I don’t know what happened, but something just felt off.
As I was driving I was warring with my mind and trying not to freak out. There was what seemed like a crack in my chest and my heart beat faster out of fear; it was getting harder to breathe. By the time I got to where I was going I felt miserable and I was scared. What was wrong with me? What was happening? Should I stay in the car, should I go home, should I get out? I got out of the car, walked a little ways and was completely ready to pass out. I was hot, I was cold, I was sweaty. Dizziness struck and everything going on inside of me amplified. I turned around and went straight back to the car. I sat there for a while trying to get ahold of what was happening to me, hoping it would stop and I would be okay. Things got worse. My arm started tingling and I didn’t know what to do. I decided to start driving back towards home. I had to get out of there- I wasn’t going to let something crazy happen to me in a parking lot with a bunch of strangers around me! As I was driving the tingling got worse and spread to my other arm and both legs.
I couldn’t handle it anymore. I was so scared that something worse was going to happen to me and I had to pull off to the side of the road, it was much safer than driving in such a condition.
Panic attacks. They’re not fun to talk about and they are certainly not fun to think about or experience. I told Eryn over a month ago that I could do a post on panic attacks and I’ve been sitting blank with this post ever since. There were multiple times when I wanted to talk to her and tell her I just could not do the post, but for some reason I never did. I have experienced panic attacks before… I think my own feelings towards those experiences, and the fact that panic attacks are not readily discussed in conversation with those around me, are what left me at such a loss of how to go about this post.
The first time I had a panic attack I had no idea what was going on with me. Even after seeing a doctor to rule anything serious out, I was still left clueless with no answers. Most people are not taught growing up what their first panic attack will be like or that they will even have to possibly go through one someday. They’re just a part of life that can take us by surprise, but they’re not a surprise that has to scar our lives forever! What really helped me move forward from panic attacks was the simple knowledge of knowing what they are and being able to inform myself whenever symptoms started arising. Sometimes accepting things and acknowledging them for what they are can be really difficult. After I learned what it was that I was experiencing, I was not very amused with the idea of accepting it. Besides not being happy with myself, I was worried about what other people might think of me for having panic attacks. Acceptance should not be wavered for fear. There is always healing and a greater sense of self-love in acceptance which has the power to outweigh any fear.
Panic attacks can form in so many different ways; they and their treatments are often diverse from person to person. If you are struggling with panic attacks please know that you are not alone in this. Reach out- there are others out there going through similar things. Your panic attacks are not meant to keep you from living your life. You are going to shine ten thousand times brighter than any amount of weight they bring on you and your life!! Having one or multiple panic attacks does not make you any less of a worthwhile person; they are not a judgment of your character.
If you’re feeling open, feel free to share with us your experiences with panic attacks and any coping mechanisms you have found to be helpful.
Let’s show this SWL Family that we truly are not alone in our struggles!
*I’m adding a link to an article that Eryn found on ways to cope with panic attacks that would be worth a read when you have time! You can view it here
if you suffer from panic attacks this is not a solution but something has helped me. Seek a doctor if you are unsure of your attacks.