Archive for July 13th, 2009

I have not being doing well lately. It has been one h@#$ of a six-week period, and I need to write about it so I can pour the poison out of my soul and heal. I will probably write a week’s worth of blogs in one sitting, so rest assured that I will probably be feeling much better by the time you read this week’s worth of installments. However, in the moment, I am not doing well at all. It’s all part of the healing process, I guess.

All of the insanity of the last six weeks of my life centers around this memory. This was the first time that I was vaginally raped. My virginity was “sold” to the highest bidder when I was only six years old. I had already recovered and somewhat healed that piece of it. Experiencing the first rape was another story.

My life has been pure h@#$% from Memorial Day through Fourth of July. I don’t know why I “chose” this time to process this memory. Perhaps the rape happened on a holiday, or perhaps I was just ready to heal it. I don’t know.

What I do know is that I have been very sick. I came down with a cold over Memorial Day weekend that went into a sinus infection. As soon as that healed, I dealt with a week of overwhelming anxiety followed by a week of feeling so depressed that I wanted to die. From there, I went into another sinus infection that spread to bronchitis.

By the time that the very strong antibiotics and steroids should have cleared up to the illnesses, I started having trouble breathing. By this point, my family had gone to the beach for the Fourth of July weekend, and I thought that being at the beach would help. Instead, I experienced three straight nights of insomnia (taking two to five hours to fall asleep each night) and difficulty breathing to the point of feeling dizzy and lightheaded. I thought I was going to faint. I also kept coughing.

I went back to the doctor (third trip) and received a surprising diagnosis – There was nothing wrong with me physically. The infections had healed up, and I had no virus. The reason I was having trouble breathing was because I was hyperventilating. (I did not know you could hyperventilate without being aware of it.) I was gasping for air, which was the exact opposite thing that I needed to be doing.

The doctor told me to breathe into a paper bag (it really works!), take Xanax, and try to calm down. He also prescribed Tussionex, which never fails to calm me and help me sleep. The doctor was right – By following his advice, my breathing and overall health improved rapidly.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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