From Panic to Power
Hi, I am an 18-year old girl living in the US…
Just like any other human being, stress is a part of life. For me, however, stress would have been an EXTREME understatement.
I always felt invincible… like nothing could hurt me. I was always a dare-devil and always fought hard for what I wanted. I know it may sound stupid, but when I was younger, I wanted to get a tattoo of the oriental symbol for “happy”, because I could recognize that attitude was everything.
At least, for a strong and intense person…
But what if things go awry?
This was the case for me during the beginning of my junior year of high school.
To make a long and incredibly painful story short, I was raped in the beginning of the year. I didn’t tell anyone except for a few friends, because I blamed myself. I contracted a temporary STD, and tried to brush it off my shoulder. I just kept on going to school and to dance, which is what I usually did.
A month later I was admitted into the hospital because I had contracted MERSA, a severe staff infection. The infection had spread from a tiny blister on my toe to 3 inches above my ankle. I could no longer perform in the Nutcracker ballet just a day a way, which I had rehearsed for for nearly 3 months.
I experienced my first panic attack in the hospital under a powerful antibiotic, Vacomycin, which had released a lot of adrenalin in my system. Oh well…I also brushed that off.
Two months later, after being hungover from a long night of drinking, I got a call from my brother, who is a teacher, telling me that one of his students was walking to school that morning and was hit by a car while crossing the street, which killed the 10 year old boy. When I asked my brother who hit the boy, he told me that it was my old best friend from elementary/middle school.
I cried, but tried to except it. At around 12:00 pm, I had a major panic attack, but at the time, I thought I was having a stroke (hypochondriac me). I was rushed to the hospital because I felt like I couldn’t breathe and my muscles felt paralyzed and I felt completely numb and confused. The doctors said I had an “anxiety attack”.
The trauma of that day didn’t leave my mind, and a month later, at a friend’s house, I started to think about that event and going to the hospital, and to my astonishment, it happened again, right then and there. I panicked because I was panicking, if that makes sense.
What were these attacks? Was I going crazy? Was I dying?
The attacks started to happen more and more, to the point that I had to stop going to school. I would get so scared of having one that I would refuse to leave my room or see my boyfriend. I had this irrational fear that I would have a seizure if I left the house.
I have never been so scared in my life – the attacks were so devastating.
One night, not too long after they started happening, my dad put on a DVD, The Secret. After watching it, I didn’t know whether it applied to me. After all, I was very confused of what was happening. But that night, I prayed. And cried. And prayed. My body felt like it was broken… it’s hard to explain, I just felt so tattered and so scared. I felt like I had been beaten up emotionally and that it was getting worse every day. Worse of all, my anxiety rid me of all of my confidence. I felt like my body had betrayed me.
I was taken to a psychologist and I eventually learned about how our mind plays games on us. The more I worried about an anxiety-ridden situation, the worse it was. I created my own thoughts and therefore my own fears and outcomes. I had been using the Secret against me. My negative thinking had actually been the fuel for my anxiety. Instead of fighting panic, I eventually learned to embrace it by not being scared of it… the power that panic/anxiety/depression had over me began to fade away as my insight blossomed.
The power of believing in your inner strength to overcome is what saved me. I would never have wanted to stay alive if I were to feel that pain and anxiety that I was feeling that time ago.
The Secret can be found in all walks of life. Some people find it on there own, and I had to to learn it the hard way.
Our mind does some crazy things – good and bad, and knowing that it has all of this power can be freaky, but exhilarating in so many ways if you use it for you.
The other day I tried to make myself have an attack just to see if I could, and I did – and it wasn’t scary at all, it was just my body reacting to my thoughts.
Knowing that I have this power is empowering, and I will no longer be upset by the pains of my past, but instead be comforted by the thought that today I am wiser, as I have stumbled upon this great psychological secret.