Pure Panic


This past Friday, I had a major panic attack. I hadn’t had one in a long while. They happen when my anxiety spins out of control. I have managed my anxiety pretty well; but, sometimes it sneaks up on me, and before I know it I am in pure panic mode.

When it rains it pours, and I was soaking wet. Last Thursday my niece had showed me a bedbug she found in the middle of the night. It’s been two months since that hell and now they were back. Friday my best friend and nieces dad was getting out of detox for alcohol and coming back to stay at my place. They both have been staying here because they are basically homeless. My best friend was drinking heavily again and we got into two nasty and emotional arguments. So, he went to detox. I really wasn’t feeling ready to have him back; but, he had no where else. Then out of nowhere my sister attacked me verbally and I felt deeply hurt. These things coupled with the fact that I had orientation on Sunday for my new herbal apprentice class stressed me out immensely.

My anxiety couldn’t be calmed even with xanax. My heart was pounding loud and fast. My hands shook and sweat poured out of me. I felt nauseous. I thought how am I going to do this course, with all of this going on? I can’t do it! I cried. I tried to do a meditation for anxiety and still couldn’t manage my panic. Fortunately, I had therapy that day. The first thing she had me do was ground. Put my feet on the floor feel the connection to Mother Earth. She said it’s okay to be scared, then the tears flowed. I was terrified. I was scared that this bedbug problem will never get under control. I was nervous about my best friend and I getting into an argument. I was stressed having less space in my apartment with everyone staying there. I felt depressed over my sister’s comments, and I was scared to take this class. My social anxiety was booming.  After grounding and crying it out, my therapist gave me some DBT interpersonal skills to work on to prepare for Sunday.

Pure panic had me in it’s grip for a bit; but, after facing the fear and letting emotions flow I felt better. I went to my Orientation and it went very well. Yesterday they treated again for bedbugs. My niece and best friend are looking for a place. I am not taking my sister’s comments personally, she has her own stress going on.  

All is good for the moment. Just breathe….



pic credit from holistichealthliving.com 


Agoraphobic Flashback

At one point in my life, my illnesses took such a hold of me that I developed Agoraphobia.

I do not recall a particular incident or moment that triggered it, or if it happened overnight; but, before I knew it, I became terrified to leave my house.

I have always had panic attacks and social anxiety that would strike at any given moment.

Even before my breakdown, I can remember I would get sudden social panic attacks. For instance, I’d be cashing out at a grocery store and if the cashier started a conversation, I’d be okay for a moment and then…BAAAM…my neck would lock up, it felt like my head would start to shake,,and I’d wonder if it’s obvious, then my heart would pound loudly and my hands would tremble. I’d silently pray for the brief social encounter to be over.

I also had severe PTSD with going outside. Growing up I survived many horrific encounters just walking home. Men have exposed themselves to me, chased me, and attacked me.  I can clearly understand now why I would be afraid.

I think the PTSD combined with social anxiety and panic disorder just all morphed into a giant block of fear. No matter how I geared up to leave, once I reached the door knob I was paralyzed with fear. I can still vividly recall the image of that door knob in my mind.

Even though I felt safer in my home, I would jump at any sound outside. I pulled my shades down and sometimes I would curl up in the corner of my apartment where I felt safest.

When I started to work through the Agoraphobia in therapy it was difficult; because I defensively stated that the reality is that bad things do happen out there and it wasn’t my imagination. My therapist suggested taking a phone with me, or thinking of other ways to make me feel safe.

I also joined an Agoraphobic support group on Facebook. I always kind of giggled at the irony of it. Here we were all in our homes not having to leave for our group. I am very grateful for the people there and still touch base with them.

My life drastically changed because my daughter started cutting herself. A mother has no time for fear when her baby needs her.

I can’t recall a victorious moment when I finally could go pass that door knob; but I do think about it almost daily. I fight my fears and anxieties everyday and sometimes I feel I should be farther than I am. That’s when I like to look back on my Agoraphobia times and feel proud of how far I’ve come.

Agoraphobia is a terrible way to live. If you need help here are some links: