Kat Atwell is a freelance writer, blogger & stage presence telling stories that deliver laughs, validation & community.

Mental Health | Wellness & Self Image | Experiential & Reviews

I fell off the map again.

It's been a tough few weeks. My anxiety/paranoia/panic has been ringing at a high frequency. It's the dog whistle that only I can hear. Lately, it's been blood pressure. Did I write about this before? It's possible I did.

This personal struggle is so baffling to me from a rational ...bah. All of it's baffling when we have our rational brains on.

So, blood pressure. Mine is high. Recently, "I" decided mine was life-threateningly high. I would lie on the couch, waiting to be consumed by a heart attack or stroke due to my alarming blood pressure. I was (am) afraid to go to a doctor to talk about it. The mere idea of putting a blood pressure cuff on my arm throws me into a severe anxiety attack. I don't want to be reminded of how bad it is.

I'd focus on my heartbeat. I'd try to convince myself that I needed to breathe, to relax, to accept, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

And then, you can add to this drinking some bad water last work that showed up as a result of the flooding in Colorado. I wound up with giardia, which you can look up, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Years ago, I got a stomach bug that led to hyperventilation, rigor, and a near heart attack in the midst of panic. My husband had to call 911 and I wound up with a living room full of EMTs trying to help me calm down.

So you take an anxious person, who has already wound herself up about imagined heart problems, and add to it a stomach ailment that I associate with requiring emergency care.

My psychiatrist is putting me on a new medication that will hopefully take whatever edge this is - off. And now I can't remember the name, other than that it sounds like lechuga. I'll be taking lettuce for my bipolar disorder.

It's been a rough day. And my pharmacy doesn't yet have this magical new drug that I'm supposed to take because nothing else seems to be working.