Thursday, 3 December 2009

A panic attack

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.


  1. That is a description of some panic attack - my sympathies are with you. I used to get them but not on that scale and I never go anywhere without my little vial of Bachflower Rescue Remedy although I rarely need to use it now. I presume you know the breathing in and out of a paper bag trick.

    I hope your trip back to the lottie goes OK, it is good to challenge your boundaries and if it doesn't work out this time it will do eventually. Ill health closes some doors but opens others - I speak from experience.

  2. Thank you very much Arbella.It helps so much to know you aren't alone though I am sorry that you know about this all too well xx
    I wish you good health!!!!

  3. Just checking on you, sorry you've had a bad time again.

  4. Oh my, I don't like the sound of that at all!
    As for not visiting the lottie much I'm not surprised as I shouldn't think that anyone has recently. It's been the weather for staying at home sofa flying with a good book, a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits!
    Take care, Flighty. xx

  5. This a such an accurate description. I used to get these all the time, but not so much any more. I have a great doctor and I've worked hard at overcoming it with medication and therapy. I still have anxiety but it's manageable and doesn't stop me from doing things I want to do. I know it's not easy.

  6. NellJean : I'm okay, this is just a regular part of my life that has flared up a little more due to house selling stress and the bad atmosphere at the allotments. xx

    Ah Flighty : so true the weather has been wick! Nearly finished Catch-22 though so that's a plus xx

    Elle Mae's Mom : I'm so glad to hear that you have been able to fight these attacks. Its inspiring to hear of people who, although they still have anxiety can life their lives. Thank you xx


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