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Thread: Alone tonight

  1. #1
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    Nov 2018
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    Alone tonight

    Okay, this is really stupid but I love you people and could do with some support here.

    Historically, I have a bad history of separation anxiety; if my husband was out late at night, I'd suffer violent panic attacks and, 18 years ago at the start of our relationship, sometimes this would lead to self-harm. Eventually, and I'm wretchedly ashamed of this, he mostly stopped going out.

    Nearly two decades later and I have a much better grip on my mental health. Tonight, Mr. Iris is going out to work at the election. I couldn't do it because of work commitments, and he's going to be back way, way past my bedtime.

    I'm not (that) frightened of something happening to him while he's out - well, okay, I am quite a bit - but I'm really terrified of the panic attack I might get. I know it's irrational (which is why I encouraged him to do it) but I'm really afraid of my own reactions here. He'll be leaving around the time I normally turn in; haven't decided whether to go to bed as normal or snooze on the couch where I can have the cats for company. My gut instinct is just to go to bed in the usual way because seriously, this is absolutely not a big deal at all and I probably shouldn't be treating it as such.

    Anxiety is evil and I hate it, and I'll be so much happier when this is all over.
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  2. #2
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    Jun 2014
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    Re: Alone tonight

    I think you should stick to your routine and go to bed as usual so that you are not dealing with even more changes..Yes it IS a big deal to you and it matters so I think you should do all you can to just accept this and not be self-critical? You may find that you just go to sleep and wake up when he is back and it'll all be over. That would be ideal.

    Have you made a plan as to how to cope with a panic attack? You're the expert on this..You'll know the reason why. You are in control of it,not it of you.

    It sounds so easy but of course it's not..Don't hate your anxiety because this won't help. You do such a lot in your daily life which others can't envisage..Tonight will be a challenge but it will pass and tomorrow will be here and you will have got through it..

  3. #3
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    Re: Alone tonight

    Thanks, Pulisa. I've got a few coping strategies in place in the event of a panic attack - breathing exercises, obviously, then listening to a podcast or playing games on my phone. Trying to avoid inviting the cats into bed because the kitten has an unfortunate habit of bedwetting, but that'll be a last resort as they're really good company.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Alone tonight

    Hey Blue. I really do remember that fear of being alone, but do you think you could try and turn it into something else? Maybe look at it as a challenge. You already know that a panic attack itself isn't dangerous and just 'sensation'. You know that intellectually, but what you're fearing now is part of that panic attack process. In some respects, the attack has already started, right?

    I would challenge your internal dialogue starting now and just repeat to yourself that you know how to cope with and respond to panic, and if it happens it happens.

    This place is here if you need it too

  5. #5
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    Re: Alone tonight

    You're right, Joe, I've been low-key wound up about this for about a fortnight, and in some ways I feel as though it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Obviously I'm not getting the physical symptoms yet, but I keep on visualising waking up in the middle of the night and feeling sick from terror.

    I'm trying to tell myself that this is only a big deal because I'm turning it into one; panic attacks are normally a pain in the backside, but for some reason I'm trying to convince myself that this is the actual end of the f***ing world and my husband will get murdered on the way home from the stadium where he's portering.

    Honestly, though, having this place here is wonderful, because when I do feel as though I'm losing it I can actually be honest with you lot, and myself.
    __________________
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    Sometimes, it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. - Terry Pratchett

  6. #6
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    Re: Alone tonight

    Trust me, eventually you'll revel and relish the thought of being alone and having time to yourself lol.

  7. #7
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    Re: Alone tonight

    This is the ironic thing; in daylight hours I love being able to watch bad TV without anybody grousing at me Side note, going to stay firmly decaffeinated today barring one can of fizz and maybe a green tea. Husband put a bar of Bournville in my bag but that stuff, lovely as it is, tends to trigger the sort of palps that won't play well with a panic attack.
    __________________
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  8. #8
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    Re: Alone tonight

    Oh yeah I avoid chocolate even now. I still don't like having several hours of 'the thuds'.

  9. #9
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    Re: Alone tonight

    Exactly, they're not frightening but they're also not in the least bit conducive to drifting off to sleep.
    __________________
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    Sometimes, it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. - Terry Pratchett

  10. #10
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    Re: Alone tonight

    Trust me, eventually you'll revel and relish the thought of being alone and having time to yourself lol.
    I entirely agree, I used to have your issue Blue very very badly, but in the last 10 years I love time alone at night. I get a good sleep, do my own thing, treat and spoil myself and generally have a good time. I would suggest that you make a plan now - a mental plan of what you are going to be doing/achieving and a structure for the evening. This is what I used to do at the start of my husband going away for time (sometimes a couple of weeks). You can add in lots of nice things you enjoy, read for 30 mins, have a bath, water the plants blah blah........with structure and plans time can pass really quickly. Panic attacks - meh - yeah, if it does then its just a panic attack, pass over it and carry on. If you can't sleep, then don't, play games on a device, watch telly, a night of less sleep won't hurt. You can work on turning this into a fun pleasant thing, rather than a scary awful thing by retraining how you view that time alone.

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