I thought that being away from home for two weeks would be fantastic. I thought that I could finally enjoy the quiet, with no one chirping in my ear all day long.
This is the classic case of the “but there is nothing for you to worry about, why are you so stressed?”
The thing is….I’m not stressed. I had a panic attack. And it’s different.
Stress is defined as
a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances. (I googled it)
In other words….stress has a trigger. Something happens and you feel an emotional response that generally makes sense to other people.
Panic is defined as
sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior (again, I just googled it)
I went to Mayo Clinic to define panic attack
A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.
The really important part of this definition is that there is no real danger or apparent cause.
And this is where it gets really hard to describe to family or friends who don’t suffer from panic attacks. There’s no reason. Most of the time anyway. How do you make someone understand that you are flipping out for no reason? It sounds ridiculous. It sounds imaginary. It sounds like something out of a Robin Cook novel.
And yet….here I sit. Hanging in bed with two sweet little puppies, playing a game on my laptop…and BAM
I can’t breathe
My heart feels like it’s coming out of my chest
My limbs go numb
My entire body tenses
If I hadn’t been here a million times before, I’d be sure I was gonna die
But, I take a klonopin and force myself to wait out the 20-30 minutes till the thing kicks in.
And I don’t die.
I can’t tell you why it happened.
But, I can tell you that it will happen again.