So You’re Having a Panic Attack… an Idiot’s Guide

Blogging is all about lists these days, and all the cool kids are doing it. The internet has turned everything thing into a countdown, which I personally feel is a reflection of the dumbing down of society. Modern man can no longer deal with reading an article with complicated paragraphs without numbers to guide them. How can one be expected to understand the tone of an item without a fancy-pants .gif of Jennifer Lawerence pulling an appropriate facial expression? Give it time, and before you know it, the evening news will just be some guy pointing at a car accident with a shocked expression to convey that it is bad news. In light of this trend, I thought I’d create my own list, because why not?

Things to do when you’re having a panic attack

1. DON’T PANIC!
This is honestly the only way to stop your panic attack. If this doesn’t work, try the following steps.

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2. Rock
Repetitive movement soothes the frayed edges of sanity.

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3. Drugs?
Marijuana, Lorazepam, Valium, Heroin. Stay away from amphetamines though, that is going to make things much much worse.

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4. Escape into the Void
My favourite escapes are hiding under a blanket, or hiding under my hair in a cold shower. Note: To maximise the effectiveness of this step, combine with steps 2 and 3.

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5. Hug an Animal
Preferably a dog. Cat’s tend to be indifferent to your suffering, but dogs have a lot of empathy. Maybe don’t go and approach a strange dog for hugs when you’re jittery though.

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6. Quit your job
Because if there was ever a time for rash decision making, it’s now!

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7. Clean
Clean like your life depends on it, because it does. Your home is full of mold spores and bacteria just waiting to kill you and your family.

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8. Stalk a Celebrity
Make your favourite celebrity’s life a misery by constantly following and harassing them. This way, your life will seem less awful by comparison.

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9. Redecorate
Strip the wallpaper, burn the curtains, discard the worldly possessions that imprison you. Now rack up your credit card debt buying all new shit. Make sure you buy it all online though, so you don’t have to leave your house.

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10. Plan a large formal dinner party
If television has taught me anything, it’s that to conquer a fear, you have to face it head on. Invite everyone you know, including your kids school teachers and your in-laws. Promise everyone a seven course meal and create it using only what you have in your kitchen. Try to avoid suicide. If you survive this, you’re going to be okay. I promise.

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Just so we’re clear…. This post is intended to be satire. If you are offended in anyway, please do us all a favour and fuck off.

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I am a Creature of the Night, Fear Me. Or Hug me.

Welp, here I am, awake and blogging in the middle of the night while feeling awful. It’s not a wise move, what with work in the morning, but for the moment it can’t be helped. When I lay down, I start coughing, which is a new symptom of the virus that has been setting off tiny fog machines in my head since Friday. The down side of sharing a bed with another human being is that I can’t, in good conscience, spend the night hacking and spluttering away next to said human being. Jeez, when did I become so considerate, who the fuck am I? So I’m currently awake-ish, sipping a hot lemon tea and waiting for the cough syrup to kick in, and hopefully knock me out cold.

On the bright side, I think this is the first time I’ve been sick for more than a day or two (physical sick, not head sick, I’m always head sick) since before Christmas, which is a personal record.  My immune system might finally be sorting itself out. Long time readers of my Jenny Sangster Jewellery blog might remember that there was a time when I was sick almost constantly, picking up every virus or infection that I came in to contact with as a complication of hepatitis and/or chronic fatigue. In fact, this time last year, I was hit with a trifecta of bronchitis, conjunctivitis and tonsilitis, during which my hair fell out and my nails stopped growing.

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Is it kombucha, or is it a scalp soaking in formaldehyde?

 

I’m no totally sure, but one of the things that I have changed, is that I now brew and drink my own kombucha. Kombucha is basically fermented tea, containing friendly probiotics and is said to promote overall health.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn infomercial on you and bleat on about the benefits of kombucha and why it will make your miserable existence bearable again. Hell, it might not have anything at all to do with my apparent improving health, but it can’t hurt so I’m gonna approach this the same way I approach everything: keep drinking and hope for the best.

A Weekend Ramble

It’s now been a whole year since Ex and I seperated. Sometimes it feels like I’m still getting use to being single and being able to make my own decisions and plans. But then I look at how much my life has changed and it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year. This time last year I was living in his house, unemployed and not sure where I was going to live. I was a terrified stay-at-home mother facing an uncertain future. I was being shunted out of a life of financial security in to the abyss of child support and government assistance.

Today, I have a mortgage on my own home, which I am paying comfortably. I’m not especially well off, but I make it work and we don’t do without much. My relationship with Ex is much healthier and I’m thankful to be able to count him as a friend. Our children are doing fabulously and have shown resiliance that I never knew they were capbable of.

One of the biggest changes for me has been friendship. Ever since moving away from my friends and family 12 years ago, I have been isolated. This is partly self-imposed due to mental illness and low self-esteem, and partly because of a large age gap between Ex and myself.  In the early years I was young, childless and lacked the life experience required to relate to the wives of his co-workers, so I gradually withdrew from social events. Then when I did have children, they kept me busy.

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I want to live here and throw apples at passing children so everybody leaves me alone forever. Ahhhh, paradise….

 

I never could stand the coffee groups that new mothers joined, I’m far too cynical. I’d have to bite my tounge when I saw a baby sucking on a rope of amber beads. I’d have to feign interest when a NatureGoddessEarthMother would lecture me on the importance of baby-wearing. I’ve have to fight of the urge to slap a bitch when someone looked down on me for not breast-feeding. All the while, I was habouring a dirty secret, that would reverberate in my head as I listened to all the cooing and crying and self-satisfied murmerings of Supermamas, “I hate all of you and your stupid sticky, smelly children”.

I’m not a social person, and I keep people at arms length, but I’ve made friends with my co-workers, who are an awesome bunch of badass women. I’ve also gained a few male friends which is nice, every girl needs guy friends.

One of my guy friends is living with me at the moment, which has been good for me, as I have a tendency to go in to hermit-mode if left alone for to long.  His humour and stubborn refusal to be a grown-up are a useful offset to my grumpy disposition. It’s kind of like having my cake and eating it too. I have the benefits of having a man around the house, but because we’re not together, I don’t feel irritated and naggy when he comes home from a hard night bloodied, bruised and without his phone. Like he did today.

Long story short, he’s currently unconcious on the couch with two black eyes. I’m cool with that, because he’s not wearing pants. He has super sexy legs.

Float

A few weeks ago, I suffered a lower lumbar sprain. It hurts like a bitch a lot of the time. So when my live-in casual good time, Fine Ass, offered to pay for a session in a flotation tank, I jumped at the opportunity. Well, I didn’t jump, that would have been a terrible idea. But I wanted to go, because my dear friend Sexy Hands once recommended it to me and he swears by it.

If you don’t know what a flotation tank is, it’s a super hippy new age pod, filled with water so dense in Epsom salts and dead sea salt that you float like a cork when you lay in it. You are deprived of your senses while floating in skin temperature water. The apparent benefits range far and wide, from muscle relaxation, to entering a subconscious state were you will have an epiphany that will solve world hunger.

So we went along to meet the tank owner, who gave us a walk through of the process and showed us the tank. It looks like a giant egg and reminded me of when Lady Gaga arrived at the Grammy’s a few years back. The woman clearly leaned a little toward the spiritual persuasion, and her science was questionable, but that’s ok, each to their own.

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My preferred kind of float

It was my turn first. I was required to shower and wash my hair before entering the pod. I loved the shower, beautifully tiled with a normal detachable shower head and an over head waterfall. I could have easily spent my entire 90 minutes in there, but I was eager to get my float on.

I climbed in very carefully; the massive salt content makes the water incredibly slippery. I pulled the lid down and lay down. A soft light glowed and soothing music played quietly. To my right, was a button I could use to control the lighting. I cycled through different colours before shutting it off – after all, it is suppose to be sensory deprivation.

For a while, I didn’t know what to think. I was kind of bored. The music started to bug me, but it faded out after a while. I bounced off the walls. I mentally recited Borat’s version of the Kazakhstan national anthem (“filtration system a marvel to behold it removes 80 percent of human solid waste”). I noticed that the density of the water made it feel like KY Jelly on my skin which was rather pleasant. I thought about sex for a while. Then work. My aches and pains got worse and I stretched my muscles. I wondered how much time had passed. I wondered if the salt would damage my hair. Then I fell asleep.

The music came on, I woke up with a start, opened the pod and hit the shower again to wash the salt off before it crystallized. My back didn’t hurt! Wonderful! I went outside and sat in the sun for a while. Fine Ass went off to enjoy his float and I went to find sushi. Then my back started hurting.

On the drive home, my back got progressively more uncomfortable. I didn’t feel relaxed and enlightened, I felt sore, tired and grumpy. My mood didn’t improve until we got home and I downed some painkillers and anti-inflammatories.

Fine Ass enjoyed his float immensely, although he did admit that a large portion of it was spent having fun bouncing around. But it’s not for me. I’m glad I tried it, but I’ll take a massage over a float any day.