I have panic disorder, which means I sometimes get panic attacks. Panic attacks simply suck. They do not help me function in life or increase the quality of my life.
I was in my 20’s when I had my first panic attack, but I had no idea that’s what was going on. I was at work and I thought I was having a heart attack. I said this to a coworker that I happened to be dating at the time and after work he took me to the emergency room. It turns out I was not having a heart attack, but no other explanation was offered, so I left just being relieved that my heart was okay.
Most of the time I have been and am fine. I don’t seem to get panic attacks during stressful situations when I need to stay calm. They happen for no good reason, usually when I am sleeping. I will go from a very peaceful slumber to being jolted out of bed by panic. Sometimes I can calm myself down, other times I need the help of medication. Sometimes, just knowing that I can take the medication if I need it calms me down.
My first pregnancy was full of panic attacks. Something about the hormones in my body just kept triggering them. I thought I was losing my mind and that I would never be okay again. Turns out this happens to quite a few women. I was lucky to get help.
For the longest I’ve been okay. Sure I have anxiety issues, but I haven’t had a full-blown panic attack until the other night. I’ve been having so many health issues and this is a trigger for me. I woke up in the middle of the night freaking out and ready to run sprints up and down my hallway.
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The thing that really sucks about panic attacks is that just thinking about them can trigger them. The longer I go without having them, the better I do. Since I just recently had one, I find myself terrified of having another one, which makes my chest tighten and so on and so forth. The last few days I have been tip toeing around myself.
I know I will get through this. I have tools, skills, strategies, medicine, and support. Still it sucks. It sucks for me and it sucks for my husband. It is hard for someone that does not have these issues to be understanding of someone that does. He is great and helps me every time, but I can see how draining it is for him and how little sense it makes. Things that he can just shake off, I can not. I can not soothe myself in the same way that he does. I can not reason it away.
I know he loves me just the way that I am, but sometimes I wish I didn’t come with so many issues. I am not feeling sorry for myself or my husband, I am just acknowledging that we face a challenge. I am acknowledging that I am not the only one affected by my disorder.