Sunday, July 23, 2017

The panic attack that killed my summer buzz.

Panic attacks affect over 3 million people in the United States every year. 
I am one of the 3 million. 
Over the last 14 years I have been prone to them. For me, they usually show up in the form of shortness of breath, claustrophobia, tightness in the chest, irrational, detached from reality thinking, and fidgety, antsy behaviors. Over the years I have only had 2-3 severe attacks where all of these things play out at once. Otherwise the shortness of breath/irregular breathing is my most common symptom. 

This past week I essentially had a 4 day on and off again panic attack where all of the symptoms showed up and it turned my life upside down. It definitely took my summer buzz away as it was a very exhausting, scary, and overwhelming week. I have, for the most part, recovered and I've figured out and am processing through the triggers. But I am not writing about this to invite sympathy or to have people ask questions about what my deep, dark psyche is saying, (trust me, I am doing plenty of that myself!) but I write to document the truths that come out of such a dark time so I can remind myself (and you?) that I'm not alone in all of this.  

  A dear friend who helped me through this week said that my mind and body had to go through this process in order to heal some traumatic layers that I have incurred over the years. She said that I was "able" {the quotes are present because I certainly didn't feel able!} to do this because right now, I have everything I need to go through this and that love, connection and support are what I need to take in. If I don't take these in and then utilize them, I am merely suffering and not allowing my soul to heal.  

Even if panic attacks aren't a part of your life, I truly believe that we all need to take in love, connection, and support to survive this crazy life. But, I have learned that when one is stripped down to the purist form of vulnerability {like in a severe panic attack} these things show themselves in very simple and powerful ways. The images placed throughout this post reflect some of the love, connection, and support that held me this week.

 I am deeply grateful for the ways the Universe took care of me and for those of you who showed me, and continue to show me, love, connection, and support. You may not even know you were a part of my healing, but I know and I am so very grateful.

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