That Explains So Much- A Week of Discovery

I’m going to start with the stuff that doesn’t connect to the title.  Just an overview of the week to get to the big reveal that will take a long time to get over.  I started writing War of Nytefall: Lost and got through the first 4 chapters, which isn’t bad considering everything else going on. I had trouble when the prologue looked like more of a chapter one, but Clyde didn’t appear.  Reworked the other chapter one to make the prologue more like it’s supposed to be.  I’m noticing that this is going to be a slower paced book because the plot revolves around figuring out a mystery instead of battling.  I’m hoping to work a bit more this weekend to get ahead since I promised the next few nights to wife time.  We have more space in the house for a bit, so we’re taking advantage.  Mostly, we’re getting into the Netflix TV to watch the live-action Full-Metal Alchemist movie and the Castlevania series.  I cooked, cleaned, and run errands alongside the big event:

My son is doing a report on Pangolins . . . Yes, but that’s not it.

For a long time now, I’ve been having days where it feels like my muscles are tense and my chest is being gently squeezed.  Pushing through these moments would result in exhaustion and dizziness, so I’ve given up the days to resting.  Most times, this would strike me at night until about a month ago.  It started happening more often during the day and I couldn’t figure out why.  Even began to feel feverish a few times.  Oddly enough, I would feel better if I ate or was distracted by something.  Never happened during my son’s Winter Spring too.  Still, the sensation had me pulling this maneuver, especially at night when I wasn’t sure what was going on:

Sanford and Son

Thoughts of a heart attack, hypertension, stroke, and aneurysm ran through my head to the point where I feared falling asleep might I was finished.  This started dragging my mind into thoughts of death and a fear of it being like I would turn off instead of any part of me continuing on.  The idea of my consciousness falling into a void while the world keeps spinning actually scares me more than the method of how I die.  I’m getting off-topic here, but I will say that I began noticing things that made me doubt those previously mentioned possibilities.

These fits would disappear whenever I was eating, entranced by my writing, reading, or doing anything relaxing.  I’d wake up fine too, but watching the news or getting into a debate with the wife would shove me down.  One night, I was still up at 1 am feeling like my chest had something sitting on it.  This came out as one of the worst ones and I didn’t want to wake the wife because we’d been arguing earlier about something.  I put the local weather channel on with no sound and went web-surfing while chatting with a friend who happened to be awake.  The effects began to fade enough that I started remembering how I was perfectly fine on Tuesday.  In fact, Tuesday was a great day from beginning to end with no stress . . . Then, I remembered a time in college I got stressed to the point where I was bedridden in my girlfriend’s (now wife) room.  I recovered once and then collapsed again as soon as I tried to study for a test.  It was like I was at the edge of a cliff and kept slipping, but always had a finger to lift myself back up.  I went looking for my symptoms on-line, which I know is a bad thing and I came up with the following:

Anxiety attacks

I know it isn’t an official diagnosis because I didn’t go to a professional, but I had most of the symptom list.  Heck, I was perfectly fine at the beginning of this post and now I have that chest tightness and breathing issues.  Feel a little hot too.  Honestly, the death mention up above is where I really felt it coming on.  Anyway, that’s what it seems to be and I’m realizing how often this sensation has been hitting me.  Probably just over a year if not longer and I didn’t do anything about it.  Just let the stress and pressure continue piling on as if I was Atlas holding up the planet.  Now, it doesn’t take much to kick me over the edge.  The strangest thing here is that my thoughts don’t feel anxious to me, but I’m wondering if I simply can’t recognize it.  Almost like I’ve lived in a constant state of stress for so long that the panicky thoughts have become my norm.

I’m determined not to let this stop me from writing since I’ve found that letting my ideas take me away helps ease the anxiety.  Strange even saying that because I feel like I’m overreacting or that this has to be something else.  Not that I have this belief that I’m too strong to get anxious.  It’s just that I have this weird denial in my head as if better people than me have this, so it has to be something else.  This might stem from always being told that my problems aren’t nearly as bad as I think.  You keep telling a person that there are others worse off then they could start believing that they shouldn’t complain about anything and possibly even ignore their own problems.  I’m getting into a much more philosophical/psychological chat than I expected here.  Geez, it really is like I’m being hugged around the chest by a python.

Right now, I’m doing breathing exercises and stepping back whenever I feel like I need to take a break.  I tried chamomile tea, but I’m finding that I don’t like the taste.  Read that almonds can help, so I have some of those.  Not really sure about the science on this one, but I like them.  Not as much as cashews though.

