Bring more light to the topic.
Wouldn’t that be nice. Just a simple uninstall and poof, relief.
In life though, mental health issues are as real as diabetes, cancer and broken bones. Sometimes more manageable, sometimes requiring all we have just to survive.
This past weekend was an absolute blast but I acknowledged that something was brewing for me and the crowded hallway leaving a concert was just the kind of catalyst I needed to lose what little control I have over my panic attacks.
I had no breath, I wanted to run and scream and hide and peel my skin off all at the exact same time. I think it was around a half hour of time that I lost, whole pieces of getting through it that are missing, the freeze component of flight, fight, freeze.
It stores the information we cannot currently deal with into a shadow space, hidden from our conscious until we are safe to remedy ourselves.
However, I felt like I wanted to cycle through so I decided to reopen the drawer and let it all happen. I didn’t want to go through this now or in an hour or a day, so I thought let’s get through this.
My old self would have stuffed it way down as to not be an inconvenience or a freak to others but I wasn’t willing to abandon myself that way, again.
So I let it come. What feels like a heart attack, a physical attack from 8 angry humans against you and an internal shutdown all in one. My body tensed and shook. I clawed my chest for a shortcut to air and I sat in the frigid air with a tank top on to stop the seemingly self combusting my body was attempting.
I was first able to reclaim my breath. I cycled through 3-counts until it became a natural rhythmic action again. I slowly released the death grip I held and tried to slow the shaking. As it cycled through I could feel the adrenaline still pulsing, nauseating.
So then I walked. Briskly, in an effort to burn through it.
Finally my shoulders broke the tension keeping them up by my ears and I could feel the slightest relax in my neck muscles.
I survived it. An hour and a half later, completely wiped, sore, aching, but restful.
I slept hard.
I am grateful for the people in my life that help, that keep me safe while I’m in the throes of hell.
This is not for me, I’m not looking for anyone to say/do anything. BUT this is to bring more light to the topic. NO ONE who is truly suffering does this for attention, no one goes through this disaster on purpose. It is real and it needs to be brought into the light by talking about it. It should not be shamed because that only perpetuates the problem. Being able to say, “ I’m having an anxiety attack.” frees us from some of the shame. Having individuals accept it, show empathy, help, is more helpful than they know. It holds space for us to be okay, to get through, rather than also having to deal with someone else’s problem with it/us. Be kind, we are all fighting our own battles.