Worst Panic Attack Ever!
It was December 30, 2005. It had been almost a year since I had gotten depressed and quit my job at the bookstore. Since then I had hardly left my parents’ house where I was living. I became scared to leave the house and had developed agoraphobia. I woke up with the worst panic attack in my entire life. It was very dark and I felt as if the world was closing in on me. I paced back and forth screaming, “God, why is this happening to me?”
My Body Was Trying to Tell Me I Needed to Move Around
Well, I’ll tell you why it was happening to me. My body was telling me to move. I had been immobile for almost a year and my body wanted out. My mind wanted out, too. I have never
been more terrified in my entire life. By March 2006 I was on an anti-anxiety which calmed my nerves and never again would I ever feel that much anxiety. But
that was only the beginning.
Panic Attack at Work
I went to a temp agency and got a job as a data coordinator working part-time. I was thrilled to be working again after almost a year. But I was still having bad anxiety. I was sitting at my desk entering data and the panic struck. I jumped out of my seat
and ran to the bathroom. I wiped a cool, wet paper towel on my face and the back of my neck. What was I going to do? I wanted to bolt and go home, but I didn’t. I toughed it out and I stayed until the end of my shift.
Extreme Separation Anxiety
Anxiety is a rough thing to experience. Panic is even worse. Looking back I had had a lot of panic attacks. Like that time when I was backpacking in Western Europe and I said goodbye to my boyfriend in Rome, as I was on my way to Spain to get an au pair job (which I did, but that’s a story for another day). As the train left the station, I felt as if my body was being ripped apart. I was going to miss my boyfriend so much. I realize now that I was suffering extreme separation anxiety.
Staying Present and Engaged
I have had to work hard to overcome my anxiety, but I have done just that. I am no longer on
anti-anxiety medication. I can manage my anxiety without it. The key is staying grounded and in the present. There are some tricks you can do to get back to the present. Count backward from 100 by 3’s. Focus on your senses and tell yourself 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you smell, 2 things you
can touch, and 1 thing you can taste.
No Panic Attack in Years
I haven’t had a panic attack in years. When I start to get anxious, I refocus on what is in front of me and re-engage with the present. I am blessed to have gotten past my anxiety because panic attacks are the worst. If you’ve ever experienced one, you know what I’m talking about. And it’s hard to maintain a job if you get panic attacks!
Physical Component of Panic Attacks
If you are experiencing panic attacks, make sure you get to a doctor to be checked out because there definitely is a physical component to panic attacks. Then get some therapy. Practice meditation and mindfulness. Get out of your mind and into your body with exercise if you can. And if you need coaching on maintaining a
job while experiencing severe anxiety, schedule a free phone consulation by clicking here and I will see if we can work out a plan for you so you can stay employed.