I'm sure my face drains, I feel light headed and my legs no longer seem able to hold me up, they don't feel like my legs anyway. Colours get too bright, there is some flashing, the contrasts too sharp but then comes the noise. A howling onrushing cacophony of overwhelming sound that seems to come from every direction at once, the tamber and strength of it makes my stomach uncomfortable and heart race. I stumble to the shed, put my hands over my ears, close my eyes, crouch down but it only gets worse. The screaming and the rumbling crashing-waves-on-a-pebble-beach are in my head, not coming at me, in me. It gets louder as I try to focus, the angry screaming is my voice I don't know how I know this but like a nightmare I silently call for help, my throat getting more and more restricted, I can't breathe.
I know I need help, I know I need to calm down, to take a tablet but I can't seem to get my body to work with me. I can't think where the water is, where the medication is, what to do with my huge hands which are fumbling about, wringing each other or in my hair scratching, pulling. Clothes hurt and my eyes are bulging, heart getting so fast, random objects appear to be coming at me in 3D movie style, I'm dizzy, where am I?
Andrew, andrew, please help me andrew... make it stop......
This is a panic attack.
I just wanted you to get an idea of it. It happens a lot, even at home (though they usually aren't as bad), even when things are fine a moment beforehand. This is one of the reasons I hate going to the allotment, hate going out alone but also one of the reasons that I must. Ecotherapy is not easy, I'm not the little girl from 'Little house on the Prairie' skipping down wildflower hills; I'm not Sleeping Beauty out communing with nature and all is songs and sweetness. Ecotherapy is hard - when it works it is so very rewarding but it doesn't always work. I haven't been writing much about my lotties recently, I haven't been there and I'm nervous about going back this weekend. This is the reality of therapy - I never said it was easy. My 'Allotmentherapy' essay has been published in part in a mental health leaflet posted out to every house in an area of North East Scotland. They made it sound all a bit too easy in their extract - it isn't. The depression and panic travels with you where ever you go, part of you.