I had more, but this post has already gotten pretty long.  Goals for the week are fairly simplistic:

  1. Test blurbs for War of Nytefall: Loyalty tomorrow.  (Reblog and shares will be down until Monday.  Hope people are able to give some insight.)
  2. Continue writing War of Nytefall: Lost.
  3. Help my son finish his Pangolin report.
  4. Watch Castlevania and Full Metal Alchemist.
  5. Try to relax.

Beyond that, I found this and I’m wondering if this is true for me.  Maybe I have pushed myself too hard for too long.

Yahoo Image Search

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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45 Responses to That Explains So Much- A Week of Discovery

  1. Having been a follower since 2012 I think the sign says it all. Hope the almonds work. There is always amaretto if they don’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Your symptoms do sound like anxiety to me, Charles. Maybe you should try Yoga or something like that to help you relax. It could be coupled with sitting hunched over a computer while anxious too. That can make you fee very unwell. On a brighter note, my son, Gregory, has read the first three books in the Legends of Windemere series, all within about two weeks which isn’t bad going, I thought. He really like them.


    • Good to hear he’s enjoying the books. I’ve tried yoga, but right now I need to find methods I can use when an attack is coming on. Yoga requires a lot more space and time, which I don’t typically have.


  3. You really should go to your doctor, Charles – I don’t know how your medical system works, but in UK, the GP needs to refer you to a specialist for diagnosis and appropriate treatment – not necessarily a Shrink.


  4. Jennie says:

    You have done a terrific job at figuring this out. Others would be jealous. Breathing really helps. Almonds sound even better. I like John’s suggestion of amaretto. 🙂


    • Thanks. I picked up jellybeans too, but that’s not on the list. I’m going to see if I can undo the attacks by indulging in something simple that brings me joy. It was pointed out in a therapy meeting that my body is probably at a point where it can’t distinguish between regular stress and extreme stress, so it sets off an attack at the slightest poke. I have to retrain it or something.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Stress is really one of the worst things that can happen to anyone. There are a lot of other things that reduce stress besides chamomile tea, along with some herbal stress pills that help.


  6. You are on to something as well when you mentioned distraction. I try to switch to an activity that requires concentration even if it is counting backwards from 522 in lots of 7 or something. That and breathing/meditation, works wonders for me. Although mine are brought on by gastric reflux from arthritis medication making me think I am having a heart attack. I am fortunate I can point a finger at the culprit but rational thought doesn’t stop a panic attack developing.


    • Math might not be the way to go for me. It’s not my forte and would lead to more stress. 😁. I’m learning that rational thought isn’t much help here.


      • Ah, this goes to show everyone is different and what works for one is useless to another. I’m terrible at maths and usually mess up after the first three or four subtractions, which means I have to focus harder on it, further distracting me from the panic attack, which sounds like the exact opposite of what you’d feel. You will figure out what works best though 😃.


      • Thanks. Yeah, it really does feel like ithis requires s unique path.


  7. Sounds like anxiety attacks to me too. I suffer with them sometimes myself. Mine are doctor diagnosed: I’ve been in hospital on oxygen during a combination anxiety attack and asthma attack before. Honestly, breathing exercises and using whatever methods you can to “escape” are excellent ways to deal with it.

    Regarding the tea: if you don’t like the taste of camomile, try adding it in something else. You can get teas that already have it combined with something… Camomile and spearmint, for example… Or add it to something yourself. Mint is a good option (hence mentioning that spacific blend) since it also helps with any stomach upsets that may be happening during the anxiety. Other options are fruity teas… Teas with berries are good for covering up the taste of camomile.


    • I can only imagine the new level of terror that would come from an asthma attack joining the mix. The tough part about escaping is that I can’t always figure out the source. Sometimes it’s just a drive in bad weather or my mind wandering away.

      I did mix have an herbal mix tea, but it still didn’t work. My stomach simply didn’t like it. 😢


  8. It sounds like you could be on the right track, but I hope you’ll still find time to talk with a doctor.

    Great to know that writing is your therapy, though!!


  9. Adult life seems geared to this lately. We are also trained not to be babies and to act like men, and this is a mistake. We have to admit when something is wrong and take some time for ourselves. I have hypertension and it sucks, but medication is the right answer there. We can’t be there for everyone except us. We matter too.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So sorry to hear that, and yet, it makes so much sense. As the Chinese saying goes, a bow that’s always strung will break.


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