I have been at home for three weeks. The first ten days were really really good. I felt positive, energised and totally ready to face the world. I was enjoying taking my home back, organising things the way I like them and reasserting myself as chief in charge of laundry/cooking/child wrangling. I had started to tentatively hope that I had escaped my hole and was back on the land with the happy pixies.

Then there was a bad Saturday (no big deal just a bad day) then the bad Sunday/Monday (no big deal just a blip). Tuesday I decided enough was enough and arranged an evening out with a friend. I planned dinner and a movie, a funny movie. It would take my mind off my mind and distract my brain into behaving itself. Unfortunately my brain had other ideas.

Dinner was good, my friend and I chatted and I started to feel more like myself (as opposed to the cardboard cut-out I had been feeling like). The movie was good, I settled in and allowed myself to laugh at it. Then bam out of nowhere I was hit by the mother of all panic attacks. The cinema started to feel like a very closed in place that I needed to get out of. I nearly ran across the foyer, conscious of how quiet it now was and how strange I felt like I looked. Once outside I started to feel dizzy and sick, heart pounding, everything was moving too fast.

I tried ringing a few people (the hospital, my husband) but even a phone conversation sent my senses into overdrive. Then being outside started to be really really bad, the streetlights were glaring and laughter from nearby sounded threatening. I tried to go back in the cinema but soon realised that wasn’t going to work. Then I was physically sick, my body couldn’t even cope with digestion in this heightened state.

Finally I found some peace in the corridor. I concentrated on my breathing trying to calm myself. A usher came over to check I was ok and the conversation with her made my heart race. It’s like being on a roller coaster an I don’t like roller coasters anyway. I waited for my friend to finish watching the film which seemed to take an eternity because I wanted so badly to be at home.

Once home in my familiar surroundings I started to feel much better, still I didn’t feel completely grounded until the next morning. Panic Attacks are so frightening, and embarrassing. I am left feeling a little frightened to leave the house. It is taking supreme effort not to give in to this fear. I am not sure why I am still suffering these attacks or how to make them stop but I will not let them make my life small and closed in. So if you see a girl (wearing a lot of purple) in a corridor looking small and scared that will be me trying to reclaim my life.