Smaller and less frequent …

… panic attacks does not less the effect they can have on you.

I’ve found that out over the last few days and weeks as I’ve been seeing panic attacks pop back up.  They’re much smaller and much less frequent than the hell I saw in February and March, but that doesn’t make them any less scary and less impactful on you as the sufferer.

Beyond the physical aspects, I’m now in the place where they are mentally exhausting.  Quite honestly, it’s even more exhausting after the episode passes because I can spend the next 45-90 minutes evaluating and analyzing where I was at and what I was thinking about and trying to find what the trigger was and why it happened and what I can do to prevent it from happening again … you get the idea.

In therapy this week I came to a vocal realization that I’m now (finally, blessedly past the stage that immediately followed diagnosis.  Gone are the days of “Why is this happening to me, and why is what did I do wrong, and will I get through this alive, and what is to become of me?”  The sky isn’t falling anymore.  The world isn’t crumbling under my feet. I will be capable of getting through this, someway, somehow.  The how of that may change on a daily basis, but dammit, I will survive.

I am now into the stage of dealing with the new realities, the “new normal,” on a daily basis.  It’s exhausting honestly.  It takes all I’ve got to be able to function fully, and to make sure that I get through every day with everything that is needed.  My daily issues are just that – daily.  I know how to deal with them on a daily basis, and know that I can get through them.  I’ve got the right tools and right support in place so that I can live, with a smile.  It means dealing with those small less frequent panic attacks as they come.  It means, looking the devil in the eyes and telling him to back off.

My therapist asked me a very frank question the other day during our session – she said: “Will, you will have manic episodes again.  You will get to a place where you feel like you could be suicidal again.  What will you do?”  The answer, after a lot of thought, was that I will stick to my lifelines.  I know what they are.  I know how to access them.  It’s on me to use them to live, and live well.

My goal is to live well, and to know what that means.  Living well … that’s to be happy physically, mentally, and spiritually every day, but ONE DAY AT A TIME.  Can I do that?

Today, I’m on the way to making it happen.


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