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I Am Having A Panic Attack

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I am having a panic attack. My mind is exploding with anxious thoughts and I feel terrified. I feel inadequate and ineffectual. It feels like lots of bad things are around the corner, and I’m rooted to train tracks while the train comes toward me. I feel untethered and scattered. I want to abandon the plans I have right now to make some food while I wait for a meeting, and go sit and watch tv all day and never leave the house. My stomach feels so nauseated and I’ve got chills, and my head feels like it’s going to explode. My heart is beating too fast and it’s hard to breathe. I want to lay down and go to sleep. I was just hit with all of the things that I’ve neglected and feel like I need to do all of them right now. I’m thinking of all the ways I feel inferior compared to my peers who are doing all the things I wish I could be doing. I feel guilt and shame for all of my friends and family that I want to check in on but haven’t or can’t because the anxiety is too great. I feel directionless, but being pulled in all directions at once. Completely frozen and unable to move. 

What will I do? What will I do to help it pass so that I don’t do something destructive? So that I can keep going after this interruption and still achieve some things today? 

I will go and get my mental health first aid kit. I will go through it until I feel better. Then I will see how much time there is until my meeting, and maybe save the cooking for later. Maybe I won’t end up leaving the house today after all, even though I managed to shower and dress and pack my bag for the day. If I don’t leave the house, I will watch TV while I do some work. If I do leave the house, I will only go to one place if I’m still feeling this way. Either the gym or the library or the grocery store to find those bacon bits I’ve been looking for for months. 

Here’s a list of things that made me break just now. It felt like being inside a bomb shelter and knowing that I’m taking damage outside, but not giving it much thought until somehow, for no reason that I can see, my shelter was blown right off me and I could suddenly see all the damage so clearly, resulting in this panic attack.

  • someone close to me expressed that they are in dire straits, and I felt guilty for not being able to help them.  I feel like I’m wasting my life because I have no job and no strength to do anything other than in short bursts, and I could be helping so many more people if I was stronger 
  • I finally decided to try and prep some food that I’ve been doing in stages when I have the energy. Today i found out that it’s moldy  and I had to throw it out. I HATE wasting food with a passion. I would rather eat it moldy than throw it out, but some stuff you just can’t do that with. I feel selfish because there’s times when I can’t afford food but it’s given to me by the kindness of others, yet I don’t have the energy to prepare and eat it, and then I have to throw it out. It makes me hate myself 
  • I found out that someone who I really don’t like is going to ge in close proximity to me for a while. This person spends most of their time away but returns at regular intervals, and now they are returning quiet suddenly and what feels like way too early. I feel didn’t have the time to emotionally prepare to interact with this person. 
  • I stayed out too late with a friend last night and now I’m tired. I barely feel connected to my body at times, which is distressing 
  • I was listening to some news podcasts and the state of the world is depressing. Also, some of the pieces were contradictory, which makes me panic from confusion 
  • I tried to book a meeting room at this library for this meeting and another tomorrow but none were available. I knew I should have booked these sooner. 
  • General stress about various emails I’ve received but don’t want to deal with 
  • Missing my son and generally feeling alone and unlovable 
  • General frustration over my frailty and weakness and wondering why I can’t just be a normal person who can rise above and consistently do what needs doing. 

Well, I’m starting to feel slightly better now. In some ways that list helps me clarify the roots of this panic attack. I’m not panicking anymore, everything has receded to general anxiety, depression, abs fatigue once again. The list also made me remember how weak I am. But now I’m going to try to do things to make me feel better physically. Taking deep breaths to help with the shortness of breath and pounding heart. Putting on a sweater to deal with the chills. Maybe eating something to deal with the upset stomach. I don’t know. I’m going to try not to let this implode my life and send me running today. Not in my strength, but in God’s.

Thanks for Stopping by!

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“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.”
~ Romans 15:13

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