What It Feels Like to Have a Panic Attack. My story

What It Feels Like to Have a Panic Attack

The 6th of July 2022 was the month to remember. It was a month before my birthday, and a year since I quit my job, moved to my home town and dedicated my time to building my dream life. What could go wrong? Surprisingly, it was a month when I had my first panic attack.


I'm still trying to figure out why it happened. Someday I will write about the reasons.. Once I find them out. But today, let me tell you what I know for sure. That is, when and how it all happened.


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What It Feels Like to Have a Panic Attack

My first panic attack

It was a casual morning, I went out for grocery shopping to my local store. It was like a 5 minute walk. I entered the shop, took a cart and a pack of green salad. And suddenly I felt faintness, lightheadedness. I sat down on a small bench in the kids department. And phoned my dad. He was out of town, so I called my boyfriend. It took him an hour to get to the store. He drove me home. I thought I was almost fine then. But I wasn't.


The next day I could not leave my apartment to throw out the trash. I exited the elevator but couldn't make it to the street. I got so scared, felt faint again, didn't feel my feet, my arms were shaking. I ran back to my apartment. That's when hysteria began. I cried for about an hour, and I couldn't stop. The only thought I had was: "Is this it? Will I be like this for the rest of my life now?"


I couldn't leave my home for a few days. My family visited me. And I could go out with them. Little by little I managed to get outside. But I still had extreme anxiety. I couldn't visit shops, couldn't walk long distances and couldn't ride public transportation. I felt quite fine at home, except for the time I had to take a shower. This casual and pleasant experience turned into torture. I felt lightheadedness and weakness in my feet, and thus were taking my phone with me (just in case I'll need help).


What happened next

One week later I had an appointment with my therapist. He told me that my blood tests, my heart and my sugar levels were fine. I visited a neurologist then. He assumed that I had anxiety symptoms, probably due to an intense schedule which I had at that time, and due to being outside when it was extremely hot. He prescribed me some pills (benzodiazepine of some sort) to take for a month. I started to feel better afterwards. In August I managed to take a bus and ride to the city center and walk alone for a couple of hours. I felt tired, yet I was happy to see progress.


But two weeks after my prescription ended I had another panic attack. And then another. They were awful. I felt like I was dying. Yet I didn't want to take pills, I wanted to cope with panic attacks myself. I wanted to get back to normal.


Time passed. I tried to ride busses (one to two stops) and asked my father to meet me. It worked – well, I didn't die – but every time I was leaving the bus I burst out crying. Though I made some progress walking and visiting shops. I still couldn't walk long-distance due to lightheadedness, weakness in my feet, derealization, and blank mind syndrome. But at least I could make it to my local store on some days.


The last severe panic attack I had was in December, 2022. I decided to try exposition therapy (which I'll explain in my next posts) and walked to my local park. The attack was expected, and I failed to accept it. I ran away. I ran back home though I almost couldn't feel my feet. And my heart raced like an insane.


One year later

Today, I feel the progress. First of all, I can go out to throw out my trash or to do grocery shopping. I still can't walk long distances in the city, but I can do it in the countryside. I have anxiety attacks from time to time, yet I haven't had panic attacks for over six months now. I even managed to fly overseas with my friend to visit my brother, and got back safely. I still don't ride public transportation, yet I feel fine in taxis (and on planes).


Of course, progress didn't just fall on me. During this year I tried different approaches to cope with panic attacks and anxiety: read several self-help books, visited doctors, implemented some vitamins into my daily meals and reconsidered my nutrition as well as self-care routines, and my mindset. I'll share everything I've learned and experienced in my upcoming posts.


I feel that it's the right thing to talk about my current condition, progress and insights with my audience. And let everyone who is suffering from panic attacks and anxiety know that they are not alone. I want to give that support to anyone who is reading this. And I want to let other people know how to help someone with anxiety and / or panic attacks.


A note to those who follow my blog from the very start and are here for everyday aesthetics and spiritual notes: don't worry! I still consider myself an everyday aesthetics lifestyle ambassador, and I still enjoy my aesthetics and spiritual practices enough to continue posting on the topics. In the meanwhile, you can join my 5-day free email course. And I'm preparing a special launch for you in the upcoming months. Stay tuned!

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