Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Reader Jeff: This Too Shall Pass

I very much appreciate what Beyond Blue reader Jeff said in response to Larry Parker’s post about his panic attack:

I’ll thank Larry again (and Therese) for putting himself out here. My panic attacks are similar. Hyperventilating and feeling an intense amount of energy in my limbs, (good thing you didn’t kick your stepfather ;-). My head spins and my ADD goes into high gear; I can’t focus on anything and want to curl up in a ball and wait for my life to be over. The best thing I’ve gotten out of 2007 is the ability to retain the knowledge that “this too shall pass”.
Last Spring I went through another heart wrenching break up and learned to give in to crying. It stops. Not when I’d like it to, but it does.
Usually we can’t do much for people who can’t understand that we are beginning to understand our own diseases. And as one who has passed on but lived steeped in his own diseases, William Burroughs once said, “If you encounter a person in whose presence you feel like you’ve lost a quart of blood, avoid that person at all costs.” Even if it’s just going for a walk.
Love, Jeff

Actually, all of the comments show what a supportive community we have here in Beyond Blue. Thank you, all, for your compassion and insights.

  • Larry Parker

    No, it’s my gratitude to have all of you guys and gals in my life (the online part is somewhat immaterial at this point).
    As I might have said back in the days when I first met my stepdad, “YOU’RE AWESOME!!”

  • Yves Hentzien

    I live with a bypolar friend and some time I feel that I am walking bearfoot on broken glass getting ungry does not help at all and some time nice and understading does not hlp at all either what can I do

  • lynn

    My anxiety is at an all time high , it paralyzes me, I have some degree of it most of the time and when my future is unsure , as it is to me now, it becomes very intense. I am completely overwhelmed by my life and myself. There seems no clear cut answers to my life and I wish I could make even just one thing feel right. Nothing feels right, safe , manageable or in control. I am at a lose for an answer and the little faith that I experience is not here right now. I am on a lot of medication for hip pain and HIV, I have no appetite and do not sleep well. I am a total wreck. Most of the time I feel like I am being punished for something, everything. I know I need to slow myself down, and I am trying to do this. I know all the right things to do, they are difficult to accomplish. Writing all of this has made me feel better. You all are a true blessing. Thank You. Happy New Year :(

  • zana

    “Usually we can’t do much for people who can’t understand that we’re beginning to understand our diseases.”
    That is the perfect comment for me to find today. I have been in tears since I got up because I really did not think I would make it to the end of this year. Exactly one year ago, i was being discharged from the hospital as a result of my first s.a. I came very close 3 other times …one was dangerously so. It has definitely been, I pray to God, my rock bottom year. This morning the jungle drums saying, “What’s the use? How are you any better off? Do you really want to live this way every day?” have been beating fortissimo. I had hoped I would have been able to explain what I am beginning to understand about this condition to my family, especially my husband. He still thinks I’m just crazy and to be avoided at all costs. My children have a better sense of understanding what happens to me when I get too stressed, overwhelmed, change meds, stay up too late,etc., but i still see a sadness on their faces that tells me their lives are irrevocably changed. Mom was the glue that held everything together, but I have come apart at the seams this year and feel like I have let them down beyond measure. Will they ever completely trust me again? How long does it take til you all have felt that you’re no longer “BEGINNING to understand” and functioning fairly well? Have any of you continued to work in your chosen field and live the life you lived before this illness hit?

  • Larry Parker

    Take some comfort (if that’s possible right now) in the fact that you zeroed right in — which even I didn’t do at first — on the most important statement in Jeff’s post/essay.
    Which means, tough though it is, you can’t let others’ lack of confidence in you erode your own self-confidence.
    I know Therese said “no New Year’s resolutions,” but just something to think about in 2008 — when you are hard on yourself, how much of it is “you” (the depression, not really “you” per se) and how much of it is those around you, even if they mean well?
    PS — In regards to your last line … not entirely successfully, as you know, but I’m trying — I’m trying.

  • Lynne

    Lynn; I could have written the first half of your post verbatim> I wish to God I did’nt feel this way but it seems like every time I try to pick myself up I backslide exponentially. This year has sucked for everyone around me almost beyond the telling of it. I lost my horse to cushing’s disease, my dog to old age, my Dad is back in the hospital(in dire pain) and my job is kaputsky! I’m afraid to open my eyes in the morning because I dread what disaster is next. It’s not happening to me but to everyone and everything I love around me. It makes me want to avoid everyone because whatever it is around me will get them, God talk about paranoia! If I could descibe it…it’s like running a marathon on broken glass, except that it is’nt quite real. I wish I could become “comfortably numb”.

  • Babs

    I have been in a bad way for the past six weeks or so, alternating between numbness and self-destruction. All I know is that I am glad that Christmas and New Year’s is over for another year, and I hope that things start looking up.

  • zana

    Holidays=Helladays? One thing to be grateful for…they are over for another year!

  • Margaret Balyeat

    I was so glad to see your above post today; you have been heavily on my mind since you asked for prayer to get through your latest depression. I have been praying and will continue to do so, as i’m sure the rest of our community has been and will be. PLEASE don’t be a stranger! keep us posted on how you’re coping…We CARE about you and (I at least) need to know when my petions should become more about praise than continued seeking. God bless you in this new year and may you find at least a measure of peace. Try to keep in mind that YOU aren’t the problem; this stupid illness is!(I know thats difficult if not impossible when you’re lying in a fetal position at the bottom of t”the hole’, but please try!!
    Love, prayer and hugs to you,

  • Babs

    Dear Margaret,
    I am so thankful for your faithfulness in prayer and concern for me. I need prayers to get through every day. I suffer from severe dissociation caused by my father’s abuse, and that my mother never came to my defense. She was humiliated by him, too, but she was an adult and had the responsibility to protect her children. But her own fears and depression rendered her unable to act. Since the abuse started when I was only a tiny child, there are large areas of blankness in my conscious memory. It was the blessing of an older half-sister, who confirmed much of what I suspected regarding the areas where I lack memory. Even though my memories of events is spotty at best, the emotions attached to them make me explode when someone stumbles into a sensitive area and touches off a bomb by making a comment. That is a big part of what is going on now. I am trying hard to face what my dad did to me because it has controlled my life and relationships ever since. But his presence is so powerful, his admonition to be “loyal” to the family has made it terribly difficult to deal with. I know that once I can honestly face the trauma, I will feel so much better, because I have already done it in less stressful situations.
    Right now I am weeks behind in submitting paperwork connected with a part-time position I have accepted, and am overdue in submitting course descriptions for courses I will be teaching this summer. The depression has been paralyzing and I have had to force myself to do the smallest tasks, all the while feeling that life is hopeless (as I did growing up).
    The prayers of everyone mean so much to me because I never felt cared for in the way that I needed to be, even in my marriage. The marriage is improving, but nothing can replace the losses and grief connected with my childhood.
    Each day I don’t harm myself is a good day. I made a vow several years ago to never cut myself again. I have held on to it, sometimes barely, but haven’t given in. But I remember the relief it briefly offered, and it is tempting to give in when I have been in such agony.
    I am taking my meds, writing my counselor faithfully twice a day, and calling him when necessary. I know that I will make it through this awful period, but it won’t be easy, and I sometimes feel not up to the task. Your prayers, and the prayers of others mean the world to me, and do make a difference.
    Much love to all on bb.

  • Larry Parker

    Not much I can add except … much love to you, too, Babs :-)

  • Babs

    Thanks, Larry. I include you as an empathetic soul.

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