“SUDDENLY it becomes hard to BREATHE!” That’s how it sometimes feels. That’s how it usually starts. An event, a trigger, a vague or precise stimulus, an irrational or oblivious thought, an image, a word, or just nothing at all!
That’s when it starts feeling like the whole world is collapsing; space around you becomes narrow or it too wide! The air feels like it’s being sucked out, time no longer makes sense, rational cognition no longer intact, mind freezes, feelings start bombarding together, emotions clashing and almost everything is in complete dissonance.
And all of a sudden; rush of irrational and cloudy thoughts, a crowded mind, confusion, chest tightness, shortness of breath, tremor, nausea and sweating. Your system gets flooded with norepinephrine and cortisol and your body and brain becomes wired to be on the lookout for potential threats. It pulls you down, it shakes your mind/body/and soul, paradoxically it shuts down your system, and it withdraws your sense of peace, tranquility and clarity.
For those who experience this, a sudden and full-blown panic attack, it is quite debilitating and tiring. It feels like something is taking over your mind and body and crippling you. But what is underneath all of it ? The fear of fear. It is the fear of the unknown, the unpredictable and the unclear. It is your mind creating a draining and overwhelming scenarios in the future and living it in the present. It is your mind creating a series of unhealthy, untrue, invalid, catastrophic and inaccurate life events. It is preparing your body and mind to receive these events. It is coercing your body and mind to react to these events. It is absolutely hard to control…
Somehow, you think you are preparing yourself, you think you are anticipating, you believe you can’t control it and you convince yourself that what you are afraid will happen is inevitable and will absolutely take place. You convince yourself that the expected unknown catastrophe will befall. Thus, your body is always in the “Fight or Flight” response.
When all of this is happening and you feel your whole world collapsing and your knees are touching the ground, “Take this still moment to acknowledge the countless times that you have faced your worst fears, fallen down, stood up again, dusted yourself off, and found the strength to move forward” and allow it to pass. You will survive this.