Crushing weight squeezes my chest threatening to suffocate me. My Heart is pounding so loud I hear the roar of my blood pumping in my ears. The terror is so real I feel as if I want to run away but there is no where to run. There is nowhere to run because a person can’t hide when the terror is inside of their own brain.
That is how I feel when I have a panic attack. Panic attacks are not fun at all. They sneak up silently waiting for just the smallest window of opportunity to slip in and steal my sanity.
If you have ever had a panic attack I am sure you know just how this feels if you haven’t then you can’t even begin to guess. It doesn’t take much to set a panic attack in motion and once one sets in they are hard to get rid of. There have been days that I have even found myself having a panic attack that I will have a panic attack. I know that sounds crazy and it’s a vicious cycle.
For the past few years I have had some eye problems. Most days I don’t think about them at all but then there are the days that I have a new symptom or even the usual flickering or the spider webby looking things will set me into a panic. I start thinking that I am going blind and if I close my eyes I still see the flickers. At times this gets me so upset and the panic gets so deep that I can’t think strait. Those are the days I need a friend but at the same time I don’t want to tell anyone. The few times I have told someone after it was all over I found myself feeling stupid and ashamed. There are times I have found myself wanting to go hide…. but hide where? Especially when you don’t know what you are hiding from? You can’t hide from panic.
It is so hard to understand how a person can be scared of what seems like nothing.
But that nothing is really something to me and I just can’t tell it to go away…
…though I wish it were so easy.
Philippians 4:6-7 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. I have found myself reciting that verse over and over and praying to God to carry me through the grips of panic that threaten to take away my sanity. These are the times that I know that without Jesus I could have never made it through.
The radio station in my town plays this song by Josh Wilson a lot (YouTube Video below), sometimes I feel like I could have written the words because I have felt so much of what he talks about in the song. I even read his story and found out that he recites the same scripture in his prayers that I do.
Lately I find myself telling a lot of personal and private stuff here on this blog and today I really don’t have an ending to this story or really know the reason for writing it. Whether it’s a vent or maybe its just to let someone else who has this problem know that they are not crazy and to not be ashamed or feel embarrassed and most of all to know that they are not alone. There are other people who have this too, they just don’t always talk about it.
I realized today that I am who I am and it’s okay if others don’t understand what’s going on with me. God does understand me and that is all that matters. If not for him I don’t know how I would make it through those panicky days.