I struggled with whether or not I wanted to go to church. I sat on my bed to work on character profiles. I looked at the clock and decided that I could work on the profiles during the preliminaries. So, I changed clothes, grabbed my Bible, my notebook, a snack and went to church.
Everything went well. I was feeling pretty good. The pastor gave a really good sermon and the closing song was a favorite of mine. I felt it though. I felt it coming. My panic attacks start with a simple restlessness and my hand starts shaking. I had already eaten so it wasn’t my blood sugar.
They started the song and I had to jump up and leave. I sat outside and cried. I became angry. I was so calm and content prior to the panic attack. This happens prior to all of my panic attacks and it makes me so mad. Why couldn’t they happen on a bad day? Why do they have to interrupt me when I’m actually enjoying myself?
My stuff was still in the church so I had to face people. I would have made it had one of the ladies not stopped me and asked me how I was doing. I burst into tears.
I hate crying in front of people. I hate being perceived at weak. I know people don’t perceive me that way; that’s just how I feel. I feel vulnerable, like people are going to see me as easy prey. I just couldn’t stop the tears.
I talk to two ladies. They hugged me and prayed with me. I cried so much. I talked more than I usually do, explaining away my panic attack or trying to make light of it. The tears wouldn’t stop.
I thought it was a setback, but the ladies told me there is nothing wrong with crying in front of people. I wanted to believe them.
I talked with them for little while longer and then we said our goodbyes and we left. On my short–very short–trip back home, I realized that maybe, just maybe, crying in front of people, letting people see my vulnerability, was maybe a breakthrough. I had lowered my defenses and let people see who I really am. I like to believe that I’m strong, but I’m not really. I’m a survivor though. I’m a fighter. I don’t let these things keep me down, but when they do happen it takes awhile for me to feel like me again.
Fortunately, I had six dogs waiting for me. Also, a good friend of mine came into town and he let me ramble on and on. We took Buddy for a walk and I talked to people, allowing them to pet Buddy. He really likes kids. It was wonderful and I started feeling like I have a bright future ahead of me.
I know that these panic attacks will still happen from time to time, but I’m blessed. I have a strong support system and the best dogs ever.
Ultimately, this was a good day despite the panic attack.
For those of you who are struggling with some battle, I want you to know that you’re not alone. Even if you don’t have a physical support system, know that I’m here.
Until next time, make sure you show appreciation to your support system, even if it is just your dogs.