I will never EVER forget my first all out panic attack. You know the one where you suddenly and inexplicably are aware that you are about to just drop dead. The dry mouth, racing heart, shortness of breath, mental torture. I mean, I had always been anxious, but never had experienced an actual, bonafide panic attack. I was around the age of 16-17 years old. I would have these attacks from that day forward. And I eventually would learn to somewhat control them.
One thing these attacks and constant worry has done for me is make me realize (finally) that they are certainly much ado about nothing. I have used this solid and proven fact time and time again to get myself back on the wagon and sometimes even prevent anxiety and panic.
What about the days where I am swept out into an ocean of fear, worry, anxiety and panic? Days where I have to really reach and struggle to remain bearable to those around me while inside I feel like I am unraveling faster than I can knit myself back together? Days where I can’t even choke down a bite of food because the anxiety and recurring panic attacks have such a tight grip on me that I can’t begin to wriggle free? These are days which feel like they never end. They leave me searching heart, mind and soul, they leave me searching the internet for reassurance, they leave me searching the Bible and seeking comfort from the Lord.
On these days I feel alone and sad. There is a bit of a need after these attacks, especially the ones that hang around all day. They leave me feeling lonely, rejected, depressed, bitter and spent. They magnify my husbands neglect. I cannot approach that man for a hug because he rejects me and acts as though I am inconveniencing him. I can’t talk to him because he does not care and wears it on his sleeve. There is no comfort to be found in this person who is “supposed to be” the one I can count on above all others. I always wish I had a friend to talk to but why burden people again, who don’t care all that much. How many times I have spent several hours talking a friend out of suicide, or just listening because they needed a friend, been there to loan money, give advice, love, acceptance etc….. ? How many times has any one of these people been all I have been to them when I needed that gift returned? Never. Not once. Ever.
I don’t do things for others because I want to in debt them to me.I sincerely want my friends to be okay, to be happy, to have their needs met, to live and enjoy life and know that no matter what they are not alone in the world. It would be wonderful if I could have someone do that for me, but they are not obligated. It hurts that I am so easily sought out in times of need yet so easily ignored when I am the one doing the seeking. I never confront anyone, I never hold it over their head. I never say, “I always help you so why can’t you help me?” I don’t want anyone to feel obligated to me. I don’t want anyone to feel guilty that I have extended myself to them while they have not done the same for me.But also I feel that in the past when I did have that rare person In whom I tried seeking solace I was shot down. That’s worse than never talking about it at all really. It is better not to try than to be rejected. Always.
So the after panic feelings are just as intense as the panic and there is no slack for days after actually. I walk around feeling spent from the panic and in need of warm hugs, a gentle voice, a kind word, and comfort. Seek and ye shall find they say. I don’t feel as though I can seek, and I fear if I do I shall surely not find. The feelings of desolation, isolation, abandonment, solitude, and hopelessness keep rolling along. I have depression outside and apart from my panic and anxiety also. But those times have a different feel since that cannot be directly attached to any specific event. Not that I have a way of venting about that either…. so I guess that part doesn’t mean much. I have this blog which no one reads….. so there is no danger of being judged here. I have that going for me at the very least…… sigh…..
Meanwhile I have an occasional exchange here on the internet with a person who provides exactly what I need to remember and practice. I love these people because they are out here dropping little tid-bits and nudging a person toward a better place. Sometimes it’s the people we don’t really know who help us the most and vice versa. Something about the internet …. people are either very highly judgmental or very highly loving and caring in ways they are not toward people in their face-to-face lives. I find that to be true for me at times. I appreciate these kind, helpful, and comforting comments from internet friends. It’s very easy to post from a place where all of your friends are no one you know. You can drop off some small remark about how you feel that day and here come the people you don’t really know offering what they can to lift your up when you feel torn down. Interesting how that goes. How these small exchanges can mean so much and go such a very long way. The fact that people stop and take a moment to wish another well means something. While I may not be pouring my heart out in some short post about feeling panic and anxiety It’s out there anyway. It helps. I hope I can always be a help or nudge people toward feeling better also.