Attachment disorder
It's kind of embarrassing to admit this, but I should confess that I think I am overly attached to Nick (he better not read this or he'll get a huge head). Our lives are so closely interwoven that it feels very weird when he's not around. This is never really a problem, because he's always around.

Now I don't want you to think I'm totally psycho, because we occasionally do our own things in the evenings and I'm fine with that. I can handle a night or two on my own, but much more than that and I really feel off, like not myself.

I've gone away only one time for work, and it was for a week. I was so busy with the shoot going on that week though that I never really had time to think about it and miss the old lug. The only other times I've traveled for work have been day trips, where I'd fly somewhere in the morning and then fly back in the evening. That doesn't even count.

Nick, on the other hand, went away for the first time a little less than a year ago. It was for a week, and I was left home alone. I thought I'd be fine with it. I bought myself some books and magazines to keep myself occupied, and I hung out at home and watched TV and tried to enjoy the peace and quiet. For a few days I was okay with it, but after a few days I sort of turned into a weird panicky mess. My heart would race when I did just about anything, like when I simply walked up the stairs. I felt anxious all the time, and I couldn't figure out why I was so short of breath from doing basically no activity. This went on for a few days before it got really bad. I eventually decided to go to the doctor to see about my heartrate and shortness of breath.

Once I got to the doctor, I was put through a lot of heart and breathing tests. Each time, the nurse or doctor would seem kind of alarmed, which made me even more scared. I tried to calm myself down to slow my heartrate, but the more I thought about it, the faster it got. My heart almost ached from beating so fast. I was at the doctor's office and subsequent testing facilities for at least four hours I'd say, all alone and scared that I had some sort of heart problem.

They sent me home with some tranquilizers and told me to go to the emergency room if later on I felt the same heart issues. I called my parents to come and stay with me because I was sort of a mess, and I didn't want to be driving myself to the ER later on if I was having a heart attack.

Talking to Nick and telling him about my issues made him a nervous wreck too. He felt guilty because he wasn't here to help me through all of this and took the first flight home to be with me (it was just a day or so early). I immediately felt calmer.

A few days later, the test results came back and I was normal. Apparently, what I experienced was a panic attack. Once I heard that, I felt so silly that I had a panic attack just because my husband was away for a week. I really thought I was doing okay with my time alone.

Now prior to this panicking episode, I had been having extremely low energy levels and wasn't feeling quite right for at least a month or two. That, combined with my panic attack, made me take a close look at the side effects of a particular prescription I was on. Surprise surprise, tiredness and anxiety were both side effects, and the more I researched on our dear Internet, the more I knew I needed to switch medications. I did and eventually started to feel more like myself, with more energy and less anxiety.

Why am I writing about this almost a year later? Well, Nick has another work trip scheduled and I'm a little nervous about freaking out again. He's also been contemplating a different position (not now, but later down the road) where he could be traveling much more frequently. The panic attack was so scary that first time, that I almost panic just thinking about going through it all again.

So what do you think? Am I an overly-attached nutcase? Should Nick run for the hills? And have any of you ever had fears of being alone like this? I'd like to think it was all because of the medication, but I might just be a weirdo. Go figure.


Blogger alana said...

I think (or hope, at least) that it's pretty normal.

I've always thought of myself as pretty independent, but at the same time, I've noticed that the longer I'm with Matt, the more uncomfortable I am being away from him. Not really in an active, longing sort of way, more like in the sense that I just feel better when he's around. I didn't really realise it though until I was stressing out big time and told my roommate that it would be a lot less difficult if Matt were here, just for the sake of being around. Her response was "Wow, you really rely on him a lot, huh?"....and now, well I'm worried about my own attachment issues just as much as you are.

It's gotta be normal. Right?

Anonymous Colleen said...

No, you are not an overly-attached nutcase. And if people disagree, then at least you're not alone because I'm the exact same way. My husband and I have been together for 10 years. At most we have spent 5 days apart at 1 given time. Until recently that is.

My Husband started working a new position that requires him to travel a lot. A lot as in 3 out of 4 weeks a month. I had a month to prepare before his first trip and good grief, I was an emotional wreck. I didn't want him to go and treated everyday like it was our last, as if he was going away for good. That of course was just crazy.

The first few weeks were rough, both day and night. After not sleeping more than 3 hours a night for the first 2 weeks I seriously thought I was going to have to move in with my parents.

Thankfully, I don't know how, but it got easier. The nights are still a little rough but I'm getting more than 3 hours of sleep so we're good.

If Nick ends up having to travel a lot, you'll be ok. Just remember to breathe. Sounds so simple but when your anxious and scared I know first hand breathing isn't easy but you just have to do it :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Panic attacks are the WORST, especially before you know what they are. And worrying about having more doesn't help. I'm sorry you had one while Nick was away. You can always call me and I'll talk you through one. But keep a record so you can let your doctor know their frequency.

You are definitely not a nutcase, and if Nick ever does run for the hills, he'd be the nut! You two are fabulous together (and alone!). Happy weekend you two cuties.

Blogger Lara said...

not a nutcase. it's normal to feel bad when you're apart from someone so important to you. little kids often have it when separated from their parents. and i wouldn't worry too much about it until you can figure out if it was the medicine or not. if so, then there's no point in even considering it. if not, you'll find ways to work through the anxiety when he has to travel. all will be well. :)

Blogger Aimee said...

blame it on the meds. :) I'd say that "worrying" about a panic attack is probably not the best approach though.

I'm a little like you though. I was evaluating whether or not I'd lost myself because I don't really do anything without my boyfriend...but really, I have time to myself and don't really have anything else I'd like to do. Maybe I need a hobby. lol You know, besides taking pictures of my cats. I think he's just keeping me from becoming a crazy cat lady. :)

Good luck!

Anonymous alyndabear said...

Big hugs to you, Angela -- I don't think you're a weirdo at all. When people cohabit for such a long time, it's natural to feel anxious when things aren't "the same". My mum suffered panic attacks for a number of years, and I know how scary they can be. Just take deep breaths, and come and blog your heart out to distract yourself. :P

Anonymous Jamie said...

Its funny how the saying "You can't live with 'em yet you can't live without 'em" really comes into a handy use here. I get so mad at my Fiance when he's home. But when he's gone to school at night, I really miss him, I feel a little sad, but then when he gets home and does something stupid, I feel much better :)

*hugs* Switch meds, and worrying about your "next" attack will not help matters!

Blogger Lindsey said...

When Edgar goes away on business (which luckily is rare) I am fine for about a day or two, but after that I start feeling sad, anxious and just weird. I also have trouble sleeping because I think of all the scenarios of someone coming into my house to kill me! Lovely, right?? I've never had a panick attack, but I totally understand how you feel!

Blogger heidikins said...

I don't know if anything I have to say will really help you out - but my sweetie and I are apart for over 3 weeks of the month, so I HAVE to be ok being alone. We talk on the phone every night before we go to sleep, we send little text messages and when I'm feeling really creative I actaully snail-mail him something. My point? It takes a little extra effort, but finding things that you can do to keep you smiling and thinking happy thoughts about him, you and the two of you together while he's away will help make the seperation easier.

Blogger Isabel said...

I don't even know what to say to this, except that I think it's very sweet how much you guys like each other.

And I imagine that you'll be fine with Nick being away. It might be hard...but you'll do what you need to do to adjust.

Good luck.

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