NotSoZen YogaJen

Posts Tagged ‘panic attacks

It was bad.  It was by far the worst anxiety I’ve ever had in my life, and completely crippling.  If I could get down a cup of yogurt, take a few sips of water, and respond to one email, it was a good day.  And by that I mean a good bad, terrible, horrendous day.  It was so bad that I only made it to one yoga class this week, and I had to force myself to go so I could relax a little and do something other than panic.  And then I panicked through the entire class. So yeah, not relaxing at all.

While I was IN IT, the fear felt absolutely real and there was no doubt in my mind that I had every reason to be so terrified.  Now, on the other side of it (which, by the way, I thought I’d never get to), I can see clearly that it wasn’t, and was all made up in my mind.  Which just goes to show you how strong the mind and psyche are, and wouldn’t it be great to always be able to channel this powerhouse strength for good and hope and light instead of being tortured by its wretched darkness?

And this is why it came on when it did:  I had a great week last week!  I am taking MAJOR strides to break old destructive patterns!  I am living in NEW, EMPOWERED ways!  And somebody (my Ego maybe?, and yes, I realize that referring to different parts of myself in third person in the same post that I admit to barely being able to leave my apartment might make me seem a little…eccentric) didn’t like that very much.  And actually got really fucking pissed and launched a complete attack on me, pulling out all the stops.  I’ve often seen this pattern on a smaller and less paralyzing scale in my life, like, I’ll be moving forward taking these little steps, and these little fears come up along the way, and just as I’m on the verge of making some major breakthrough, ALL the scary demons come out to play.  And the bigger my dream/goal/life change, the bigger the fear guarding the gates to this new way of being.  That’s why it’s just safer and easier (you know, if you like being able to ingest food and feel the warmth of the sun of your skin) to let your life go on autopilot and hang out with your old, familiar, destructive patterns, even when they do nothing but hold you back and keep you far away from your dreams.

When I was IN IT, for not moments but DAYS, I thought that the panic would never end.  But it did.  I had to do that awful thing where there’s nothing to do, and even yoga and meditation and deep breathing don’t help because it is just so BEYOND that, and you just have to wait and ride it out.  So I rode.  And it passed.

On the other side, there are a couple of things waiting for me.  First of all, I feel like I have a whole new lease on life and a giant appreciation for the simplest pleasures.  Finishing a whole bowl of soup – incredible!  Enjoying a walk around the block – amazing!  Being able to focus on a task for longer than three seconds, like reading an article or a (gasp!) book – MIRACULOUS!

The other thing that happens is I feel super-strong and badass, like, “Dude, you do NOT know what I’ve just been through.  I just kicked fear’s ass!”  I feel like some kind of warrior hero who triumphed in this tremendous battle.  And like I want to share my war stories with the world.

And then there’s the weight-loss side effect.  But being on the Panic Attack Diet is just about as fun as being on the Food Poisoning Diet, though equally as effective.

I also remembered that John Mayer gets anxiety attacks, and that made me think that it would be fun to start a club for all of us peeps who get anxiety and panic attacks.  We can sit in a circle (but not too close to each other if we’re like, IN IT), and John can serenade us, and we can eat cupcakes.  That maybe have Xanax sprinkles.

So, here I am, on the other side at last.  I threw on some SPF 30 and am about to go outside to relax and bask in the sun (EXTRAORDINARY!).  I kicked fear’s ass.  This time.  I realize that there’s a good chance that it’s not done with me yet and will return for a rematch and kick my ass again.  Especially if I’m trying to change and grow.  But I’m a badass anxiety-battling warrior, and I’m not giving up the fight.

Do you ever have anxiety and panic attacks?  What brings them on?  Does overriding old patterns tend to stir them up?  What to you do to get through them?  And how do you feel when you’re on the other side?

Namaste!

YogaJen