I have this strange obsession. One that is really the only one way to explain it, a need to always not only have water on hand but to drink water excessively throughout my day. I guess its an obsession or just a part of me that will stay in my life? I will explain.
Over the past ten years, a lot of strange things have become a part of my daily ritual. It takes me on average two hours to get to sleep from the time I take my Seroquel to the time I actually get to sleep. One of these strange things revolves around drinking water. It sounds weird, but it all started when I started lithium at the beginning of my diagnosis. My dosage was really high when I was first diagnosed, and those who have taken lithium know that it dries you out like there is no tomorrow.
From the beginning, I would drink copious amounts of drinking water every day. When I would wake after finally sleeping my mouth would be so dry that I started keeping water next to my bed. It didn’t matter as much when I wasn’t leaving my house, which I didn’t for many years. Eventually, my life improved and I got to place where, at least for a few hours, I could leave my house.
Then about two years ago I had one of the worst panic attacks in my life. I thought it was a heart attack. The ambulance came and it was a big thing. I couldn’t breathe and I was hyperventilating so bad I nearly passed out. I spent the night in the hospital. My social anxiety had hit its peak for the first in years. I still don’t really know exactly why my social anxiety spiraled only that certain things happened since this event that contributed to my social anxiety today. What was strange about this event was that water became what ultimately helped me through this panic attack, well that and Ativan.
My story only gets stranger. After that incident, I had to have water with me at all times. When my social anxiety gets out of control or feels close to that feeling of a panic attack, I drink water. It is strange, but it helps. I really can’t explain it. Part of the routine I go through every time I leave my house is making sure I have several bottles of water with me. I mind knows, and it won’t let me mentally prepare to leave the house until I have packed waters into my backpack.
In my mind, every time that I leave my safe place (my house) there is a possibility of my social anxiety leading to a panic attack. Given my history, it makes sense, because it has happened so many times over the last year. I have even left my house and gone a mile away before having to turn around fearing what will happen. Even when I am at my favorite place, my favorite coffee shop where I have spent so many hours writing, I always order a large water with my coffee so that it is there just in case I have a panic attack.
I make sure to always have cases of water in my room, and I even have a small refrigerator in my room so that I always have water on hand. It’s become my weird obsession that has become a big part of my life. I always feel dehydrated because of the lithium I take, but when I am in full panic attack mode my mouth gets extremely dry and I feel like I can’t breathe.
It is one of the worst feelings if I forget or run out of the water.
Who knew it would be such a big part of my life.
I am curious, what are your strange things that have come out of your diagnosis?
Photo Credit: kazuend