It's all me, me, me...

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Vivre Sa Vie
London, United Kingdom
Well hello there. My name is Viv (well, it's not really), and, like a lot of people, I'm ever so slightly neurotic... I have panic attacks and anxiety (ranging from mild to pretty intense), on and off. I also have an amazing and quite high-profile job, so I'm choosing to remain anonymous on here. Not because I'm ashamed of the aforementioned neuroses, but because I don't want to be googled and for my colleagues to read bizarre posts about me breathing into a paper bag and popping lorazepam. I've worked for bookshops, mixed arts festivals and charities, and have met (and still meet!) a lot of famous, fetching and fantabulous people for my job. (See, anxiety doesn't need to stop you being AWESOME and doing what you want to do) Here's hoping you'll find some helpful hints and tips on here which will help you tackle the evil panic heebiejeebs... PS. I'm an Australian, but I live in the UK, and have adopted tea-drinking, pubs, Wodehouse, and a Welsh man.
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Thursday, 23 August 2012

It's my self-pity party and I'll cry if I want to...

This is actually a photograph of me, taken only yesterday

Hi guys. I'm throwing a self-pity party today and you're all invited (apart from my boyfriend, who has been attending the pre-party for the last few weeks and needs to go have his own one now)

Here are the facts:

1. My vertigo/labyrinthitis symptoms have come back. Having labyrinthitis was the thing that triggered all my panics in the first place, so I'm really freaking out. It's been three weeks now, and it's not going away.

2. I've now completely tapered down off all my anti-depressant (still on Lyrica, but needed to rekindle my libido which was brutally exterminated by the Citalopram soldiers). Forum on the web suggests the vertigo is a symptom of coming off the SSRIs, so maybe it's that. Lots of frantic Googling later, and I still have no idea if it is or not.

3. I'm meant to be going on holiday with my boyfriend to NY, LA then Mexico in two days time (the wedding of one of my best friends in the world), and it looks like I'm too dizzy and sick to go. It took 6 months of 'will I, won't I' , some weird hypnosis, and a handbag full of benzodiazepines to be comfortable enough with even TRYING a long-distance flight again, but when I finally did, I felt brave and was looking forward to it. Now I can't go and I feel utterly bereft.

4. I booked non-refundable flights

5. I had an ultrasound today to see what was causing my chronic indigestion, and it turns out I have gallstones. And I need to get my gallbladder cut out of my body. With a scalpel. And rummaging in my insides. And general anaesthetic. 

There are no words to describe how much this freaks me out. Having lived in Britain for almost ten years now, I said 'oh, really? Well, thanks, thanks so much, yes, wonderful, great, okay then - thanks again' to be polite, and than ran outside and cried and had to sit down outside the hospital so I didn't faint. And then I started worrying poor expectant mothers would freak out at the sight of me thinking I had lost my baby or something, so I had to move myself along. 

6. I have cried every single day for the last 3 weeks. This may be down to coming off my pills, which may mean I need to be on them FOREVER and will become a female eunuch and lose my boyfriend and have to live somewhere as a panicked, atheist nun.

7. I'm scared my stones are going to explode.

8. I'm scared my boyfriend is going to run away with a beautiful, healthy Mexican lady who never panics and doesn't have gall-related-belching.

9. I'm scared and sad about being scared and sad and I'm driving myself and my poor boyfriend CRAZY. I'm trying to find it funny, but sometimes it's just not. Now I'm crying again. I'm like a strange, leaky, worried, burping, dizzy, bilious beast. 

Okay, some of those last ones weren't facts.*


* This is what CBT teaches you, to be able to distinguish between facts and thoughts. Pah. Go away sanctimonious CBT - I'm having a pity-party, and you're not invited.

'I really loved my gallbladder. It was my favourite innard'


Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say. Clearly nothing a random internet follower can say will fix anything but I couldn't just let this post go without acknowledging it and saying I believe you will conquer this.

And it's time to stop loving your gallbladder. It doesn't love you back or it wouldn't have been behaving so badly. In fact, it may be that its persistent misbehaviour has contributed to your recent anxiety. Turn your back on it and shun it and cast it into the medical waste bin.

