I need to stop resisting my panic attacks
I know this
From years of therapy and educating myself on panic disorder
I am fully aware that I am not in danger
I am aware that my feelings although unpleasant
And will pass
My natural instinct is to fight against the discomfort I feel when I experience a panic attack
Thus I remain stuck in the cycle of panic
I read something this morning that resonated with meArticle
The key take away from this article
‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’
What does that mean?
It means that there is nothing we can do in life
To avoid pain, both physical and mental
What we can do, however, is decide what we are going to do with that pain
Do we accept the pain for what it is (unpleasant feelings)
Or do we fight against it?
Making the situation worse?
Drawing it out?
Allowing it to permeate every part of our lives?
The answer is clear
The real question is how do we accept what feels unnatural and foreign?
We have to go against our instincts
Instead of fleeing
Instead of fighting
Give yourself over to the feeling
Maybe even taunt it
Invite it into your life
This can be done through self talk
Or exposing yourself to anxiety inducing situations
I think both are helpful
I noticed during this last month
How negative my self talk is
When I need it to be the exact opposite
I’ll find myself thinking or saying aloud
‘ I can’t do this’
‘It’s too hard’
How self defeating is that?
So I’m changing the narrative
‘I am able to do this’
‘Just because it feels unpleasant doesn’t mean I am in danger’
‘I accept what is happening right now’
The other part is inviting the uninvited visitor into your life
Come on in
Do your worst
It’s been a hard week, and maybe if a panic attack is hanging around
Let it out
Allow yourself to feel whatever it is
Find a place that is comfortable
And let it roll through you like an ocean wave
You know that it will be uncomfortable but it will pass
Makes perfect sense, right?
I just need to practice what I’ve gotten so good at preaching
I will not be a cautionary anecdote that psychotherapists use for future patients
There once was a woman named Angela
Who allowed panic disorder to rule her life
And became isolated and held hostage
Even though she had all the tools she needed