I’ve had panic attacks since I was around 9 or 10. At that time I had no idea what they were and I’d usually end up crying. I identified my ‘weird reactions’ as panic attacks when I was 15 or 16. Knowing what it was, didn’t help much. They are no fun!
I hate that I have panic attacks! It makes me feel small (which I already am in build) and weak. I can’t control them, I really don’t know how. When they hit, they hit hard. I feel utterly helpless and lost; which is what usually brings it on. Sometimes it lasts only for a few minutes, other times it lasts a while and both are equally bad.
I guess anyone who has panic attacks know the feeling. It’s anxiety amplified. You feel like the air is running out. The tightness in your chest kicks in then, your hands start to shake, your eyes fill up with tears and your head hurts like someone is poking things into it. I always get this urge to run; to take off and never look back. Sometimes I actually have started running but I’d have nowhere to run to. You tell yourself to breathe but even that seems impossible. You try to reason with yourself, point out that it’s illogical; doesn’t do much good either. All you can do is let it play out.
My mum as amazing a mum as she is, never really understands my panic attacks, I don’t think she has ever seen me have one. I don’t let her. When I was a teenager I would lock myself in a room and find a corner and curl up and rock myself back and forth, with my hands over my ears. It wasn’t that hard to hide them. We lived in a big house and it was easy to find a corner for myself.
I don’t know why I have panic attacks. I feel stupid for having them. Why can’t I handle things without turning into a quivering mess? Why can’t I be normal? Why can’t I be strong? Why can’t I be more like my sisters, who seem to have the ability to gracefully handle whatever life throws there way? These are some of the questions that usually follow one of my attacks. They don’t do much for my self-confidence.
I wish I didn’t have them, I wish I didn’t have to be the one with all the issues in my family. I keep wondering if it’s all in my head and whether I am just overreacting. It drives me crazy and fills me with self-doubt!