Friday, June 17, I had one of the worst anxiety attacks I have ever had. I can’t remember ever being more miserable or terrified.
Here’s my account of what it was like, and how I managed to get through it.
Imagine. Your heart is racing in your chest, bumbling over itself with every other frantic beat. Your throat is closing in on itself. No matter how much you inhale, you can’t seem to get enough air in your lungs. Everything is shaking, your ears are buzzing, it feels like you’re simultaneously floating in an ocean and being driven into the sand by the waves. Every tiny noise sends a fresh wave of panic through your body. An irrational fear consumes you.
And all you can do is lay there, your fists over your eyes, begging God to make it stop.
“It’s 2 in the morning, I just want to sleep!”
And yet every time you think you might have a grip, something makes a noise, and you’re back at square one.
What you’ve just experienced is the nightmare I’m living as I write this.
Anxiety sucks, guys. And nights like tonight especially suck. I can usually hold myself together pretty well. I’ve gone days having multiple panic attacks in a row and not a soul knew. They just thought I was a sullen brat who hated the world 😜
But then you have cases like this, when it’s not so easy to just ‘play it cool’. When you’re staring at the wall with your fists clenched wishing you could just fall asleep, but every time you dare to turn the light off or lay your head down on the pillow, it all comes rushing back again. There’s no winning. There’s no pretending that I’m fine until I really am. I don’t have control anymore; I just have to wait it out.
The good news is…I’m not alone.
Yeah, I know. Real cheesy, right? And yet so, so true!
After spending hours watching Netflix, blowing up my Snapchat story with stupid nonsense, and trying those therapeutic breathing exercises or whatever they’re called (which, by the way are incredibly difficult to do when you can’t breathe), I reached for the solution I should have run to first. I grabbed my Bible off the nightstand and flipped through its many highlighted pages, eventually landing on an unmarked passage, Psalm 28:
“To You, O Lord, I call;
My rock, be not deaf to me…
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy,
When I cry to you for help,
When I lift up my hands
Toward your most holy sanctuary…
Blessed be the Lord!
For he has heard the voice of my
Pleas for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and my shield;
In Him my heart trusts, and I am helped;
My heart exults,
And with my song I give thanks to Him.”
It’s been 3 hours since my panic attack started, and I am just now starting to calm down. Tired as I am, I really don’t want to turn off the light or lay down, because I’d really rather not start all over again.
And yet through it all, I find comfort in knowing that, even though I can’t feel Him, I know He is there with me and that He hears my cry. He may not take this completely away from me, but He’s already promised to carry me through it. And for that I give Him thanks.
Just some random thoughts I figured I’d share, since I’m obviously not getting to sleep any time soon. Apologies for how disorganized and incomplete in thought it is…I’m not exactly in my right mind yet, and I am very, very tired 😉 I hope at least something from this encouraged you, spoke to you, whatever. Know that I love every one of you all, and have an awesome Friday! 😘❤️