When The Big One Hits

Sheldon from BBT

I was considering delaying this one until I thought more about it, but I wasn’t getting anywhere.  Also, it began to feel like this was something that had to be talked about sooner rather than later.  So, this might not be that long an entry because it’s going to be more description than analysis.  Let’s dive into it.

Two Sundays ago, I had a really bad night because of an anxiety attack that I can only call ‘The Big One’.  Personally, I hope it stays that way because I’m sure anything worse will result in death.  It was really that bad.  It started just as I was getting into bed and it felt no different than before.  Tightness in the chest, racing thoughts, small cough, and the usual physical symptoms.  Didn’t think much of it until a few minutes later when it started getting worse.  Keep in mind that this is at night.  Everyone else was asleep and I couldn’t think of anyone to text.  I also thought that I could sleep it off.  Nope!  I’m still baffled that my wife managed to sleep through this.

The first sign that something was really wrong was that my muscles switched from feeling stiff to tightening.  Almost like I was put on a medieval rack that connects solely to my muscles and they were being stretched to their limits.  My jaws kept clenching, which is a pain because I have my sleep apnea mouthpiece.  I managed to take that out when I gained enough control to move.  My arms were a massive pain in the ass.  My left arm kept twitching and my right locked up.  I couldn’t tell if it was real or my brain thought this is how it should be when I was having a bad anxiety attack.  This contemplation led to the part that drove me to grab my phone and crawl into the bathroom for light and a sense of solitude.  The thought, which I’ll make a post about down the road, was if one would be aware of themselves succumbing to insanity.  I have no idea how long I was sitting there wondering if I’d lost my mind and didn’t realize it.  This stopped once I realized that I probably wouldn’t be asking that question if I’d snapped.

I calmed myself by wandering the Internet and playing some Word Searches on my phone.  I’m glad I charged the thing.  At one point, I tried to take this test I found that would determine your level of anxiety.  Yes, I know online quizzes aren’t that helpful, but I didn’t care and it was from a site that I kept finding when I did research.  So, what did the quiz say?  I have no idea because it ended with a request for my email address to get the results and I abruptly thought it was a trap.  Then I thought it was ridiculous.  You have all these questions about fear and paranoia, so you end by asking for an email address?  If someone came up really high on the paranoia side then I don’t see them going along with that.  For all I know, I’m saying this from experience since I was feeling twitchy about everything.  Oddly enough, the silliness of this helped me break out of the attack, especially since a friend of mine was up late and sent me a hello.  I think he got a decent laugh out of it too.

So, do I know what set ‘The Big One’ off?  Not a clue.  I know I had a really busy week and was nervous about making sure everything worked.  That might have combined with me worrying about not finishing the next first draft before school ends.  I felt a little guilty about taking last week off to handle all the events instead of trying to slip a few chapter sections into my schedule.  This is before I managed to write the scheduled posts for July and August, which puts me at ease.  The thing is that I’ve done this to myself before, so I don’t know why this one created such a massive effect.  It left me exhausted in the morning and I had a few smaller ones throughout the week because I was on edge.  Hopefully, I figure this out and can avoid another ‘Big One’.  Those aren’t pleasant in the least.

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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20 Responses to When The Big One Hits

  1. L. Marie says:

    I feel guilty liking the post, because I don’t like what happened to you. (There really needs to be a sympathy button.) I truly hope that is the last time you have to go through that. I’m glad you were able to feel a sense of calm afterward, as awful as that experience was.


  2. I had a similar attack from acute asthma. With all these physical symptoms you might be dealing with some kind of allergy. (of course, you probably have already thought of that.) Try a diary of everything you put in your mouth and see if there is a common thread to the attacks. Just a suggestion.


    • The only allergies I have are pollen, which has been bad. Yet, this was going on during the winter too. Nothing this big, but the smaller attacks were happening daily for a while. Only reason I don’t think it’s a food allergy is that there’s nothing I’ve consistently eaten to explain how consistent the attacks have been.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Bookwraiths says:

    Sounds horrible. Never having experienced that level of anxiety (or had that acute a reaction, maybe), I wish I had some wisdom to impart, but all I can add is I hope you never experience that again.


    • Thanks. I know a few people who have had attacks like this. Guess it does mimic an asthma or allergy attack in a way. Yet, anxiety does have a lot of physical symptoms, which is why it gets overlooked so often. We always think of the physical ailment instead of the mental component.


  4. I got nothing, as usual. I hope you can find someone who can help with all this.


  5. Chuck says:

    Hi Charles,
    Has anyone ever diagnosed you as bipolar? Some of the symptoms you share seem to go along with the hypomanic part of the disorder. Bipolar individuals can go between the hyperactivity and euphoria to depression so low they are nonfunctional. Like all disorders, there are varying degrees and symptom are not consistent. Next time you meet with your therapist, bring it up. I feel concerned for you, yet you are doing the right thing by writing and sharing these episodes. Anxiety and stress are serious and if left untreated can lead to other physical effects. Keep positive and keep the post coming as long as you need them.


    • Never been diagnosed with bipolar, but I don’t really hit the emotional extremes that you’re describing. There’s no euphoria/hyperactivity stage with me. I’ll be leveled and then get knocked down with anxiety and depression. Honestly, I can’t even tell you when the last time I felt euphoria was. I will bring it up, but there feels like there are a few pieces missing for that diagnosis to overtake the anxiety one.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Laurie Bell says:

    Take care Charles


  7. I hope you can figure out what’s causing your attacks before you have to deal with too many big ones like that. There will be some pattern to the triggers that you’re missing… In theory anyhow.

    I’m with you on the eMail address thing, by the way.


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