I had my first ever panic attack. It sucked.

G and I went to see a therapist this past week. I had asked him to join me for that session regarding my anxiety. We went to try and brainstorm ideas for helping me work through my overwhelming separation anxiety, and just my craziness in general.

The session went well. I was logical. We came up with a reasonable plan of me being exposed to stressors to the amount that I could handle. I was encouraged.

Then G brought a snowmobile home.

See, I have this thing where I’m convinced that if he goes snowmobiling, he’s going to be hurt on the mountain, end up stranded, and ultimately die. Then I will be left alone and unable to cope. It’s not reasonable, it’s not rational, and it 10 out of 10 controls my life.

This intense fear stems from years of psychological trauma from my last marriage. My therapist says it’s a left over piece of me that’s still trying to protect me. My mind is trying to help me survive, but it feels like it’s trying to kill me.

I started out our Saturday morning relatively cheerful and upbeat. We had discussed G bringing home a sled to tinker on with the boys. I thought I would be ok. After all, it was just in the garage, he wasn’t going anywhere, everything would be fine.

Everything was not fine.

The sound of it. I couldn’t handle the sound. It made me want to scream and cry and punch something and run away. It terrified me.

The smell of the exhaust. I couldn’t bear that smell. It made me taste G’s imminent death on that mountain.

I lost it. I was suddenly unable to cope with making lunch for the kids. Instead I was huddled in the kitchen sobbing into G’s arms about what a failure I was. After all, if I can’t even handle the sound of a sled, how in the world am I going to handle him taking one into the mountains.

I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t stop shaking. I thought I was going to be sick.

I texted my best friend who also struggles with anxiety and she helped me calm down. She gets how anxiety takes over your brain and your body and doesn’t let go without a massive struggle.

I’m still not sure how I’m supposed to do this…

Any thoughts?

H

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

3 thoughts on “I had my first ever panic attack. It sucked.

  1. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. There are so many of us fighting through the same situation. I just had my first panic attack on Aug 27. Then, I had another one a week later. They are scary AF. I just moved across the country to Virginia and had a lot of irons in the fire. I’ve been through worse having to deal with my husband’s high conflict ex, and being a military spouse, I’ve definitely had to move my entire life several times before without high anxiety. I hadn’t set up a doctor in my new town, so upon our first visit, my new doctor heard “panic attack” and prescribed me an antidepressant.

    I’m not against medication, but I prefer to work the root cause and not just the symptoms, so I started counseling, I started meditating, focusing on my breath, examining my lifestyle choices and the food I was putting into my body. Our gut affects EVERYTHING!

    I’m scared to have another panic attack, but I have to push fear out of the driver’s seat and live in the present. When I feel anxiety trying to take over, I ask myself, “Is this moment okay?” and so far, the answer is has been yes. Grounding techniques can help. Feel free to reach out anytime.

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  2. Thank you for your comment! I experienced some pretty crazy anxiety when we moved back in April. It was really weird for me also because I’ve also moved several times, and never have I dealt with such mental health issues after a move like I did with this one. I talk about my kid’s issues with the move and then my struggles in these two posts:

    https://youcandothis.blog/2019/05/23/moving/

    https://youcandothis.blog/2019/06/05/post-moving/

    I think it was a combination of things that made it difficult for me, which is why I also ended up back in therapy. I am avoiding an anti-anxiety medication as well because I hate how they make me feel. Grounding techniques, managing my health and sleep, and working with my therapist have been so helpful.

    Best wishes

    H.

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