Panic Attack: A day of mind numbing crazy

I am in the midst of a panic attack.

My chest hurts and I can feel the blood moving in my veins. My thoughts are loops and I am unrightfully angry and aggressive. The juices in my stomach slosh around like the churning water of a child’s amusement park boat ride. I feel vindictive and hurtful, but not to the outside world; I want to turn it inward.

“You’re not fast enough, Heather.”

“You can’t get it all done, Heather.”

“You aren’t good enough, Heather.”

Now, I’m angry at myself for my mental temper tantrum and I try to focus on the abundance of good in my life. Never am I lacking for clothes, food, water, or love. The shelter over my head is strong and sturdy: rain and wind are never issues. But now I am disappointed in myself for trying to make myself feel better for concentrating on what feels like an overabundance.

When did this start happening to me? What was the catalyst that brought on my hatred and doubt? I am scratching at my forehead and wringing my hands with anxiety, reminding myself that this attack will pass but acknowledging that now I will live in anticipation of the next bout.

“When are you going to write that paper, Heather?”

“Selena needs to see the doctor this weekend, Heather.”

“A Valentines box needs to be done, Heather.”

I want to hide in the bathroom and scratch my arms with the jagged edges of my fingernails, leaving a trail of white lines that sizzle and spark as they turn red. Adults don’t think like this. Adults aren’t destructive to themselves. They don’t crave just a little pain to make themselves feel better. Adults don’t crave a little aggression taken out on their body.

I am less than an adult when in the middle of a panic attack.

My ears are hot.

My skin itches and burns.

I feel exposed.

I repeat: here, now, loved, whole, healed, and enough silently to myself.

Tomorrow I will feel better.

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7 thoughts on “Panic Attack: A day of mind numbing crazy

  1. Ephesians 6:10 – 20 Putting on the Whole Armour of God! Read this from the Bible in the morning before your feet hit the floor and it will help you to turn those voices off.

    “10 Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.

    14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

  2. Can I just come over to stand hand in hand on the front porch and have a mild scream with you? I think that would both calm our nerves and give the neighbors something to discuss at their evening meals. I loathe the same feelings at times too; however, you are absolutely right about the blessings in our lives. Thanks for writing this tonight. I no longer feel alone in this “to-do” list world.

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