My daughter is leaving for college in 6 weeks. We went to a 2 day orientation at her college earlier this week.
It was an informative, jam-packed, happy, emotional 2 days. The parents had 2 days of activities and the students had 2 days of testing and separate activities.
I had 2 panic attacks. And I not only survived, I was truly ok...
I am still actively practicing the Triple A Technique from the 60 Second Panic Solution. The challenge for me is that the signal that is my Alert to start doing the Triple A is very cunning. It is a churning feeling in my stomach coupled with anxious what if thoughts.
What can be very hard is to discern that these thoughts are a symptom and not to indulge them. In other words, notice that I’m having racing thoughts – and then proceed to the rest of the Triple A- Alter Picture and then Applause…
When I get sucked into the thoughts, I lose every time. In fact, I did get sucked in completely during one point in the orientation.
Hubby and I were in a huge auditorium filled to capacity where we were watching students perform skits. It was the end of a long day and I was feeling a bit frazzled from the fun filled, exciting, but emotional day.
I sat down in the front with him and the skits began. About 45 minutes into the program, I had a panic attack. Then I had another one.
The sucky thing is that I had 2 panic attacks. The cool thing is- they were not nearly as bad as they could have been.
I knew on some level that I was letting my mind go where it shouldn’t. I let it start to think about “oh here I am sitting up front trapped here, what if I make a fool out of myself, everyone will know…, etc.”
I recognize now that I did this because I was feeling so weary.
Boom! as soon as I had the thought, I had a panic attack. Then as is my usual pattern, the thoughts cycled again and Boom! there I go again.
What I did differently- after I let the panic wash over me- was to do the Triple A right on the spot.
I sat there and let myself shake and feel horrible and breathe like a panting animal, but then watched how my body began to relax and get calm and feel good again as I called up my Alter picture image in my mind.
I always picture a glorious winter snow scene with a little house, complete with the glorious smell of pine and feeling of cold air and maybe a fireplace somewhere in the distance.
This scene is for me the epitome of love, safety and good feelings.
Next, I went straight into the Applause…
Way to go sweetheart! You just survived a very real near death experience. You are wonderful!! I am so proud of you!!! I hugged myself in my mind’s eye…
Can I tell you that was about the nicest way I ever came down off after a panic attack?
When the skits wrapped up and we were walking out of the auditorium, I was filled, not with self loathing and sadness as I have always done in the past, but with a feeling of triumph and self love and compassion…
I wish you peace,
image source: http://nature.desktopnexus.com/wallpaper/1619946/