Saturday, January 17, 2009

Jenn And The City - The White Rabbit Chapters

JATC is turning a page in the blog. It's evolving from cave drawings to Alice's adventures. The tone will be the same, but the content will be a bit different. Let's all take a deep breath and follow the white rabbit down the hole. Following the rabbit won't be a problem for the whippet-types. Eveyone else will have to take it on faith.

The last year of my life has been fabulous. I am well cared for, I have a terrific job, and a lovely family and beautiful dogs. I have time to devote to my writing. In comparison, the prior twenty years were a struggle to survive, to care for those around me and myself. I no longer have that stress.

In spite of the positives, and in spite of my high level of functionality, sometime in the last year a white rabbit with a pocket watch invited me down a very deep hole, to a very strange and scary world. I don't know how I got there, and I don't know how to get home. I'm not quite sure what to do here. Sometimes I watch myself wander through the gardens and tea parties and have no connection with myself. That's called "disassociation". Sometimes I blank out and things don't look the way they should. I know I'm at work, but where does that door lead to? Where is my desk? I'm sure Alice could empathize. Most of the time I just plain ass panic. Calmly, and in my head. I'm too tough to actually lose my mind in front of an audience. So far....

I've tried Alice's solutions. "Drink me" helps, but it isn't exactly a solution I want to get sucked into. It's starting to cause friction at home. Which makes me feel even more disassociated. Integrity is important to JATC, but she's losing her grip on even that. Since the "eat me" pill solutions provided by my fabulous physicians don't help much, it's very easy to turn back to the negative "drink me" therapy. I don't mean to criticize, the fabulous physicians are doing the best they can.

I travelled to Bend this week and barely remained functional for the trip. That will suprise anyone with me there. I held it together. Until yesterday. Yesterday I nearly got wiped out on my way to work by a truck crossing the center line. While I was obviously frightened by the near miss, the more disturbing thought was "well, at least I wouldn't panic anymore" followed rapidly by "Rob wouldn't be disappointed in me anymore". This.Is.A. Messed.Up.Train.Of.Thought. Just in case you're wondering.

So I functionally drove to work, attended my critical meeting, then got in my car and called my doctor. He sent me to the emergency clinic. Emergency clinic doc listened to my story and kept me for observation. ER doc found me a counsellor, (hopefully the White Queen and not the Mad Hatter). He consulted my pharmacy history and found an error in a previous prescription. (Too much pepper in the soup!), and corrected it.

Because of my disassociative disorder, the ER doc (Dr. Australian Shepherd) mentioned a thought I'd previously had - a trained service dog might be of benefit.

So I start today with new tools to cope with the overwhelming and exhausting panic. There will be appropriate meds, a counsellor to teach coping skills, and a trained assistance dog (one of my own) for crises. Hey, Alice had the caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, and a flamingo.

I choose deliberately to tell this story honestly, although I'll feel weak and loser-like for going here. But my narcissistic self thinks that I will get some interesting stories in this experience, and maybe, just maybe there is someone else out their with highly functioning panic disorder that will come to understand that it has to be dealt with.

Genes, they tell me. My wiring isn't like other people's. I'm trying to believe that.

If you find this too-self absorbed for your liking, I won't blame you for not coming back. But I'm willing to bet that in a day or two, I'll find humor in panic. And that should be Very Entertaining.


Deb said...

I am proud of you. As always.. Anything that I can do to help, I will do. Anything includes helping to train (or help you find someone to train) that service dog of yours. Hugs to you. All day. Every day.. and a hand up from the hole any time you need it.

When a Problem Comes Along, You Must Whippet... said...

Deb's response is beautiful and echoes what all of us feel towards you. Anything that you require is of importance of us as we all want to keep you out of the hole.

Your blog helps all of us realize that we're not alone in our strange and "down" thoughts and hopefully you'll have found some beneficial effects from putting your experiences and thoughts down on "paper".

Wish you were closer!

We love you.

Mo said...

Jenn...I've only known you a couple of weeks, but I already consider you family! One of the things I admire most in people is if they know they need help, and they get it. So, for what it is worth, I am proud of you!!! It tskes a strong person to admit they need help and then get the help. You have my support. And kudos to you! (((hugs)))

Mary Moore said...

Very brave of you to put "it" out there. I'm very proud of you too. I wish I could be as honest on my blog.

Your post has probably helped quite a few people realize they're not alone...including me!

Thank you.

serenwhipety said...

Wow, I'm proud of you and I hope you are too! Hang in there, and keep reaching out. We're practically neighbors, you know, so if there is anything I can do to help, just holler...


Knatolee said...

You're doing all the right things, so hang in there and take it a day (or moment) at a time. It's great you can ask for help, and get it. Be kind to yourself...

Patience-please said...

You ROCK, Miss Jenn, YOU ROCK!!!
First of all, too much pepper in the soup can really wack you out. Secondly, you are facing this with such honesty and courage and with the most enviably clever allegory for the love of Twain!!! I bow to you!
You will work his out and be that much stronger and happy to be non panic Jenn.
And you can do it.

hugs and hugs and hugs

Wendy Strickland said...

Thanks for writing this Jenn . I suffer from panic disorder too . Somehow it is a comfort to know someone else who has this crazy thing going on . I wish you the very best , and thankyou for your honesty .

Barbara Pask said...

Hi, I just happened by here by way of another blog. I don't know you at all but I just wanted to mention that my daughter suffers from panic disorder, several years of her life were a mess because of it. She is great now, no panic attacks and she knows herself and what to watch out for. Just trying to offer something positive, things will get better.

Ms. Florida Transplant said...

That's a very brave thing to put out there. It helps everyone realize that they're not alone. ((hugs))

The Daily Blonde said...

I love that you say it like it is. This is real life...and our own blogs are supposed to be about real stuff--crappy or otherwise.

You rock. EXCLAMATION POINT. You were one of my first favorite bloggers out there and I think you're fabulous.

Sharing this makes you all the more "real" and great in my eyes.

Pam said...

Not being a blogger and good with the words like all those posts before me....BUT, know we love you we miss you, wish we were closer, proud of you, too!

Now for the sani-can question....I've been in D.C. for cherry blossom fest which doesn't hold a candle to an inauguration but showed me more humans in one place at one time than should ever happen and the sani-cans were NASTY!!

I stood in a ridiculously long line and chatted with a guy who told me he just came back from India so sani-cans didn't bother him anymore.

Anonymous said...

Just catching up on your writings....sorry you are experiencing major bumps in the road but know that your journey will be worthwhile and you will be stronger as you reach out for new paths.....r

Jenn and the City

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Thanks Patience!

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