Via Bronwyn Petry for Elephant Journal
(Please note, I am not a medical professional, nor should this post be used in place of medical advice. Please use your judgement on whether or not these tips may and should work for you.)
For better or for worse, I know a lot about anxiety.
It was a long time before I recognized it as such, but I would now say, in retrospect, that I had my first panic attack when I was 18.
My heart felt like it was climbing up my chest into my throat. I could taste blood. I couldn’t breathe and I crumpled to the floor, gasping, crying, a shaking snotty mess.
I didn’t know what was happening to me. I thought I might be dying and the one thought that occurred to me was that if I died, at least I wouldn’t feel that way, ever again.
I would say I got anxiety and panic attacks for roughly 10 years.
Panic attacks were the thunderclouds that suddenly broke over me, paralyzing me and shutting everything else down; the anxiety was more pernicious—a flutter in my chest that wouldn’t go away. Sometimes, too, it was a warning: the canary in the coal mine—if I could head off anxiety in a timely and efficient manner, I might be able to avoid the panic attack that was coming.