Saturday, July 23, 2011

panic attacks

All throughout my life, or as long as I can remember, I had panic attacks during sleep. The first ones I can remember started as early as when I was only 6 or 7, and I still have them on occasions. They all share the similarity that they happen when I am asleep, and that despite the fact that the reason behind the attacks are associated to the various situations that were appropriate in that phase of life, the feeling of the attacks are the same. This great urgency feeling that I am not doing whatever I am/was supposed to be doing, that I failed to do what I was expected to do in the greater scheme of things, whatever that was.

When I was 6, and thus the first attacks I remember, was almost always during my naps. As this blog title shows I was quite insatiable. I wanted to do everything, and more than the rest of my peers. The only way to do that, at the age of 6 and also later on, was to skip some of the things one was expected to do. Since I was not a patient person, ever, I needed to fast forward or skip altogether some steps/tasks one needed to do. One of that was the afternoon nap. I carefully calculated, as a young child, that if I would skip my noon naps, than I could read all the books I wanted to read that day ( I was a voracious reader at that age, a habit I "overcame" during my puberty) AND be able to play outside with my mates. Ofcourse, despite my high hopes I was not able to do this, and I, with my ever heavy eye lid, feel hostage of the mid-day slumber fairy that forced us into the deep hazy pool of slumber. During these times I would have the panic attacks, and these were attributed to my want or need to play with my friends outside, and my inability to do so due to the fatigue that I have been infected with.
Even with the panic attacks, I would fail to tumble into the waking world. After a struggle with my urges to play and the fairy's spell of slumber, the spell would always win and I would only awake when it was too late to go and play.
However, I would always remember these attacks and always be dissapointed in myself that I was not able to fight the very simple urges of fatigue and sleep.

The second round of attacks came during my last years of high school. They happened when I fell into my food coma states after dinner (which would've been actually the fourth warm meal of the day). My voracious appetite for books and words had morphed into my appetite for food. These were quite clear to me as well. They had to do with the fact that I was living in a culture where a strict regime of not sleeping apparently was thought as the key to one's academic success. As it was known then at the time "4 fail 3 succeed". This meant that if you slept 4 hours a day(at night), you will fail your college entrance exam, and you will succeed if you were to sleep only 3. Thus were the great ideals that made korea into what it is...
Anyhow, if you are that age, eating great deal amount of food and not being able to sleep proper during nights, it does happen that you wake up at random times during your naps in frantic panic... "s*** I should be studying"

For awhile these attacks seem to go away, but came back occasionally - for example, when I was in Edinburgh - which seem to be linked with my brain not registering that I've actually moved a continent away from home. I also had them again when I started a relationship with my boyfriend in berlin, and till now on occasion.

However, they were now very irritating due to that my conscious had failed to link with the unconscious attacks on finding the appropriate reason behind these spells.

Now even worse, and the real freaky thing is that I do them without noticing. Apparently I also make very clear audible sentences while I have these attacks. Last one seem to come with a sentence "Hey! (insert name here)! Weren't you supposed to give me something?" - apparently I did this while looking at (insert name here) - and yes in the middle of the night. Luckily enough my partner is not known to be freaked out easily.

After a long thought, I am still quite curious... what is it. is it, a baby?? Is that what my body is doing? Attacking my partner that he hasn't gotten me knocked up already, that behind my back(or my conscious self)?
That would be quite funny though, if I had some sort of alter ego that comes out in very sporadic moments - while I have no control over my self (read sleep)- to express my inner thoughts. hmmm. ofcourse if this were to grow out of proportion, I would either end up schitzo or like this guy who I know, who ended up in the laundry room in the basement of his apartment complex totally naked not knowing why how and when he came down there in such manner.
Thank god that hasn't happened (knock wood)
The best i got till now is singing silly songs and accusing people of not giving me things.

Ofcourse there was this one time when I was sharing a room with another friend who talks in her sleep and we were having full on in sleep conversations until she started giving me too random answers that didn't fit right in my dream.... but anyways.

(half of this blog entry was written on the 5th of april, 2010 and the other half on the 23rd of July 2011)

1 comment:

Owen said...

Strangely enough, I had a rather panicky dream last night, which is not very usual for me. Anyway, I never noticed any verbal outbursts from you (while you were asleep, at least).