(I wrote this up on Friday, but I’m only just getting around to posting. Sorry about that! Hopefully next week’s Fab Friday will be on time.) Happy Fab Friday, friends! I’m writing this from the front seat of my car outside my in-laws’ house. Why? Because I just had a panic attack.
I haven’t had a panic attack in over a year, and this one came completely out of the blue. I was sitting at the family dinner table, passing the veggie platter and dishing up food for my son when all of a sudden the lights got too bright, and everyone’s voices got too loud and too sharp, and my heart started to race. I calmly turned to my husband and said, “I think I’m having a panic attack, so I’m going to go to the other room.”
I cried, put in some earplugs, and practiced square breathing, but everything was still too loud and too bright, so I went to the car. It’s nice and quiet and dark out here. My heartbeat is nice and slow, but my arms and legs don’t feel like they belong to me yet. My husband came out and brought me a lemon La Croix (bless him), and the rest of the family is leaving me gloriously alone. Thank God for a family who understands mental illness!
So while I’m stuck here in depersonalization-land, I’m putting together a moodboard of all the little things that help me recover from panic attacks. (Your mileage may vary on the specifics, but most people find the general categories helpful.) For those who have never experienced a panic attack, the attack itself is terrible, but the after-effects can also leave you feeling like you have a really terrible hangover. It’s the hangover part I want to try to help with today. So here’s your Anxiety and Panic Attack Recovery Care Starter Kit: