Then there was that first attack.
I was on the train on my way to work and I my head started spinning, my heart pounding, my hands sweating …
A morning that had started like any other morning was suddenly turning into a nightmare. Fortunately, the train was entering my station.
I tried to gather my strengths and regain control and walked tentatively towards the exit, thinking that my life must be over, I probably had a brain tumour or I was having a stroke.
But it was just the beginning!
The diagnosis was quick and unexpected: panic attacks.
Even more unexpected was what had caused it.
After only a brief chat the doctor claimed the trigger was my imminent move to Australia.
My initial reaction was to ignore it and set the episode aside, hoping it would go away.
Obviously I was wrong.
The first years of my new life in Melbourne were scattered with attacks of different intensity, at a variety of inappropriate moments, making my settling very difficult.
Panic attacks are one of the most common anxiety disorders and they can affect anyone. They appear suddenly and can have a very debilitating effect.
They arrive out of the blue.
I thought I was strong, I was used to living abroad, I was an intrepid traveler, a confident and independent young woman.
So why me?
In the book Living with IT, Bev Aisbett offers a list of ingredients, a recipe for “panic attack” and in this list I immediately recognised many aspects of my life abroad.
The outcomes might be different but believe me, mixing these “ingredients” will make it difficult to live a rich and fulfilling life!
I remember the relief in reading Living with it for the first time. Until then I thought I was the only one to experience those strange feelings of discomfort that boycotted my wellbeing. Recognising and accepting what was happening to me, helped me deal with some of my anxieties.
If you are reading my post and recognise yourself in my words, I hope you can experience the same relief.
The path into awareness it’s not always easy, but it’s worth it!
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