Panic attacks (PA) do exactly what they say on the tin….”panic – attack“.
To say it’s scary is an understatement. The sufferer – in this case Yours Truly – believes they are having a heart-attack and about to take the maiden step onto the shiny, long escalator into the light. (I would like you, the reader, to note that I am not making light of heart attacks or any other heart/epileptic/asthmatic conditions. Just purely using it as a point of reference. )
So, completely out of the blue for no apparent reason I have started experiencing these “PAs”; I doubt I will ever find out the trigger/occasion/incident which has, for the moment, changed me completely. Time will tell. There have been “things” which have happened (I.E. the passing of a close family member, stopping smoking, losing contact with loved “friends”, confrontations, stress, etc.) but I do not think I can absolutely blame one thing.
I never imagined I could be a candidate for this, and I certainly would not wish it upon anyone. The fear I experience when I am alone is indescribable. Anyone who knows me, would never believe that I could be jumpy, nervous, unsure, uneasy and quite frankly utterly petrified to be around unfamiliar men (plural or singular). Yes I can be shy, but this is ludicrous.
I just want to be standing behind The Husband – he is at the moment the only person who helps me feel “safe”. (There you go Darling, you do serve a purpose), and this is great, but He does have a job and therefore cannot be with me all the time. *Voice in head shouts that “this is very inconsiderate”*
So I have no alternative but to put my mask back on and get one with life. The kids still need to go to school and pre-school – I HAVE TO GO OUT!
However, there are no physical symptoms – no rash, spots, flashing sign, limp. You just look like you (remember I’m taking about me in this case), so no one knows what’s going on inside, just how much you’re trying to hide the trembling, to slow the pounding heart and just to breathe; and therefore everyone carries on as usual.
But also, no one can know the confusion I experience at the same time. What the f**k is making me feel like this gibbering wreck? I am standing at my Daughter’s school for goodness sake. I know a vast number of the people around me, I’m standing in a playground surrounded by babies, children, buggies, parents, school staff and friends – Where is the panic? What is so scary?
In all of this though, during the days when I feel at my worst, I have made a real effort to change my “routine”, and keep busy. Ok, so some of my housework has suffered (well the washing machine needed a break) and maybe my three year old hasn’t been particularly over the moon, but what’s helped me so far is walking. Sounds completely boring and I guess you’re rolling your eyes, but it really and honestly has helped, if only temporary.
On the days when my Daughter is at pre-school, I have enjoyed plugging in my ears, pressing play on the Ipod and just walking. Walking, walking, walking. Who knows it may well improve my slummy-mummy figure slightly. (Sexy summer legs – here I come!)
The other thing I’ve struggled with recently (unsure if related to the PA) is laughing, really laughing. I’m not talking about a chuckle, a smirk, a fake “I’m ok” laugh; I mean a real belly shaking witches cackle, the one which makes me sound like my mum (sorry mum!) And to achieve this I found that watching (and I’m sure he’ll love this) Top Gear has done the job. Stop groaning!
I am positive that Mr Jeremy Clarkson (and Hammond and May) would be delighted to know that their incessant moaning, bitching, and idiotic games have helped me immensely. It takes my mind – subconscious or otherwise – to a whole other place. I can switch off and be “me” again.
How long will this go on for? No one knows, not even me. But what everyone now knows about are the PAs, and that to me is just as scary! But in the meantime, I will concentrate on walking my way to better legs with the help of Mr Clarkson.