My Panic Attacks
5:30 a.m. I awoke in a panic. I jumped out of bed, put on my clothes and got in my car. I couldn’t breathe.
This is not a new sensation for me. I remember the first time I encountered it was when I was 4. It was my first surgery. Next was at 7 caught in domestic abuse. Then again at fifteen I was raped.
The list goes on and on in fact extreme panic arose in me at least once a year. Sometimes it goes on for weeks, and sometimes for months. Often for no “Real Reason” and yes, even a yogini can experience panic.
My first response is to cover it up. Hide it with anger or frustration. To lash out in protection of myself.
It’s been going on most of 2020 as I am heavily triggered by meaningless deaths of the elderly, blacks, babies, and animals. Guns, bombs, and natural disasters along with finger pointing politics. It really got to me this morning.
Last night I felt despair. I reacted on my husband. I reacted on my ally, my partner, my friend. This morning I woke in a panic. Chest caving in, coughing, gasping for air. The Sun hadn’t lifted to view when I got in my car, the morning light was peeking through. I found myself in nature.
One of my favorite Ancient Oak trees. I borrowed some breath. Just for me. I felt the presence of stability. The tree seemed to like my visit too.
I am writing this because so many are triggered, and suffering paralyzed by panic and fear. Covering it up with anger, grief and despair. A whole array of destructive emotions.
I encourage anyone experiencing panic and feel to self-conscious to reach out, drowning in cannabis, alcohol, adderall and sleep aids. Whatever your thing is. Find an Old Oak tree, or Sequoia, Redwood, or Fir. Any tree the older the better! Befriend the tree, breathe with it and when the wind blows listen to it. It may very well be here long after you are gone.
And, if you feel so inclined, find a human being to share with. Be vulnerable and brave. We are not designed to “Have It All Together.” As human beings we will never “Have It All Together”. This is the illusion. We are vulnerable and frail. Alive for a short time, surviving then thriving, surviving then thriving, then dying. This is what it means to be a Human Being.
Love and Tenderness Always,
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Karen Barbarick-Collins is a Certified Ayurvedic Technician and Wellness Coach, an Accredited Neuro Linguistic Programming Coach and a Registered Yoga Alliance Teacher. She is the founder of Bending Blade Healing Arts.