I’d written this a while ago whilst I was doing this volunteering work as a content writer. And I thought I’d put it up on my blog. I do realise that everyone experiences panic attacks differently. And disclaimer; I also realise that this can be triggering for some of you out there. I will completely understand if you decide to skip this post and not read ahead. So, if this is where you stop reading- I hope you all are doing well, and you and your family are safe.
If you have chosen to continue reading this post, I’d like to share with you what my experience is when I’ve had a panic attack. I haven’t had one in two months now, and the frequency has reduced drastically. And this is one of the reasons why I’m finally comfortable sharing this experience online. So here it goes:
Think of something you fear (a spider, for example). Now, imagine being blindfolded and stuck in a glass box with no doors/windows- with that spider. You’re terrified, weak and dreading every second of it. Everything seems so dark and cold. Heart-racing, throat drying up, head spinning and ears blocked. It feels like the walls are closing in on you. You’re sweating through and through.
All you keep thinking about is- where is that spider or what is the spider doing(?). You’re hopeless, ashamed and afraid. You’re stuck in this endless cycle of terror and paranoia. Your head and chest feel like it’s about to burst. You can hear your heart beats- so loud- that it feels like someone is hitting on something with a hammer (near your eardrums).
All logic goes out the window. You don’t even think about trying to come out of this. You assume that you are not in control and let it control you. You only think about the metaphorical spider- and those thoughts keep playing (in your head) like a broken tape recorder.
There is no concept of time. You don’t think about the past or the future. You don’t think about what you’re wearing or how you look. You don’t think about whether this is going to end. It just feels like this is the end. It feels like there’s no way out of this box and that you’re stuck here until you’re dead.
It feels like everyone around you is looking down at you and simply staring at what’s going on with you. It feels like no one is trying to break down the walls. No one wants to help or even knows how to. Every word spoken by the people around you seems so distant, echo-y and feeble (as though they are speaking from afar- like from the other room).
It feels like you’re letting down everyone- who cares about you and loves you. It makes you feel weak. There comes a time where you stop trying to fight it and let it consume you. You drown in the metaphorical glass box, and you give up. Now, it feels like you’re in this expressionless blank chasm- with miles of emptiness.
You slowly start gaining awareness. You remember everything you read online. You remember what your psychologist told you in your first ever session. You feel like you’re breathing again and regaining control. You realise how cold you are. You have nothing but a blank expression on your face and tears on your cheek. And that’s when you hear the faint voices of the people around you trying to get you comfortable, give you water and help you rationalise and tell you that it’s okay.
Please do share what you thought about this blog post. This is quite scary to put out there because it’s such a raw and vulnerable experience. And if you are going through something, I hope you can find it in you to seek help and talk to someone you can trust. I also hope that you trust that you can get through this. Please message down below or email me if you need to talk to me about this. Sending you all tons of positivity and love.