Whatever it was… it is not.
I’m hovering between panic attacks currently. I’m mostly okay with that, but mostly just not. Only in the last 10 years or so have I been having them, for a while they stayed dormant. I liked that stage. The quiet of not having to pay close attention to or watch my every word.
They’ve been intermittent for the past two years, me mainly ignoring them and the issues that come along with them. I’ve been somewhat forced to start dealing with them since December, mostly because they started a pattern. I don’t like patterns when it comes to those types of things.
In January I made a conscious outloud decision to deal with the panic attacks and the real reason behind them. It wasn’t a light decision. I started out with just saying I was going to seek out and find an affordable counselor. That was handled by me finding SafePlace. I’m glad I started there, though the journey since has been incredibly intense and annoying and interesting. I am happy that was my first step.
My next verbal step was 30 days of yoga and meditation. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but let me tell you… those 30 days were long, intense, educational, life altering, interesting most days just downright comical. I only say that because how else does one laugh off their own fears and insecurities?!
I believe by day 10, I was FOR ABSOLUTELY SURE that I had lost all of the marbles I had in my head. Some days I still wonder if I got any of them back. I can’t explain to you what sitting still is like. But give it a try. Sit with yourself, no distractions, no music, no phones, nothing. Just sit for 5 minutes everyday for one week all by yourself, with nobody but you and your thoughts. If you keep an open mind you can learn so much about yourself. Yoga is similar in that way as well. I’ve been told the poses that are the hardest for you tell a lot about you and how you deal with things when life gets hard. I can atest to that 100%. There are some poses I refuse to do, just because I know what my reaction will be and I am not ready to deal with it or myself. Yoga is an extension of meditation. Another way to quiet the mind if done fully and correctly. Let’s just say I’ve had several panic attacks and crying on my mat… in a studio setting… not my cup of tea, but I was caught off guard and so there I sat paralyzed to my spot fighting through the emotions that came up. When I’m off, I try not to go to a studio. I don’t like dealing with my intense emotions out in public. You know being all vulnerable and shit…
Here’s my biggest fears when it comes to the panic attacks I have… my biggest fears are not being able to function as an adult, as a parent, as a spouse, as anything that has to deal with the many hats I wear. I fear not being able to drive myself where I need to go, I fear not being able to control the attacks, I fear being placed on a meditation to help. I fear having panic attacks on a consistent basis like I’ve been having over the last week. My biggest fear with that also, that I am not given a warning sign anymore when they will start. They just start. I have come to realize that is not okay.
I had several panic attacks in session today, thought I was good to go by the end of session. Got in my car to drive home, ended up having to sit in my car for almost two hours until I was okay enough to get home. That alone freaked me out and I panicked even more. Let me tell you, being gripped by fear sucks ass.
Having my life controlled (sometimes) by fear is not okay to be. It leaves me frustrated and angry. And with the overall feeling of this isn’t FAIR! Why, why, why, why…?! You know all of the WHY questions victims and survivors have. I won’t name them.
I was asked what would it be like to really sit with that frustration and express it in any form that my body needed to.
I suppressed it, it felt horrible pushing it back down, stuffing it in a box on a high shelf. I didn’t close the door on it, I wanted to so bad. But I couldn’t. But I did refuse to express it. I let a handful of tears fall down my face, I took some deliberate deep breaths and I gathered myself all the way together. That my friends is not how to handle the situation. Don’t do what I did. Maybe next time I will scream, kick, thrash about and cry. Or maybe just maybe, I might hold my composure, let a few tears fall and suck it up. Because friends, that’s been my life. No time, space or energy to be sad and angry and upset. I always had to find a way to make it work, otherwise my struggle thus far was for not.
I’m hoping I will one day be able to feel safe enough to just express what I’m feeling. For now, I will sit with my panic attacks, sip my mason jar full of wine (because, you know a way to numb the pain away) and take pretty pictures.
whatever it is… it is not.