Sending strength.

rosie said...

ugh, utter pants!!

Could you just go to airport and see how you get on, maybe knock yourself out with some serious xanax and wine. When you wake up on plane you can knock yourself out with another one and by the time you wake you will be there. All you need to do is get to hotel and if worst comes to worst *which it won't* you can spend two weeks in a plush hotel room watching american TV and ordering room service. Even if you only get as far as NY and don't make rest of flights, I bet if your friend is a great friend he/she would totally under stand how hard you have tried over months to get there.

I do think the coming off all the anti depressants may be a bit of what is causing this. I know citalporam when you go on it and come off can cause dizzyness.
It will subside though I should imagine if it is.

Poor you with Gallstones. Pompom is right and maybe thats part of what is causing you to feel pooh. That combined with fact you are about to do long haul flight and you are coming off AD's is bound to make you feel like a sainsburys bag of pooh.
I had to have surgery earlier this year (thats how i found your blog as i had to sit at home and do naff all for two months)
I was utterly convinced I would freak out but I totally didn't, I think part of it as in hosp noone would give a flying arse if I did. Infact not freaking out when you have surgery is probably far more normal. They will give you loads of morphene and then top you up with any tranquelizer as soon as you feel a bit pants. Infact it is a anxiety suffers holiday (not quite but I am trying to make you feel better)
Once the horrible old gall bladder is out you will probably start feeling loads better.

I hope you make some decision on your hols. Could you start taking some diazapam now just to calm you down and rest and then maybe you can think more cleary. Sometimes we get ourselves in such a tizz our minds just start going crazy and we can't form any sort of normal thought pattern.

Take Care Lady ( i haven't commented for ages but I have been reading and it looks like you have been doing great, this is a blip!!!!!)

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Hi PomPom - are you kidding me? What you said made me feel LOADS better, and your comments about my naughty, rebellious gallbladder made me laugh out loud. Thank God for 'random internet followers' (as if) - you guys are the absolute best. Can't wait to hear more sage advice from you - stay in touch!

V xx

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Hi Rosie, my long-lost panic buddy! How are you? I'm so glad you're still there. Thank you so, so, SO much for your incredibly helpful comments - they have cheered me up no end (really and very truly) and I feel so much better (genuinely). You are so right - this is a blip, and the worst case scenarios aren't that bad at all, either way.

And the surgery advice is super helpful as well - I didn't know they would give you tranquillisers if you needed them - that changes everything! I am so scared of hospitals (I wasn't even born in one thanks to hippy mum) and all the tubes etc completely freak me out. Hippy mum is obviously *strongly* advising against unnecessary organ removal, and is sending me loads of ayurvedic stuff from a snakeoil salesman in Australia, but if I do have to go the surgery route I will feel so much better about it, thanks to you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.


Vivre Sa Vie said...

Did I mention that you guys totally cheered me up and made me feel a lot better? I am very grateful.

Your special 'Cheering-up-Viv-prize' is a lavender-scented Xanax box, and will be winging its way to you in the post shortly ;) (is that a wink? Looks a bit sinister. I'm meant to be a digital native I think, so this is an embarrassing knowledge gap. Are 28 yr olds digital natives? Maybe not. I remember not having the internet. Anyway, this is the longest parentheses enclosed comment ever, so I will end it, now.)

Anonymous said...

V - hugs! The fact that you are able to post with such eloquence speaks volumes about you and your amazing ability not just to cope with things, but to deal with them really well. Really sorry to hear that you are going through all this. Coming off citalopram would quite likely cause dizziness though, so it may not be anything else? Do post and let us know if you decide to go away after all - we'll be worried if we don't hear from you!

Vivre Sa Vie said...

Well hello there! Wow, that is just incredibly lovely of you - thanks so much. I'm still vacillating but will definitely update with news soon. Thanks again for getting in touch, that is just so kind. Stay in touch, and make a name up if you want so I can call you something (Ferdinand perhaps, or Balthazar) V xx

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