I woke up to a panic attack last night after being asleep for about 45 minutes. That always sucks. It doesn't happen that often anymore (knock on wood) but it is still very unpleasant. I woke up disoriented, sat up and turned on the light and felt out of my mind terrified: bathed in sweat, having trouble breathing, shaking really hard. I got up and got a drink of water and went to the bathroom and my whole body was in panic-mode like I was about to die. Meanwhile, in my head I was reminding myself to breathe and these symptoms would go away in a few minutes. I sat down on the bed and told my half-asleep husband that I was having a horrible panic attack - in a completely normal voice which always amazes me that I am just sitting there with a normal sounding voice while I'm sweating, shaking and feeling like I need to get up and run as fast and far as I can away from the most terrifying thing in the world - that I can not identify because my body is just in a panic for no external reason. Sucks. Sucks. Sucks. My husband sleepily said, "They usually pass within fifteen minutes, remember," and sure enough I was back in bed and feeling like myself and falling asleep within fifteen minutes.
So, I looked up some resources on nocturnal panic attacks and found this helpful site.
I really like how this guy writes about the fears that one feels during a panic attack. It's kind of light and funny and reminds me that panic attacks are in reality just little, annoying episodes, not life-threatening, psychosis-inducing catastrophes like they feel like. They're like chihauhaus that bark at you like they're the biggest, meanest, vicious dogs in the world, when in reality they're the size of a squirrel and can be drop-kicked across the neighborhood if need be.
In happier news: Toadie is doing great and is not only acting like a "normal" horse, but is acting like a very sweet horse with a propensity to be a babysitter when her mom is not riding as well as she could. And we bought a new tree for our front yard - a Stewardia which is a lot like a Dogwood but hardier for our climate. And my daughter did excellent at her riding lesson today and I was bursting with pride and "cuteness overload" while watching her.
Friday I took a riding lesson on Toad and I was very distracted, tired and extra clumsy for some reason. I was a little hesitant to ride her for a full lesson when I wasn't feeling very on my game, but I put on my security-blanket eventing vest and did anyway because it would make my confidence worse if I didn't ride her in my lesson. As it was she did very well. Ok, she didn't want to go when I asked her and I had to carry a whip with me while riding otherwise she'd just stand there stubbornly, but that's just a typical, young green horse thing to do. But I'm not used to riding with a dressage whip so I was thinking a lot about where I was holding and keeping the hand it was in steady. I was also thinking a lot about trying to keep my new and improved posture (which was a little confusing for me because I felt like my center of gravity was different). Add that to my brain being tired and not very competent and well ... you get the picture.
So, we were going along really well and Toad was doing a nice, steady trot and I was having trouble with my foot slipping in my right stirrup but I was worrying more about the whip in my left hand (our last ride a couple days before I accidentally let the whip swing to the left while we were walking and Toad started to take off at a scooting gallop for a couple steps. I stopped her immediately just as Trainer K. yelled, "Drop your whip right now!" which I didn't have to do luckily because Toad calmed down immediately once I put the whip down on my lap). Anyway, I was about to go up during the post and my right foot slipped out of the stirrup which completely knocked me off balance because I was pushing my body up just as my body started to fall to the right so I literally started tipping off of Toad to the right, but my left knee locked onto her side like a vice grip and for a split second I kind of suspended off to the right, then was able to scoot myself back into the center on her back. Meanwhile I asked her to stop and she did. She very politely stopped and stood still until I got myself back together. In the midst of this Trainer K. yelled, "Wait - what are you doing?" to which I muttered - but I don't think she heard me - "Falling off!" Then I yelled back, "I lost my stirrup," and something about losing everything else like my balance. Then I started laughing at myself because it was such a dorky, clumsy thing to do. I was just so impressed that through my lurching around up on her back, Toad just politely stopped and stood there until I composed myself. She definitely took care of me there, whereas I think there are plenty of young, green horses who would've freaked about having someone flailing around on their back like that.
Meanwhile, I am watching Glee with my daughter and found out that one of her favorite songs (that I actually like) is a Lady Gaga song. I honestly never thought I would like a Lady Gaga song. I guess there is hope that I will be able to relate to my soon-to-be tween daughter as she gets older.