Trying to describe a panic attack to someone is like trying to explain to a cat what it is like to be a dog. If you haven’t experienced it before, then it is really hard to understand. But it is still real -so real for the ones of us who experience it. Panic attacks look different for every person who has them. Some display obvious symptoms while others suffer silently. However, they all have one thing in common though. They are terrifying.
Imagine your body fighting against you. Fight or flight mode is triggered at the most inappropriate times. Sometimes there’s a trigger that you can pin point, while other times the attack appears to be completely out of the blue. You have been trying to do all of the right things: get plenty of sleep, pray, avoid caffeine, exercise, drink water, go to therapy, and journal. But it just keeps happening.
You try to reach out to others, but their words can do more harm than good.
“Just don’t stress so much.”
“What do you have to be so stressed about?”
“Just pray about it.”
But you do try not to stress too much. You do breathe even though it feels like there is an elephant on your chest. You try to calm down, but every single part of your body is fighting it. You stress because you feel like you are at war with your own mind, a war that most of the time feels like a losing battle. And you do pray. All the time. You cry out to God or somebody, anybody to make this anxiety go away.
Sometimes, you are just not okay. Life is over-whelming, and we have this idea that someday we will magically have it all together. Once you get that job or that guy or that opportunity, life will be good. But that is just not true. One of the hardest parts about growing up is realizing that no one knows what they are doing. Seriously, everyone around you is just rolling with life’s punches too.
And you know what? We are not supposed to have it all together because literally no one else does. But we wake up every morning and keep trying. Keep trying to manage this chaotic life in a hope that our influence might just help someone else. Today might not be a good day, but if you wake up tomorrow, then you have a chance to try again. No matter how worried, over-whelmed, depressed, or anxious you might feel, you can find comfort in knowing that this attack will not last forever. Remember, “This too shall pass.”
Let me know in the comments if you suffer from anxiety too. It’s way more common than people might think. What helps you during an attack?