From Panic Attacks to PEACE

Panic Attacks are hell.   I have been fighting back against the panic monster for 4 years now.

Some of you know what a nightmare panic attacks are.  Others do not.  I pray for your sake that you never find out.

My first panic attack hit me out of no where.  I had no idea what was happening to me.  And my whole world changed in that moment.

There were no more easy trips to the store.  Just stopping to get a gallon of milk became a horrible chore.  Forget about going to a concert or to the movies or to a restaurant with my family.  I often had to pull over along the road while I was driving somewhere.  I dreaded school functions and faked sick to get out of more things that I will ever admit.

This past weekend I stood in a crowded Burger King, waiting way too long for our order, and realized that I felt peaceful.  I teared up right there.

I realized that I was standing in a crowded place, just watching all the people and things happening around me and I was GOOD.  What an amazing accomplishment!  You have no idea.  I will never forget that moment.  I will never forget the peace I felt.  Too bad I wasn’t somewhere more exciting than Burger King.

I wish I could describe how I used to feel in those situations.  Weak knees.  Light-headed, dizzy.  Constantly scanning the exit.  Feeling so very hot and flush faced.  Looking down, trying to take huge deep breaths without making a scene.  Digging in my purse for a distraction, any kind of distraction at all.  Bargaining with myself to stick it out.  Willing myself to do it even though every single part of me was screaming RUN!  I have kept every little notebook I filled with my scribbling during those moments.  I read them occasionally and am amazed at how far I’ve come.  And I get angry that I ever had to go through any of it in the first place.

I have a draft post about my first ever panic attack just sitting there waiting for me to finish it.  I started it a long time ago.  I get stuck every time I try to finish it.  The feelings are so hard to describe.  I try to explain all that was going on in my life at the time and figure out what caused it.  I get stuck.  I don’t know if I just don’t want to go back there – not even to think about it.   Or maybe its because I don’t have the answers and that bothers me.

Am I cured?  No.  But I’ve come a long way baby!

There are many situations that are still hard but I am determined to conquer them.  One at a time.  Step by step.  I will do it.  I told hubby I wanted to go to a ball game next week.  Not one of my son’s game.  To a large ball park in our area.  Last time we went it was so very hard and I ended up crying in the bathroom at least twice during that game.  Ugh.  I want to go try again.  And I want to do it while the kids are still in school.  I need a practice run.  They love to go to these games in the summer and I usually say I have to work and send them with their dad.  I want to be able to say “Yea, Let’s go!”

End-of-year awards assemblies at school are coming up and these always challenge me.  But I can do it.  Know how I know?  Because I just said that they challenge me.  4 years ago I would have been stressing about it for weeks already and trying to figure out an elaborate plan to get out of it.  This year, I know they are coming up and I’m not thrilled.  But I’m not freaking out either!

So, no – I’m not cured.  But I have made tremendous progress!  I have worked hard and am proud of myself!   :)

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura
    May 16, 2011 @ 16:57:25

    Good for you!! So many people just give up. The fact that you keep trying, and keep going, and refuse to let this beat you is so awesome. It won’t beat you. You will beat it. I can see that already!!

    Reply

  2. thisbrokenhearthashope
    May 16, 2011 @ 21:15:07

    I should have read this before my last comment. It makes more sense to me now. I don’t think anyone can even imagine what a panic attack feels like unless they’ve experienced it. I want to relate it minor anxiety attacks that I have every time I have to wait in line or beat a crowd to something, but I know it doesn’t even compare. I am proud of you for making any sort of progress whatsoever. I hope you gain control of it soon.

    Reply

    • toughwords
      May 17, 2011 @ 11:01:20

      Hi brokenheart. Panic attacks completely suck and I really don’t know why I was “blessed” with them. I am determined to get control of them! Thanks so much for your support!

      Reply

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This blog is my personal journal. I am trying hard to save my marriage. No, I am trying to build a great marriage. In case you haven't heard, marriage is HARD!
I am fighting back against anxiety & panic attacks. This is year 5 of this adventure. I am also codependent. I am an ACOA. Fun, Fun. I am trying hard to become a better me.
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