We have all felt panic or anxiety at some point in our lives. It comes in many different degrees; a small jolting moment of oh my God!, to a heart pounding, vision swimming stretch of time that virtually paralyzes you. As much as it may be different for each individual the fact that it leaves a lasting impression is common to us all. Today I was slammed with a panic attack that left me reeling, gasping and weakened. And that my friends is what prompted me to write this particular post.
Panic can grip a soul and mind and hold it in a blood pumping, heart smashing and head spinning steely grasp until you feel like you just might pass out…actually you (or at least I did today) wish you would pass out and wake up when its over! Its certainly one of the most terrifying emotions/feelings/states of mind that humans have to experience. I generally find it easy to see a glimmer of silver lining in even the deepest of shadowed events but I must admit that it has been a bit difficult to see the bright side of a panic/anxiety attack. I mean really!… what under the canopy of the sky could I find good to say about that rather shitty feeling? Lets break this down if we can and see what we can come up with shall we?
1.) Heart beats as if it will burst through your chest!
After a bit of contemplation I guess all I can say is the only time I find this sensation to be ok is during a rollercoaster ride or a walk through a particularly and wickedly scary haunted attraction at Halloween.
2.) The feeling of having to gasp for breath because you can’t breath right!
Wellll folks I am a smoker and extremely allergic to bees so this is just plain and simple NOT A GOOD THING!! Wouldn’t you agree?
3.) Breaking out in a cold sweat.
As I am sure most of us know there are occasions that breaking out in a sweat isn’t a bad thing at all but that is far from a cold sweat , if you know what I mean, wink wink! Oh and there’s that exercise routine sweat too, that’s good as well.
4.) The feeling of a complete lack of control over the situation at hand.
Not being the master of the direction your going in just sucks! I am pretty sure I can say that none of us care to feel like we are careening out of control over the edge of a chasm with no idea what lies at the bottom. At least not without a parachute, zip line or hang glider to save your ass if you change your mind. Am I right? or am I right?
5.) Unexplainable and intense feeling of Fear.
All I can say here is that in no situation, ever, can I say I would enjoy or have enjoyed this particular nasty emotion. And again I think its safe to say neither can any other sane person.
So with all that said and after rereading the above list several times I am still unable to find the silver lining or even a glimmer of light in a panic/attack. It is what it is; a horrible and excruciatingly bothersome situation that as human beings ,residing here on this orb we call Earth, just have to deal with in whatever way it is that we can.
However, what I can do is share with you how I deal with these monstrous events. I repeat a soothing phrase or mantra over and over. I (if possible) physically take myself to a place I know is safe. If its not possibly physically and the attack has not paralyzed my mind I take myself someplace in my imagination that soothes my soul. And I always try my best to retain at least one thread that connects me to reality and sanity. Last but not least, always remember that it will pass, there is an end to it. The cause of said attack my yet remain however the intense physical and mental feeling of fear and panic will cease.
In closing I say, thank you for reading my rant and prose. I hope that maybe you may have gained a little insight or a hint to help you if you find yourself gripped in the middle of one of these unfortunate events. We are all human and though I may not know all of you personally I sincerely wish you all blessings especially in times like the ones described in this post.
P.S. by the way I just realized that writing can be added to my list of things that help you center and ground and refocus when having a panic attack. I feel better now than I did when I wrote the first sentence of this page. 🙂