Panic Attack Reflections

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I had my first panic attack in three years on Tuesday. It wasn’t a major one, but it was a surprise. I suppose, in my head, I thought I’d ‘grown out’ of having them. But this just goes to show that mental health challenges can appear at any stage.

I’ve allowed the pressure to build up again lately. The pressure I put on myself is relentless at times, and not very realistic. there’s a pressure to constantly be working, producing, creating, achieving. an expectation that is impossible to meet.

Everything sort of overwhelmed me all at once and – bam – panic attack on Tuesday afternoon. When it subsided I knew a few things: 1) that I needed a break and 2) that I needed to go easy on myself. I exercised that evening, left my phone down, and went to bed early. On Wednesday morning I was feeling more like myself, but I wanted to be sure that another attack wouldn’t erupt again anytime soon.

I know I need a break from everything. Just a small one. I need to stop being so busy, stop worrying over y writing, stop trying to do everything all at once. I need a wee moment to breathe. Luckily I already had a week off planned starting next week, so the timing on that is convenient.

The reason I’m talking about this, as always, is to be honest about mental health. And be open. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. People have panic attacks, but because we don’t talk about them too often, it can feel like having one is a big problem. Of course, the cause of attacks needs to be addressed, but it doesn’t have to mean that i have failed or messed up. It just happened.

Bad days happen. I’m grand now again. I made more effort to connect with people this week, and I spent less time on my own than normal. This sems to have worked.

I also have a Substack if you enjoy my writing.

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