A red-hot rush of warmth that comes over you, the back of the throat starts to get thick with saliva and close up, the heart begins to race. The feeling of doom starts to spread like a wild-fire inside the body, the palms get clammy, hands shaking to the fear running through the body and before you know it, you feel detached from your own body like you are about to die - that is an anxiety attack at it's best!
Today I had an anxiety attack in session and it's the first time I ever experienced that kind of attack in session. I have had moments of panic of being stuck in the past during a hard talk during session, but never an anxiety attack.
It came out of no where, and before I knew what was happening it was too late to grab control of it (not that there is any great way of doing that), but I had no time to think before it hit me.
It wasn't a full-blown anxiety attack, but it was pretty close. My therapist did a great job of helping me grab a hold of the control around it, and I managed to move out of it with breathing and focusing on his voice telling me to look at his eyes and not letting the anxiety attack take me away into a full-blown attack.
I don't know how people deal with chronic anxiety. I only have anxiety attacks every now and again, not everyday like some people suffer, but even the few that I do get, it's incredibly scary and sucks the energy completely out of me.
I came home from session and slept for 3 hours, that is how draining it is, and I never take nape - EVER.
Sometimes after I have an anxiety attack I go through what is called "after shocks" .. there is the fear about having another one happen, and sometimes those fears are bigger than the attacks themselves.
I am sitting here tonight thinking back on session wondering what could have caused the panic attack, but honestly, there is no reason, this is the life of living with fear and anxiety every once and again, and it's not fun.
I honestly have a full respect and care for those who deal with this on a day-to-day basis. I don't know how you do it or move through it, but I know one thing, I could never live with this every day and I truly feel sorry for those who do.
But - what I do know is this .. I moved through it, I am safe, loved and care for and if I just hold onto that in those fearful moments, I can move through anything.
Here is a great quote explaining what anxiety is .. love this and it's so true
"Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained"
Anxiety attacks are scary when it takes over the sense of self, but I am here, and I moved through it and I am feeling much better tonight.
So I think as I sit here tonight, instead of trying to focus on why it happened, maybe I just need to accept that it did happen, I had support, and I moved out of it - I am writing about it, another thing shared, more connection, more power forward, and I am certainly not alone!