I've really been trying to figure out what is triggering these recent attacks, but cannot come up with anything concrete. It's almost as frustrating as having the attacks themselves. It seems that whenever I do have an attack, I'm not doing anything stressful and am not feeling anxious - it just comes over me. This last one was worse than ever though as it made my muscles feel very week and the brain fog was incredible! I even felt like I couldn't move my mouth to form words, like as in everything I was trying to do was in slow motion. That part has never happened before. I had an MD tell me before that anxiety is a strange thing, that most of the time that we are in a stressful situation, we will NOT get a panic attack, and yet sometime down the road when we are feeling fine, it will hit us. I don't believe modern MD's anymore, but that one seemed to sound correct, as that is how mine happen.
As far as the drinking and smoking, I smoke 1-2 packs a day, depending on where I am and what I'm doing. I work at a bar :( and my co-worker is a chain smoker. I feel that on days that we work together, I tend to smoke a lot more than on the days that she is not there. Drinking is anywhere from 0-6 beers a night. More of a habit than an addiction. On nights that I work, I don't get out until around 3am and surprisingly, even though I'm at a bar, I don't drink on those nights. I guess it's kind of like what you said in one of your posts - being sober and watching people get drunk and stupid is not fun. The first night I worked there I saw so much stupidness that I said to my co-worker that I will never ever make out in a bar again - in fact, might never drink in a bar again....LOL. I applaud you for your choice to quit. My drinking is part of my "me" time - after the kids go to bed and I read email, these forums, watch tv, do laundry, drink beer. I'm currently considering an orange juice fast (from "ask MH" forum). It's supposed to regulate your body and it will solve the cravings of addictions - whether it be smoke, drink, carbs, etc. I've read this in many areas regarding any type of juice fast. I'll let you know if it helps with the panic attacks.
I can't remember if you said in your original post - do you know the triggers for your attacks? My last one happened at work, on the last day that I worked last week, and I have to work tomorrow. So of course I see that as a trigger (not that it is actually a true trigger, just being at work) and I'm more anxious about going in. Being more anxious to begin with is what will probably cause another attack tomorrow. But I'm working on that. I do like my job overall, there are obviously some things that I don't like, but the job and the people for the most part are becoming friends - or at least someone that I can have a friendly conversation with while they are there. I don't think I would hang out with any of them on my off time, but they are nice to talk to at work.
You know, another thing I just thought of - I am addicted to soap operas. I wonder if that has anything to do with the attacks. Something about negative energy, or transferring worry/stress from the show to me? Anyone reading this have any ideas on that one? May be far-fetched, but I know that other people's stress can cause stress on me if I take it in, and I, unfortunately, tend to do that because I care about people and want to save the world...lol. Just a thought.
Wow, I'm long winded tonight! Sorry about that.....feels good to put things on "paper" though.