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Friday, January 29, 2010

Beating My Panic Attack

Sure, I’ve had them. As I drafted this note to myself (and now you):

“I am suffering a panic attack. Exteriorly I may be fine but internally the war rages mightily right now. I have just had some cognitive dissonance regarding an important relationship. Conflict that’s taken me on a journey beyond myself. I’ve had several calls, text messages and “urgent” emails, and now I’m moments away from a public speaking engagement. I am also abundantly cognisant of a vital goal that I’m missing for myself. I’m so beyond frustration right now.”

Man, how do we deal with these situations; conniption-central?

I’ve learned all I can do is one of a few things (for me personally). Start to force-feed rational thought and deep-breathing into my mind and lungs, or get out, finding a quiet place and simply commence downloading—quelling the heart in turbocharged overdrive.

Looped thinking is often responsible. We’ve gotten ourselves into a tizz through a series of repetitive thoughts that have been running like a broken record; now it seems the volume’s down, but the voices are still there. Somehow they’re still pressing in, making their intent abundantly, even subliminally, known.

We have to find a way for ourselves to conquer the panic barrier; a way that works for us individually, decisively; to heal us by calming the firestorm within.

Reading usually does it for me; something inspiring, reassuring or encouraging—in a quiet left-alone spot. It’s always hence a good scheme to have such reading material on hand, prepared and ready to go.

A nap too has helped. Simply lying down, slowing the breathing to slow the heart rate... Relax. A chat to a ‘care line’ (or a caring friend) too has worked wonders at times.

Perhaps the person who doesn’t believe in such fiction as ‘the panic attack’ thinks it ridiculous. Don’t wish it upon yourself in your arrogance I say. There’s always a first time for everything.

For those given to those rabid shots of adrenalin into the heart, or the metal can wrapped around the sternum or that shrill tenseness in the gut—or some other symptoms and signs—there is hope. We must simply find what works and be prepared to do it. It is our challenge—ours alone—to overcome. And yet there is help and caring people to support us. What works for you will not work for the next person, but that needn’t matter. It works for you. That’s all that matters.

This panic attack was mine and I conquered it—me, and by the grace of my all-delivering God.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

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