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.
If you have decided not to let the panic attacks rule your life your half way to controlling them. I know half way is still so hard but it better than nothing at all. Panic attacks are so horrid whilst reading this I could feel every bit of what your going through gladly only in memory.
Be strong, I know you will be x
Thanks , its so good to hear from anyone who has got better. Thanks as usual for your understanding Ali.
Panic attacks are awful, I went through a difficult stage in my life a few years ago and was getting them regularly. I used to get two different types, one where I thought I was dying and one where I just totally freaked out. Everything went really strange and I felt like I couldn’t be near anyone, not even my friends and family. Rescue remedy used to help a lot, I think as hard as it is the key is to not let them dictate what you do because otherwise they start to rule your life. It’s easier said then done though, I used to have a list of all the things that I thought caused them and I was sure that solvent type smells did so once when I was at work and they started spray painting I had to run away! They will get better though, I (touch wood) haven’t had one for ages and if things do start to get a ‘bit weird’ then I can usually just talk myself straight out of it xx
Thanks, I think your right. I may give rescue remedy a try.
Keep fighting, keep breathing. You’ll get there 🙂
I have had them twice in my life. once when I was leaving home to go to college from cyprus to uk at 16 and again when my brother died. The second trip round I recognised them for what they were and could calm myself. they hit every day on the school pick up for months.
Just recently my daughter had one. she had a sick bug and the panic attack was so bad I wondered if her milk allergy was causing her to go into a major reaction. very scary.
I really feel for you. If it was me I would force myself out every day alone. even if its just round a block. I know my reclusiveness breeds on not going out.
You have been so strong. you can do it. it is mind over matter, which is of course the hardest of all.
Yes you are absolutely right and I am making the effort to get out each day even if I don’t want to. Thanks Fay.
If I saw a little purple pixie cowering in the corridor I would give her a great big hug!
Sounds so awful Ella 🙁
But you are ruddy amazing and brave and I hope this hasnt set you back in anyway xx
Oh bless you – panic attacks are so horrible!
I used to have really bad ones out of the blue, I would breath so fast and shallow, would collapse on the floor, unable to move anything, but still able to hear what was going on 🙁
I managed to get past them and haven’t had one for about 3 years now 🙂
I used to try and really concentrate on slowing my breathing, whilst thinking of something nice!
Also, for some reason, always carrying a drink with me when I was out, stopped them completely – like a sort of securit / comfort thing, weird, but it worked.
You are doing so brilliantly, this is just another blip, that you will conquor!
loads of hugs
Having mental health issues and being a Mum is a tall order. I know how that goes. Panic attacks are awful. I used to get to the position where I couldn’t swallow and hardly breathe. I hope you can get them under control. You need opportunities to get out and do thngs just for you