Well, so far my week has been pretty good. Exercising most days, diet has been pretty solid. I even got in 3.4 miles of running today…before “it” happened. What is “it”? A panic attack. I haven’t had one in a long time, and I don’t know why it happened today. I wish I could “just not worry” as one not-so-helpful person once told me, but that’s not the way it works.
So I decided to journal about it in another app I have set up just for me and my personal development, but wanted to post it here too. I know it probably won’t be read, but I just want to put it out there. For those who know what it’s like. For those who don’t. And for those who maybe just need to know they’re not alone in dealing with these episodes.
What it’s like to have a panic attack
Why can’t I calm my mind? Why do I worry? About everything. Money. People. Work. The house. The neighbors. The list is endless. I can barely function. My stomach hurts. My body aches. I want to cry. I can’t stay in my house…but I can’t leave it either. I’m paralyzed.
What’s it like to not worry? It’s something I can’t grasp. I can’t explain to people the feeling of dread that smothers me. That something bad is going to happen. I don’t know what. I can’t describe it. It’s just “something”…and it’s coming. Things are on the verge of collapse and all I can do is scramble to hold things together with the thought of inevitable doom hanging just over my head.
The weight is unbearable. Trying to do it all by myself. Having someone who tries their best to comfort me…but it doesn’t work… it’s brutal. It’s a burden I can’t share as much as I kind of wish I could. Yet on the other hand I wouldn’t wish this feeling of helplessness on my worst enemies. It’s like seeing a train barreling at you while you sit on the tracks and you can’t move. You don’t even know how to yell for help. So you sit there. And stare. And hold on to the faintest hope that that train will stop.
You pray that maybe, just maybe, you might be able to find a way to stop the panic if you just keep your mind busy enough, keep your hands busy enough, maybe just do enough. But it doesn’t work for long. You bounce from task to task. At first you can focus on the activity, but then the “what ifs” and “what abouts” slowly creep back in. It never seems to stop. The weight gets heavier. So you do your best to make it through your day. Hoping that you can get a good night’s sleep and that tomorrow will be better…if only you can get your mind to rest enough to let you fall to sleep.