My first panic attack was the absolute worst- to say the least. I did not see it coming, nor did I know why it was happening. I was sitting at my desk, in retrospect, I suppose that I was stressed, thoughts racing about what direction my life was going and how I manged to get stuck in a shitty work position. Nonetheless, nothing that I was feeling or thinking could have managed to make my body react like it did. The first panic attack is always the scariest because it is unexpected. As you struggle with anixety and panic more often, you typically know when there will be on-set of an attack and what steps to take to prevent it.
I remember a rush of adrenaline coming over my body, not the good kind, not the kind you have when you are on a roller coaster and you feel liberated; the kind where you feel your entire body tense up as if you were having what you believed was a heart attack, at least, what you read about a heart attack being like. As the adrenaline came over my body, goose bumps began to form on all my extremities and my eyes grew big. My first thought, what the fuck is happening to me. My second thought: I am dying. I turned around in my chair quickly and felt my heart beating so hard out of my chest that it could have been front line in a marching band; I dropped to the floor unable to comprehend what was happening.
My vision became blurry and my limbs weak, I remember being confused and dizzy to the point where I needed to crawl on the ground because I could not stand-up and walk. The ambulance was called and I was placed onto the stretcher, still in extreme panic but the dizziness had subsided. As I was being questioned by the permedics, the more I spoke to them inbetween heavy breathing, the more panic I engulfed. I thought, it is only a matter of time before my heart stops beating. Of course, the thought that my heart would stop beating made me panic even more. I never felt any pain though, my heart did not hurt. Nothing on my body was in pain, it was just perfect fear. The fear that overtook my body, alingning perfectly with no fear left-out.
I remember a rush of adrenaline coming over my body, not the good kind, not the kind you have when you are on a roller coaster and you feel liberated; the kind where you feel your entire body tense up as if you were having what you believed was a heart attack, at least, what you read about a heart attack being like.
I believed that I was having multiple panic attacks, but looking back on it, it was one big ass panic attack. The panic lasted for what seemed like hours, every test they did on me, I paniced about it producing deadly results. The EKG was the scariest amongst all the horror that was currently happening within my soul, the panic of the EKG producing results that mirrored a heart attack almost made me urinate on myself. See, my biggest fear was death and this was the closest I thought I got to it. Multiple physicians and nurses tried to calm me down, because they knew I was not dying, something that at this point I have been saying for more than an hour. But to me, I felt like by the time they figured out what to do next, I’d be dead! The nurse checked my oxygen levels and told me that my oxygen was at 100%. At this point, I began to think I was going crazy; feeling one way, but being old something different. I grew tired, so I calmed down, my heart had stopped racing long ago, but in my mind, it was still pounding through my chest.
This was the start of anxiety. The panic attacks would stop, but the anxiety of having another attack would persist and thus, the panic attacks would continue. I will say, I never and will never get use to panic attacks. However, I was lucky enough to have a slew of more panic attacks after my first one and I was able to recognize them. Once I recognized them, I was able to understand what made them come, how to avoid them, and how to make them stop.
The first panic attack is always the most horrifying one. If you are lucky enough to have another, and another, and one more, you will began to overcome them. You would have had the experience, and hopefully the knowledge and the tools to conquer the uncomfortability of panic. The more you trounce it, the less you will panic. It sounds very dumb at first glance, but believe me, the only way to stop the attacks is to stop being afraid of them.
“You will not die from a panic attack.” -every doctor in the world
#youwillovercomethem #thefirstisthescariest #itgoesuphillfromthere