Have you ever experienced a panic attack? That tightness in the chest, heart pumping, head spinning, body shaking kind of panic attack? The whole world feels out of control, you feel out of control and your emotions, well they’re like a volcano erupting?
I experienced this feeling quite a lot during my twenties in particular, and a milder version in my teens. I’ve even experienced panic attacks in more recent times, except now, I have a greater awareness of the reason behind them, or the triggers for the anxiety that has caused the panic.
When I was a teen, I lived with a tendency to want to please, to be good and be perfect. I had a high expectation around this. Yet, there was a vulnerability within me as not everything was easy for my brain to comprehend. Maybe it was hormones or that thing about interest being the winner when it comes to attention and retention of information? I still struggle to remember things, am not a fan of being tested or judged. Who is really? Do you know anyone?
I didn’t understand how thinking and being this way was part of my sensitivity and a trigger for feelings of panic and anxiety. I remember a few times in my final year of high school experiencing my head spinning out in class and just not being clear of mind. My emotions often getting the better of me. Same when attempting to get an assignment done, my fears of not being able to express the response in my own words or make sense of a topic would have me procrastinate and then create a last minute dash with emotional outbursts and computer glitches along the way. I was a mess. My final results in certain subjects evident of this destructive pattern. Why was I this way? Made it hard for myself living this way.
I did my best to hide this trait. Much of my ‘meltdown‘ was saved for close family and friends. Odd times it would sneak up on me at school. I still managed to achieve accolades and embark on a year long overseas student exchange despite the underlying anxiety from perfectionism and pleasing. Yes, this is what I pin point the early signs of panic attack and anxiety to. But wait, there’s more…
In my twenties I was in that zone of working for the man, finding a man, broken hearts and self doubts. Gosh, don’t we all go through these times of self discovery and self growth? I brought along my perfectionism to my jobs. Working in retail and being fully dedicated and a pleaser, I would let the mountain of workload push my buttons to breaking point sometimes. Add to it the lack of self care with relationships and I could be a volcano of emotion somedays!! In some job roles I took many interactions to heart. I would take feedback from bosses quite destructively too. There were some ‘bullies‘ in some of my work places and they knew how to rock the apple cart.
My twenties was when I really experienced several versions of the panic attack I described in the first paragraph.
One lunchtime I was working as a teller at a bank in the city of Melbourne. Thankfully the guy I was dating at the time had experience with what he had to witness that day and was able to diffuse my state of hysteria. The tears, the trembling, the hyper-ventilating I was in fight or flight. My boss triggering this response coupled with the environment I was working in as a bank teller.
It is only looking back now that I realise much of how I was physically feeling was due to my being an empath. I was speaking to and making the transactions for many people all day, every day. Many had energy that was not of a high vibration, the money they carried in some instances, was not of a high vibration. My naivety to this had me thinking it was me. I would leave that job feeling so weighed down. My colleagues were in similar energy. Have you ever felt this way too?
The same happened when I was working in a retail furniture store in the centre of Melbourne a few years later. I was a manager and finding the pressures all very intense. On one occasion I experienced a panic attack. It was so intense I thought I was experiencing a heart attack and had my Mum come to collect me and take me to the ER. An ECG proved inconclusive and I was sent home.
This was around the time I was experiencing other health concerns and being tested by a neurologist to find no real answers.
Panic attacks and anxiety ended up becoming such a frequent experience that I ran out on my job in an emotional mess one afternoon, never to return. I thought it was me being hopeless at handling being a manager? Despite all the glowing letters from ecstatic customers and a myriad of 10/10 mystery shopper reports and hitting our sales KPI’s – I honestly thought something was wrong with me? Rather than understanding my empathic sensitivity and the energy of where I was working. Too busy and down the rabbit hole to notice…
It happened again in my next job at a fitness club where, quite frequently, I would need to go outside for a good cry around the corner to release my emotions and frustrations. Luckily, being a fitness club I was better able to exercise and reduce this impact. Exercise really does play a key role in managing panic attack and anxiety. Working on my mindset with more personal development that had relevance also helped.
The job role however, was quite negative in its energy of dealing with debt collection and unhappy people. If I knew what I know now about empathic energy, things may have been handled better. It was here, in my early 30’s that I learned about my MS as my body fully overloaded and things really went out of control. Compounded by years of built up stressors. Chronic illness often becomes a by-product of long-term stress, can you relate?
As my thirties progressed with my MS diagnosis, I continued to experience panic attacks for different reasons. Purely from a victim place of all the change in my view on how life would be now I have this incurable chronic condition multiple sclerosis. Life had to change. The job changed. The routine changed.
Daily injections of Copaxone started, there was a new kind of reason for anxiety now. I did my best to stay strong, unfortunately the head spinning dizziness of this diagnosis happened often. Life became really numb and overstimulating for a few years. While I had some education on the spiritual side of life, empaths, energy healing, mindfulness, my real comprehension was kind of still not quite there.
When I look back at these stories or memories I’ve just selected to share as examples, I’m reminded that it can take some time to fully wake up to ourselves and truly begin to heal. If you’re reading this you may be on the path to realising this as I eventually did or you have found this realisation already.
Understanding there is more to my sensitivity than I gave credit has only really happened for me in the past five years to be honest. I’ve been diagnosed with MS for twelve and a bit years as I write this blog post. Eight weeks after attending the Overcoming MS Retreat in November 2015 we moved to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
It took taking myself and my family out of our known environment in Western Suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria and out on our own in a new state. Away from all that had been familiar and our support networks. We were tested in so many ways and by late 2017 I experienced the same panic attack in a completely new environment for different reasons. I still had more to learn.
It has been within these past three years (2017-2020) that my understanding of energy and being empathic has gifted me with the knowledge and ability to face panic attacks and anxiety head on. To realise they have been triggered by something out of alignment with me yet possibly outside of me. What I know for sure from this is we have the power to create our lives and world to support us.
- I’ve become witness to my sensitivity and I developed and understanding of my power to breathe through any panic that shows up in my world.
- I am learning to accept the triggers as they happen and get better at diffusing them.
- I am also understanding the importance of questioning the reasons why a panic feeling may be triggered, acknowledging it and letting it go.
- I have found my guiding light through regular yoga and mindfulness practice and a lot of personal development.
- I have learned about the healing power of food and also what triggers a negative reaction in my body and emotional experience – the body speaks to us if only we’d listen.
- I have experienced various forms of energy healing along the way to shift patterns, heal past lives, forgive, cut cords, realign values and more.
- I have attuned to the energy healing of Usui Reiki to really feel there is a universal force outside of us and within.
Maintaining good nutrition aligned to my needs and the above mentioned self care with regular exercise, yoga, mindfulness meditation and Reiki healing is a priority in keeping panic attacks and anxiety at bay. I have noticed if I do let these things slide, I am much less able to handle my emotional state. I also activate my body with Nrf2 and Nrf1 which helps combat the oxidative stress of not only the external environment it also helps with the intensity from my thoughts and activities.
I believe my many experiences with panic attacks and anxiety, eventually leading to my chronic diagnosis of MS to be a gift for me to learn how to overcome so I could be a voice to reach out to you? So that you can see there is support that can help guide you away from this. You are not alone in your pain and challenges.
Know help is out there. Whether it comes from me or somewhere else that resonates as a light away from panic and anxiety. Seek and you shall find your way out and back in control! That’s how I ended up here sharing my journey and experience out of the rabbit hole with you.
If it is me who you resonate with as a guide then feel welcome to book a FREE 30 minute introductory Reiki and Coaching session and let us have a conversation and mini healing.