The Mother Of All Panic Attacks And What I learned About Myself

Recently I was feeling “slightly” off and overwhelmed. I had been pushing myself physically and mentally past what I normally do without giving myself time to recharge. My house was especially crazy with my Mermaid stimming more than usual and I was just completely exhausted. By the time I finally noticed that my body was trying to tell me I was pushing it too hard, it was too late. I felt the anxiety begin to ramp up and I decided to put my Mermaid to bed and follow suit. My body had other ideas.

While I will spare you all the details of what happens during my panic attacks, I will tell you that on this particular night, I could not get my core body temperature to come down or my heart rate to calm down. This was a first for me. I knew I was in for one hell of a panic attack. I tried all the normal things I do during an attack but they all did N.O.T.H.I.N.G. to calm it down.

This panic attack was so severe that it caused me to begin vomiting. It has been 7 years since I have last vomited. Let that one sink in for a moment…7 years! It is one of my biggest triggers aside from illness and germs for my PTSD. I spent years praying that I would survive mentally if anyone in my family ever got an intestinal virus or influenza. I was so afraid I would just mentally snap and not be able to come back from it.

So, here I am, trapped in a bathroom, so hot that I feel like I am about to burst into flames, my heart beating so fast and hard that I can physically see my heart beating through my shirt. And I begin vomiting to my utter shock and disbelief. I began to smile.

I realized 3 things in that moment…
1. I did not break mentally nor did vomiting kill me.
2. I have great aim and no one was going to clean up the bathroom. After 20 minutes of vomiting, I decided that we would just throw the entire garbage can away.
3. I truly LOATHE vomiting.

I passed out several times from the panic attack. I am not sure if it was caused by the heat or the rapid heartbeat or a combo of both. But I “came” too in some very uncomfortable positions a couple of times. I was not able to call anyone, yell, pound on the bathroom walls, or use my phone to get help from anyone in my family until the attack subsided considerably.

I was left 100% drained. Walking was very difficult that evening. I did not wallow in the fact that I had a panic attack. I did not sit down and analyze why it was so severe. I did not let it get me down at all.

Instead, I spent the next 3 days babying myself and snuggling on the couch with Raven and my daughters. I took the time I knew my body needed to rest and to recoup from the mother of all panic attacks. I ate foods that were gentle and easy to make. My middle daughter cooked all the meals until I was ready to get back into the swing of things. I beamed with pride. I do mean beamed. I overcame something I thought would mentally break me. I lived through something that was drilled into my head would kill me. I laughed and smiled at my resilience.

In the mail the afternoon after my panic attack, I received a small package from ImprintedMemories that was not supposed to even be shipped yet, let alone be delivered. I know that Tiffany had no idea what this tiny piece of hand stamped sterling silver would mean to me or how significant the timing of it’s delivery was to me. But I wear it with pride and love. It is a symbol that I so desperately want as my one of my next tattoos. I took it as a sign that I was in fact exactly where I needed to be in my healing from PTSD.

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I. AM. A. SURVIVOR.

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