Sparkles and Sunshine: How I Overcame Panic Attacks

How I Overcame Panic Attacks

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Happy Wednesday!

The other day I was thinking about what I wanted to write about in the next few weeks and a certain memory popped into my head. During the summer of my sophomore year of college I was home teaching summer camp at a local art studio with my mom and dating this guy I had had a crush on all throughout high school. Everything was going great, or so I thought...

I remember the day so clearly. The kids I was teaching couldn't have been older than five or six I think and the whole day was just so hard. For anyone who has kids between the ages of two and five know that they have like zero attention-span. They will keep their attention on something for a max of ten minutes (even that's pushing it) and then you have to have something ready in the pipeline for them to gravitate towards next. On this particular day, nothing would keep them focused and I was running out of ideas and my sanity. It got to the point where I started to feel so overwhelmed that the room started to become dark, I felt like I was going to faint and I had to go to one of the people in charge because I didn't feel well. It was that day that I realized what had happened; I had experienced my first panic attack.

After that day I decided to remove everything that was going on in my life that could've caused it. This included:
  • Teaching art camp
  • My boyfriend at the time
  • My soda addiction

I had hoped that once I got rid of all of those factors that they would go away and they did to some extent. Beyond that it was all mental. I found myself easily getting overwhelmed at times where I would feel a panic attack coming on. Looking back, I honestly think I triggered a few myself which wasn't healthy. I remember going to a summer retreat with my sorority with the fear that I would constantly have panic attacks the entire time.

I knew that I would have to find a way to get rid of them or I would never feel like I had control over myself again. I realized that the only person I was going to listen to was myself and so I talked to myself. I would say something like:

"You are fine. This can all go away. You are fine. You are strong. You are happy. You are in control." 

and then I would take many deep breaths to help calm me down. This really helped me. This wasn't something that I would do in the mornings when I would wake up or anything like that. This was something that I would have to do randomly at random places. I remember being in JoAnn Fabrics one time when I felt one start to come on. I immediately went into the bathroom and went through my speech and deep breathing until I was able to leave. 

To this day I have not had any soda (it's been around seven years) or any caffeine in general, any communication with my ex, or taught any kind of art camp to little kids. Now, I do want to say that my ex is a good person. I don't want this to seem like I removed horrible things from my life because that wasn't entirely the case.

Was my soda addiction bad? Absolutely, that had to go! Soda has so many bad chemicals in it that I believe messed up my nervous system.

Was teaching the right idea for me? Nope, not at all. I also discovered in college that I can't be a teacher.

Was my relationship overall bad? Not at all! Everything had it's good and bad moments and in that moment I had to do what I felt was best for me which was to completely remove myself from all situations.

I wanted to share this story with all of you today in hopes that I could share a "positive light at the of a tunnel view." Overcoming panic attacks was something that took a while because it's not something that you can just get rid of overnight. Everyone is affected differently and everyone has a different healing period. By no means am I an expect on panic attacks or anything related. But, I am here for you if you have had/are having them because I know how horrible it feels. 

Thank you for taking the time to read today and I hope you all have a happy, positive day. 

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Photography: Nikki B Photography

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