Knittwitt Knitter

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Journey Back to Me...: Part 1

Well folks, its been 8 days since the initial anxiety attack/ panic attack...

I am full swing of the ups and downs. I would actually say it is more highs and lows. For 36 hours, I was medication free and feeling normal. I went to the doctor for an update. (For those of you suffering your primary care doctor can be a great resource!!!!!!) She thought the I was a lot better than our initial meeting. We talked. We discussed how supportive people are a huge part of getting up off the ground. We discussed how some people, with all the great intentions, have no idea what they are saying is harmful. I had family members suggesting I may have a brain tumor from the changes in my mood because they saw that on tv... While coming from a good place, this is the worse thing to tell someone who has a mind that will not shut off. By the end of the thought process, I was planning a funeral, figuring out my life insurance and writing a good bye letter to my family... All because of someone's advice. Be careful what you say.

Once recalling everything with my doctor, the walk back to work was quiet. My office was quiet. Grading was calling but not loud enough to drown out the thoughts of everything we just talked about. The spiral started again.

I freaked. I took meds that I was off of for 24 hours. It did not help. I knew then, this was fight I needed to face with myself and I knew then I was going to win. The question is how. Everyone is different. Everyone is strong in different ways. While I do believe support and help is key, I also think this is something that needs to come within me. I prayed. I cried. I talked until I could not even make sense anymore. I threw up because of the uncontrolled thoughts.

Then my husband said stop. Get up. Do something routine. I did the dishes. Once they were done with the dishes, my mind started. But I knew if I could just stay in front of it I could fix this. Maybe not this week, maybe not in a month but I would learn to control my anxiety and to find a way to get from a high or low back to a middle ground. My comfort zone.

I got a very sweet and helpful phone call from a friend and family member who has been there. Who says, your are not crazy. You are wonderful. You need support in your life like that. Not the over analyzers the complete supporters. 

I did something I should not have but I needed help for coping. I googled the heck out of anxiety. I am an extremely logical person and a trained scientist. If you are not, this is probably the worst thing to do. There is a lot of crap on the internet. However, one thing that stuck with with me was if the body is tired so is the mind. Do intense workout for 10 mins. Get in control of your body. Intense meaning you cannot do the workout with your complete concentration. As my husband said, it is too easy if you are thinking about anything beside the current exercise. I lifted heavy weights, did intense reps. Within 5 mins the only thing in my mind was do not drop the weight on your toe! I was back. Even just for a second. It felt like complete bliss. The whole time I was working out. I complemented myself. I have a phd in quantum chemistry. I have a success job. I have a beautiful family. I will get through this because I am strong and I want to get through this. Anxiety is part of me, it will not control and define me.

 I also find it very helpful to hear about my past struggles in my own words. Everyone interprets things differently. I want to know I can get through this next time because I have the struggle here; written out; in my own words. Like I said before. I am a very logical person and I can overcome this.

Two steps forward; one step back.

Tomorrow's goals: Lecture, grade, meetings. If I lose track, I work on the 9th floor. That is a lot of stairs for someone out of shape. I am sure it will be a struggle to go up and down all 9 flights but it will work to get the mind off things.

Monday, March 28, 2016

A plea from the heart

I use this blog as therapy and to help find a deeper understanding within. Sorry, this one is not about knitting or reading.

I have a plea. If you know someone with a mental illness or struggling, please hug them. Let them know what they are feeling is OK. Because it may be obvious to you that everything is okay but within an unhealthy mind, it is a challenge to remember and a life saver to hear.

I speak from the heart. This past spring break I had an anxiety attack. Severe for me but probably everyday normal for someone else. Tuesday evening it hit. I was in peer panic. I watched a unsettling criminal show and could not get the images out of my mind. I could not think but at the same time I could not stop thinking everything. It is like a million trains coming and going in every direction with many stops along the way. Everything seems jumbled and time stops. Every minute is an eternity  and every breathe is a chore. You are literally in a cage of your own thoughts and logic escapes.

After the second day, I knew I could not get out of the anxiety cycle on my own. I called my doctor and was seen. She was able to give me some meds to get the edge off. The next stages is the highs and lows. First, the meds worked and I felt like myself. However, in minutes anxiety came back and I crashed down low. These episodes continued for 2 days. My mind was so exhausted I would sleep over 12 hours. At some points, I was worried how I would continue to work, support a family or even raise my son. The anxiety was crippling and I was just trying to wade in the waters. A friend found an article that showed and explained the exact emotions and I found comfort. The next day was my sons 6th birthday and the day was about him not me. All day was a constant battle with staying excited, happy and hiding the anxiety from him.

Today is day 6 and tonight, in bed, I feel like I am human again. Part of the life I left 6 days ago. I can hug my child again and not be scared. I can close my eyes, breathe and find peace. As I write this and looking forward, I hope to read it someday when the high anxiety comes back. To remember I can manage and get through it.

If it was not for the support of my family, loved ones, coworkers and friends I am truly not sure where I would be. I am sure my day 6 would be completely different, alone and in a cold dark place. I am so thankful from the bottom of my heart that they understood and gave the support needed to overcome this burden.

I am sadden by the many individuals out there that are not so lucky to have the support I have. I have an opportunity at work to do good things and help students with mental health issues and I will continue to strive to help. We can get through it together. Bring awareness to mental health issues and reduce stigma. Everyone needs help sometimes. For anyone reading, I hope you do not have this struggle but if you do, I empathize with you. You are not alone and there is help. Do not feel embarrassed or hesitate to ask for help.

Suicide Prevent Line: 1-800-273-TALK 
24 Hour Crisis Line: 1-866-4CRISIS (427-4747)

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Black Purl, Wausau WI

Hello knitters.

I hope your week is going well. We started off the week running and we are still going strong with our busy schedules. Our past weekend was so busy it was a blur and then came Monday. On Saturday, I had a baby shower to attend in Wausau, Wi. I figured if I was going to be in town, why not check out a new knitting store. I am so glad I did. I stopped by the Black Purl.
 When walking into a new place, I am always nervous. I believe that is the social awkward side of myself. Questions go through my head, will they be friendly, knowledgeable or snobby like some knitting stores. Well, I arrived in Wauasu early, really early, so I had a lot of time to pass. However, after opening the door and seeing six people sitting at a table knitting, saying hi and ask what I was knitting, I was no longer nervous. You could tell this knitting group was made of close friends. The women there, meet constantly to sit, chat and knit together. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming. I love these types of knitting communities. Their own safe place of support, love and respect. You could tell these women cared for one another and became each others allies and that community was maintained through knitting. 

The store owner showed me a variety of yarns. While visiting new stores, I always try to find yarn dyed locally. The Black Purl had yarn that was dyed right in Wausau. I picked out a skein for my knitting partner:
I shared my recent projects with them. Currently, I am working making beer mitts for Oktoberfest. 
This is made with a variety of colors with Knit Picks Palette Yarn. These finger less mittens by Silly Jane Knits are fast and fun.  All the ladies at Black Purl loved them. The owner even found a pattern from the 1950s to share with me. She said they would be perfect for Oktoberfest. They were these cute socks with beer steins and pretzels. Overall, I highly recommend visiting the Black Purl. I know I will return soon with more time to just relax and knit. You can find their Facebook page here and see all their events. 

That is all I have for now knitters. I cannot wait to see what  everyone else has on the needles! Have a great week. Linking up with Frontier Dreams and Ginny (tomorrow).