to walk or run, but it was ironically for my survival nonetheless.  I found myself in a very scary and traumatic situation the other morning (See Blog: A Big Bang; January 2, 2020) where I kept fainting and had lost complete control of both my body and mind and all I wanted to do was crawl my way back upstairs to my “safe place” before I fainted for a fourth time. I eventually did make my way safely upstairs and “crawled” back into my bed, threw my weighted blanket over top of me; thankful to be in my “safe place”.

Ever since I purchased my weighted blanket a year ago (See Blog: My Weighted Blanket; January 25, 2019) I’d have to say that it has become my “safe place” to be.  It brings me so much comfort and warmth (not in the “oh my God I’m gonna die from the heat” kind of way) but like the feeling you get from a warm and comforting hug. I can’t say that my blanket has brought me a better night’s sleep since I began using it but for some reason it helps me feel safe when it’s wrapped around me and the other morning after I was able to finally crawl my way back into bed it’s warmth and comfort allowed me to drift off to sleep for a full three hours straight which is nothing short of a miracle. 

The trauma for which both my body and mind had just gone through I really didn’t think I needed to be anywhere other than in my “safe place” comforted by the warmth of my weighted blanket even if my doctor who I saw later that day and the doctor I saw the next day in emerg both told me I probably should have called 911 right away so that I could have been better assessed in the moment; but I guess hindsight is 20/20. 

I have since taken the advice of the doctors who both told me that rest is my number one priority right now and so yesterday I spent the entire day and night curled up underneath my weighted blanket fighting off the aches and pains, the nausea, the dizziness and the feeling like someone is playing ping pong in my head. It was actually really, really warm and really, really comforting to spend time resting both my body and mind, something my illness never allows me to do and having a “safe place” to do so is such an added bonus. 

Please continue to follow my journey at: https://youareenough712.wordpress.com

#comfort #warmth #weightedblanket #concussion #safeplace #selfcare #selflove #mentalillness #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough