Questioning My Sanity in the Midst of an Attack

This was a fairly recent addition to the anxiety attacks and stemmed from the Big One.  In the throes of my attack, a strange thought wormed through the chaos.  Not sure why I gripped it, but it scared me enough that I tried to push it away.  By the time I got myself out of bed and into the bathroom for light, I’d given up on fighting and was simply trying not to follow it too much.  The terrifying thought was:

Would I realize if I went insane?

I began to remember people in my life who suffered from so form of reality-altering condition.  They firmly believed what they felt and saw.  Considering how I was having trouble wrangling my mind, I began to wonder if I was going down that path.  So, I started trying to ‘retain my sanity’ by going over facts of my life and the world in my head, but then I questioned if those were true.  A lot of this turned into me simply doubting myself and repeatedly wondering if I’d already lost.  The thing that snapped me out of it was a random text from a friend who happened to be up late.  My habit of always taking my phone to the bathroom came in handy here.

This idea/fear hasn’t come back yet, but I haven’t forgotten it.  There are times during the day where I’m tempted to consider my sanity.  I get as far as wondering if I never recovered from that night and everything has been wrong since then.  By this point, I pull back on the thoughts and rush to something that can distract me.  The sense of being foolish comes over me too because I’m kind of poking at my own mental tapestry.  One solid shot and I could unravel part of it.  Again, I don’t even know if I’d realize this, which is a big part of the fear.

Similar to the death fear from last week, I’m starting to think a facet of these issues is a lack of knowing and control.  Previously, it was that I didn’t know or could decide on what happens after I die.  This time it was that I wouldn’t know if I was sane or have control of myself if I’d gone over the edge.  So much of my life feels chaotic and beyond my control, which is one of the reasons I have the anxiety.  Existing and being sane feel like two of the few things I can control.  Even my imagination runs wild, so I feel like my characters pull me along more than the other way around.  So, losing the two things that I feel like I both understand (I am sane and I exist) and control becomes a theme when I begin succumbing to my attack.

I’m sure I could dive deeper into these topics as well.  Maybe I will when I feel more comfortable in the future.  For now, I’ll keep them as overviews and add these topics to my subject list.

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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16 Responses to Questioning My Sanity in the Midst of an Attack

  1. I question my sanity a lot. Mind you, so do my Mam and hubby (the two people who have most to do with me) so that probably encourages those thoughts. It doesn’t bother me in the way it seems to bother you though. I wonder about it, and what is or isn’t real, and how I’d know. But it’s more a matter of curiosity as to how things work for me, rather than the fear of not being in control of it you seem to be displaying.

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  2. L. Marie says:

    I feel bad liking this post, because I don’t like what you’ve been going through. 😥 I’m glad you had your phone with you during this.

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  3. The Poe graphic is perfect for this. There is so much writing material here if you’re ever comfortable treating it as such. Change things up, try first person, a pen name, and give Poe a run for his money. You don’t have to publish it, but it could be awesome with your insight.

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  4. I think the psychological documentation that renders a sane verdict strongly favors those who question their sanity. Insane people hardly ever question theirs.

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  5. What helped me a lot was realizing that control – any kind of control – is just an illusion. Surprisingly enough, once I got used to that idea, I’ve found it relaxing instead of stressful.

    The way I think of it, I’m only alive because one tiny blood vessel in my head hasn’t decided to spontaneously burst, or because I haven’t tripped over the stairs yet, or because someone hasn’t crashed their car on mine. The realization of the staggering amount of things that can go disastrously wrong in the course of a single day has made me feel like someone’s watching over me, taking care of me. So, instead of worrying, I trust that God will take care of the small stuff since he’s so good at taking care of the big ones.

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    • My mind has actually gone to the point where I feel like I control nothing. This causes a fresh wave of panic because it reaches the point where I doubt I even control my own thoughts. Again, rational thinking doesn’t really pop up during these attacks.

      The other part ties into the death thoughts. I’m noticing a few people bring up God and faith here. Those kind of backfire for me because I start wondering why they didn’t ward off the anxiety in the first place. Since there isn’t always a clear trigger, it almost feels like an invisible switch keeps getting flipped without my consent.

      Liked by 1 person

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