I’ve noticed I write a lot about the physical aspects of panic attacks — the out of the blue perceptions of a clenched throat, frayed nerves, pained and seemingly inelastic lungs, and brick-brain, for example. For me, at times, a panic attack is also accompanied by a period of intense sweating, to the point that I have to change my drenched clothes after the episode has passed. (Not fun when you are trying to get out the door to go to work.)
A friend of mine commented that at least I am aware as I am experiencing these sensations as part of an attack rather than a separate ailment, which pushes some to comb medical websites, only intensifying matters.
Emotionally, panic attacks also often bring on intense feelings of fear. Some people actually think they are dying. After a panic attack, many people — including me — feel anxious for a considerable period of time.
Panic attacks are an intense version of Anxiety, which is not to diminish Anxiety itself.
Anxiety can take on many forms, some of which I am in no way qualified to write about. Let me just say that for me Anxiety still elicits negative physical aspects (e.g. shortness of breath, increased heart rate, fatigue, etc.). It also makes me fear the future and feel as if I’ve failed my past. Sometimes my Anxiety brings on real or perceived jilted or slurred speech. I feel as if I am making no sense. The attached nervousness makes me feel as if I am shaking, so I feel as if I look ridiculous.
My Anxiety also brings on depressive thoughts. Emotionally, I feel small. I feel stupid. I feel beyond insignificant. I feel as if my full essence is completely negative. I feel as if I am a drain on everyone around me.
I’m writing this post today, first, because I’ve been meaning to check in for several days. In fact, I wanted to write last week when Anxiety was not present for most of the time. I was able to display strength, confidence, purpose, and clarity. While these are characteristics I’ve often been able to show, it is very hard to activate them when you’re in the grips of Anxiety.
Thankfully, Anxiety did not mess with me until the very end of last week. I don’t know if it was good luck, a lack of triggers, or that I really convinced myself I needed to “be strong.”
Of course, I know that dealing with Anxiety also requires tons of strength, but you must direct that strength inward to make it through the ordeal as your mind and body fight your tooth and nail. For most of last week, I didn’t need to do that. Not feeling anxious allowed me to project my strength outward.
I liked last week.
This week I am not liking too much. I’ve been experiencing Anxiety daily, and, of course, I don’t want to stay in this place. I hate feeling as if I am a drain on other people. I hate feeling small and like a fool. And, I hate the fear and worry that make me wonder if every decision I try to make is the wrong one.
I have no positive ending to this post. I just needed to write it to see if it resonates with others. And, as I’ve noted before, writing is therapeutic to me.
Onward? After the Anxiety passes I’ll be able to put a period instead of a question mark after that powerful one-word sentence.