It’s been almost two weeks since my first CBT appointment and I’m feeling really good about things. This time round things have changed. My anxiety is no longer about a specific thing, it’s a lot more generalised.
The therapist said something that has really changed things for me. Something I wish I had been told before.
It’s only a panic attack.
Don’t get me wrong, if she had told me that five weeks ago when I was seriously struggling I would have told her to piss right off.
It’s only a panic attack, are you for real? Don’t you understand that pain in my chest and that overwhelming feeling that I may actually die?
But these 5 words have made an astounding impact on me and the way I deal with my anxiety. It’s like something has just clicked in my head and my ability to cope with it is so much better.
Sometimes it just takes looking at things from a different perspective. And that’s what I have been doing. I’m starting to view my anxiety as something that is a part of me.
I’m accepting it.
And it seems the moment I started to accept things was the moment where I really started to feel a change.
At the appointment I discussed with the therapist the last major panic attack I had, while away for the weekend.
I explained the fear I had felt, amplified by the fact I was away from home and my husband. My safe place. I explained that I had to get the first train home and battled with panic attacks and an overwhelming urge to jump off the train at each station. I explained that this then caused me to not leave the house for three days and be off work.
She explained that I had managed to get through it. That I hadn’t ended up in casualty. She explained that I had got myself on a train, alone. She explained that I didn’t get off the train and I controlled my panic attacks enough to get home. She explained that although I was off work for three days I went back.
She explained that it was only a panic attack.
When I look back on the weekend I now see her version of events. The triumph of actually making it on a weekend away with friends, even if it did have an unfortunate ending. I’m beginning to realise that it is a change in thinking that I need, I need to accept that yes, this is happening to me but it doesn’t have to control me.
It’s a battle, I’m not saying I’ve stopped having panic attacks but I definitely have seen a difference in how I deal with it and how quick they are over.
I just say those five words to myself.
It’s only a panic attack.
It just seems to help and puts things into perspective a bit. It’s crazy how it’s taken something so simple to make dealing with anxiety that little bit easier.
I’m feeling good.