Good day folks.
Today has mostly been spent in jeans and a hoodie, drinking coffee and doing sweet eff all. Bliss. I am currently sitting in said outfit, drinking coffee and chewing my theoretical writer’s pen trying to work out how to word this post. And then I thought – f*@k it – so lets go.
My experience with anxiety started when I was very young. I used to tell my mum I was having ‘deja vu’ – I felt panicky and overwhelmed, and something just didn’t feel right. If I was around my mum it was okay because she could just hold my hand until it passed – that human contact always seemed to help. But when I had this deja vu when I was alone, or with people that really just didn’t understand, it took longer to pass and I felt more panicky. It’s only as I have gotten older that I’ve realised that this feeling is not deja vu as my eight year old self may have first thought, but actually it’s a panic attack. This is a real thing – a horrible, debilitating thing. You ever tried to explain to someone who has never experienced one how horrible a panic attack is? It’s pretty hard. You instantly sound like you’re whining and seriously over exaggerating: ‘oh poor little old me’.
The funny thing about panic attacks is that when you’re with the right person/people and know the right breathing techniques, they aren’t that big a deal. But finding these people and remembering to breathe through it is difficult.
Here are my top tips on powering through one:
- Breathe. In through your nose for 5. Out through your mouth for 5.
- Focus on a spot in the room, the garden, wherever. Concentrate on this spot when you are breathing.
- Try and clear your mind of everything but the thought of the air you are breathing in. Ride it out.
- Remember – panic attacks always pass.
For all you lucky peeps out there who don’t have panic attacks though, please try and be tolerant of those who do. It isn’t a made up, attention seeking craze; they are not drama queens; they are not over reacting. Squeeze their hand and remind them to breathe. Tolerance is a rare quality in this day and age, but it is a beautiful one. Be kind.