“I had big panic attacks for about one year. When it happens, I feel like I’m dying, that my heart isn’t beating, and I have a hard time breathing. Often times, I rub my hands together to try to feel my body, because I have the impression of getting detached. Also, negative thoughts start arising and multiplying.
It’s only a panic attack, in the sense that it’s actually fictitious. The heart is working well, everything is working well. But it’s quite difficult to manage. The only thing I found at first was to drink something sweet and to eat. Because this is something vital, so I was thinking: if I drink and I eat, that means that things are working. It also helps me to focus on something. There are many different techniques.
Periods of anxiety are quite complicated. I didn’t have any goal, I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. It’s kind of having the feeling that everything is falling on you, that nothing is right and that nothing will be right. Because I wasn’t able to do anything, I couldn’t go anywhere. I would think “and what if I have a panic attack ?” It’s a vicious circle, and it’s hard to get out of it. It’s also the fact that everything is so ephemeral, that everyone can die at any moment. Realizing: actually, life isn’t just a walk in the parc. And I have the impression that it’s a sort of burdden for our generation. Everyone is kind of anxious. And social media isn’t helping. Nothing is really helping.
I had my back to the wall, and I thought: well, I have two choices, either I stay with panic attacks and it’s not going to go well, or else I start to do something about it. It’s as if something clicked: I needed to live, I needed to move! And I started to do things I liked, I started to travel more, to step out of my comfort zone a little more, and I went to a therapist. The 3 months trip to Canada really triggered something. I realized that it’s when I venture out of my comfort zone that I feel better. There’s always so much satisfaction coming out of that. My last panic attack was a long time ago. I feel like I still have work to do, but I’m on the right track.”
(Gare des Eaux-Vives | translated from French)