Its no secret that we all suffer at some point. I used to think I should keep it to myself, and not let anyone in...but that's no way to live. It's better to be honest, even if that truth hurts you and others. I really want to talk about panic attacks. This shouldn't be a subject that is taboo. Many people have panic attacks, and being one of them, I feel like I should say a few words on the subject.
First off, here is the definition of panic attacks: A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that develops for no apparent reason and that triggers severe physical reactions.
That pretty much sums it up in a little nutshell, but it's so much more. It's definitely hard to describe a panic attack, especially when it's different for everyone. So I can only describe it from my point of view. It's a tightness in the chest, and a choking in your throat. It's heart hammering, it's spacing out. It's shaking, and irrational thought. It's a mind moving so fast you can't see straight. The more you think about it once you're in it, the worse it gets.
Just like everything, to get better, the mind needs to be trained. And I am/have been working on this for a while now. There are some days when I feel like it's all better, and some days where I take a million steps back and feel like I've made no progress at all.
To train ones mind takes alot of hard work and patience. It doesn't happen overnight, as much as you or your friends want it to. It takes coping mechanisms such as breathing steady, and placing your hand on your chest to help slow down your heart. Figuring out why they even happen in the first place can be frustrating. As for me, I believe that it's just genetic. Which on some days, seems like the worst. Would it be better for it to have been just one traumatic experience, that you could fix and be done with it? Mostly I think so, but at the same time, I have been through some extremely tough experiences. So maybe it's just a bunch of traumatic spells that led me here. The best thing that I have found that helps is distracting myself with a movie, or cooking, or playing guitar. But sometimes they are so bad that I forget everything completely. I forget that I can even play guitar. It's like you get lost in a long tunnel and you are scratching at the ceiling, trying to get out, but you can't because the ceiling is made out of brick.
It's not fair to me or to loved ones.
I feel like this is a topic that I should discuss because one of the most important things to me is not feeling alone, and I don't want anyone to feel alone. Don't get me wrong, it's good to have alone time. I'm talking about loneliness and feeling separate. It eats me up inside knowing that I've made others feel alone because I withdraw while having an attack. But it also eats me up when I'm feeling alone whilst in the attack or not. I have found great relief from just reading about others online who go through this. I love reading their stories and finding myself agreeing with everything they are saying. They are going through the exact same things as myself, and I find comfort in the fact that there are others out there who deal with this every day. Which brings me back to why I wanted to discuss this subject. I'm not going to hide this fact about me because I want to bring that relief to someone else. My greatest dream is to while not only succeed with my band and in music, but to help people with it. So I made a pledge with myself a long time ago that I wasn't going to hide these things about me. What if one day, a young girl or boy hears a song of mine, and then reads up on me, and they find out that I suffer from panic attacks, and they do too. What a relief it will be for them, to know that someone goes through this but they have also made a life.
I imagine a life full of warmth, music, dogs, and love. If I read that sentence about three years ago, I would not recognize myself. But I do think that I have served my time and deserve that warmth and magic that I so desperately crave. No one should have to suffer forever. I'm not better yet, but I'm hunkering down to work hard at losing this part of me. Perhaps I will read this very post on days that I feel like the world is ending, and I hope others do as well.
I am thankful for my friends who stay on the phone with me, and who come over when I need them too. I am thankful for Guy and his patience. I am thank for Louie, the dog, for just being a great dog. I am thankful for a good, very zen job. And I am thankful for myself, because I have alot of music to offer, and love to give.
We should all learn to be lighter (in our hearts, NOT in our weight, ha)
Enough with heavy hearts, it's time to shine and be free.