I woke up this morning at 4:43.  I was having a panic attack.

I do this sometimes.

I wake up and my heart is racing, my feet are twitching, and I can’t get calmed down enough to go back to sleep.

And the first thing I wanted to do was stress-eat.

B r e a t h e    s i s t e r. . . . . .

I sat up and put my feet on the floor.  I started taking some deep breaths.  I put my arms high up over my head and did some yoga-style stretches.  I rubbed some Oil of Olay on my face, and took a big drink of water out of the bottle I keep by my bed.

And like an adult, I calmed myself down.  Without binge-eating.  Or Xanax.  Or even a bubble bath.

Sound simple?  Perhaps to you.

But it truly is a battle for me.

Soooo….. let me explain to you why these panic attacks happen early in the morning.

For 2 years, Player called me every morning at 7:30 on his way to work.

Like clockwork.

He was the one person I knew I could count on to call me every single day.  And he did.  I can’t even explain how I felt in the beginning of our relationship.  I was wonderfully clueless back then, and every time my phone rang and I heard his ring-tone, my heart would just sing.  He had the most beautiful voice in the world to me.

“Good morning, Angel.”

It may not sound like much, but when you’ve never been spoken to in this way, it is really an amazing thing.

He would go on and on about how he felt about me, and how amazing I was to him.  It really calmed the needy, insecure beast within me….more than I even knew at the time.  I could then go all day without talking to him, and still feel filled up with love.  But most days I would hear from him at least 3 or 4 times throughout the day.

It felt good to be wanted by someone I was so attracted to.  I was so drawn to him.  And I felt loved.

But once I realized who I was messing with, and how many other women he was running this same game on, I pulled away.  He would still call me in the mornings, I just wouldn’t answer.  He would text throughout the day, but I would purposely leave my phone in my bag so I wouldn’t hear it.  And it wasn’t long before he knew I was onto him and that he was losing me.

And slowly, he stopped calling as much.

And even though me distancing myself is what was causing the lessening phone calls, it still hurt me.  And I would get upset that he wasn’t calling anymore.

I guess because I wanted to win.  I wanted him to choose me.  I wanted him to come after me and proclaim his love and devotion and tell me that he couldn’t bear to live his life without me.  Even though I knew damn good and well that wasn’t going to happen.

So the calls went from daily, to a few days a week.

I would wake up in the mornings, and just stare at the clock until I knew he was at work.  And then I would just seethe because I hadn’t heard from him.

This behavior has escalated into morning panic attacks.

I will wake up out of a dead sleep, gasping for air, heart racing, with jittery hands and feet….reaching for the clock to see that it is only 5 a.m., and praying that he will call me.

Some mornings I would just lay there.  Other mornings I would go outside on my sun porch and drink a whole pot of coffee.  Some days I would get my kids to school, and then come back home and eat a dozen donuts…punishing myself for not being enough to win the attention of this man.

He’s been gone from my daily life now for almost 4 months.

And I still wake up in a panic most days….longing to hear that ringtone singing out from my cell phone.  But knowing full well that even if it did, I wouldn’t answer.

Co-dependence is a cruel bitch.