Monday, October 26, 2015

Not a Happy Bunny

Updating again in here. As predicted the weather turned nasty from Thursday (it is Monday today). I managed my 2,000 words a day up until that day then on Friday only managed 1,000. At this point I started crashing with panic attacks and depression. The weather doesn’t help since I’m always better when the sun is shining (aren’t we all) but it’s becoming increasingly evident that I’m only keeping this shit at bay with exercise. 

During the last days of last week I felt I needed a rest to give my body time to recover. One of the reasons I felt I needed a rest was because of my arms frequently feeling heavy and numb after a sleep, which I assumed was from the kayaking. Big mistake. I ended up with about a day and a half of panic attacks rolling out one after another. Also, my arms went numb during this, which I now realise has bugger all to do with the kayaking (this numbness can be part of the panic attack thing). Annoyingly these confined me to the house all Saturday and most of Sunday when they were having the kazani next door. 

On Sunday I got dragged out by my neighbour to join in. I was frightened to drink any alcohol at first because I know it contributes to panic attacks. I then thought fuck it and drank raki and ate brisolas. I did feel better until about 8 when I headed inside and slept for a few hours. 

Today I was okay until I felt tired and took a snooze on the sofa. Again I woke up with panic attacks, but not as harsh as before. The rain had stopped today so at midday I headed off into the mountains for a long walk. Yeah, I feel better, better enough to have written a bit more, but things are still not right. I have been fighting this for the best part of two years and I think I’m losing. When I get back to England in the middle of next month it will finally be time to go and see a doctor. Give me drugs or even give me ECT, I don’t care. I just want this to fucking stop.

Sorry about this post being a bit of a downer. Not a happy bunny today. Anyway, 40,000 words done on the new book if that's any consolation!  


nakchak said...

As a fellow sufferer of debilitating self induced mind treachery i wish you well and hope you can defang or at least train the beast that strikes without warning.

Good luck and take it steady.

daniel ware said...

No consolation Neal, as I'd give up any future books for your well-being any day, you just have to not force it, the numbness and panic attacks are all connected - obviously to the fear of not having a distraction. At least you are letting it out a bit here, and who knows maybe writing will end up being cathartic (any writing, not just your books).

Take it easy anyway :)

eriko said...

If it makes/helps you feel better to post this kind of thing then please continue to do so.

Andrew said...

My wife has panic attacks. She had periods where she makes real progress and then every so often had a blip, where she goes backwards a bit.

I think it should be expected to have bad patches, but they are much less now. She's just got a part time job, which helps, and keeping active and seeing friends is very important.

The doctors is a good option, sounds like you could do with some assistance.

Andy Senior said...

Hi Neal, as a fan, recently retired GP and a previous sufferer of anxiety attacks your post concerns me greatly. Note I say previous sufferer, help from your doctor is available and works. What you have is not trivial and like I did, you should say to yourself enough is enough and I don't want to feel like this any more. Talking therapies can help but can be overrated, drugs however can be very effective, especially SSRI's, which in fact are very well tolerated by most people and won't turn you into a zombie. You have an "affective disorder" where low mood and anxiety coexist like Laurel and Hardy, the main variation is that in some people depression predominates, in others the anxiety, most people have a mix, the treatment for the anxiety (of which panic attacks are just one facet), is the same as for the depression, they are part of the same condition and you need help. Men are notorious for not seeking help, feeling that this is not really a proper illness. It is, and believe me, you are not alone, I have had hundreds of consultations with all sorts of people suffering from this and similar conditions. Please see your doctor soon as you can.
My motivation here is entirely selfish, I have nearly read everything you have written and I want more!

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

Yes, my wife found medication the best method to deal with it. It has no adverse effects at all (for her), but is really the thing they has stopped the panic attacks. She didn't find cognitive behavioural therapy any use at all.

(Previous post deleted because of spelling mistakes)

Tim Mintiens said...

Hi Neal,

We're all grown, intelligent men, but there are puzzles we can not solve alone. I nearly walked into the sea last year, but decided to give this crapshoot another chance at the last moment.

Looking back now I understand why I almost went that path, but i disagree with myself on it. There are solutions, things can be viewed from another perspective and changed. Not solved, but made bearable so you can enjoy other things again.

Get help, but find your own truth in that (be it medicine, therapy, or communal living or whatever). Good night and good luck!

Neal Asher said...

Thanks for the comments. I've taken the drugs route now. I have Xanax if things get bad again with panic attacks etc., but it's not something I want to use often. I have also started on a ssri - escitalopram. Hopefully this will sort me out..

Mark Lee said...

I must appreciate the way you have expressed your feelings through your blog!

how to fix panic attack