What's causing my sleepiness?

What's causing my sleepiness?

Anxiety hits.

The house feels claustrophobic suddenly, and a each trip, each spill, each pile of dishes and toys, beat upon my nerves like a drum. My heart races, air sticks to my throat like a thick fog. My arms are heavy, my legs won't move.

I fumble around for my anxiety medicine. It's kept in my purse at all times, and I know where my purse is. Except now, when it is hidden in the blindness of anxiety. Ah. There it is.

The little one is playing happily. The animals don't need anything urgently. The essential things. I sit. I drag myself out for a late walk with my husband, dog, and daughter when he returns from work, and go to bed early, skipping my shower, but remembering the prazosin, the nightmare medicine.

I sleep deeply, with a few vivid dreams that flit away in the morning light, leaving only the gestalt memory behind. Until...I remember. It's a standard bad dream about my parents, with a side story of a neighbor's girlfriend who is suicidal.

My mood sinks like a stone in the dark waters of anxiety. I want to die flashes forward from the recesses of my mind.

I get ready for work. I get my daughter dressed, brush her hair, brush mine, ask my husband to walk the dog, make sure my daughter is fed. "Bye guys! I love you!" Everything is normal.

Except it isn't. On the train to work, I want to die. I don't want to leave her motherless. But it'd be okay to not wake up again. Or is that really what I want? I don't actually want to die. Only a part of me does. There's that dissociation again. Is it really dissociation?

My limbs feel so heavy. My heart hurts, aching as if I'd been imbued with the flu.

A mental flu.

How can I work today? I write to my therapist on my phone, hoping that maybe the act of telling someone else would help. It did, just a bit. I just want to lay down and do nothing. I want to lay down in the street. Then I'd be carted off in an ambulance.

I took anxiety meds, and hopped on the bus. Do I have enough vacation time? Could we afford the 60% pay that comes with short term disability? I need help. Is there a program that can help? I don't want to leave her motherless.

Sleep washes over me. Irresistible sleep. I've had this sleepiness before. Many times. No amount of caffeine, no amount of willpower, no amount of exercise and moving around can stave off sleep. I'd been diagnosed with mild sleep apnea, but the doctors say it is not the cause of these sleeping spells.

A half an hour later, I emerge. Whole. Shaky, but whole. Back to normal. Scared. But normal.

What the hell just happened?

I still feel shaky, like I'd just recovered from a severe bout of gastroenteritis. I take a half of a dose of anxiety meds, just to stay stable for work. I feel much more stable now.


This is a typical episode. Prazosin has helped reduce the incidences of this, probably because it makes me forget my bad dreams more readily and reduces the severity of them, and for the past week and a half, I hadn't had any 'sleep attacks.' I thought I was past them. Even when I do remember bad dreams, it doesn't affect me.

Until today. I didn't even think it was a particularly bad dream.

I'm getting tired of this. I'm trying to listen to my body, but I don't understand the language or dialect.

What exactly is going on?

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