Monday, June 09, 2014

portrait of an anxiety spiral.

Two weeks ago I had a panic attack right after getting a haircut. Actually, it started while I was getting my hair cut. I don't know why. There was nothing wrong with the cut. Everything was fine until it wasn't. In fact, I remember thinking, I feel good today! Everything is good! Look at me, I'm walking down the street and nothing is bothering me! This must be how normal people feel.

And that's the thing: I almost never feel "normal" and I rarely feel entirely "good."

Not long before the panic attack.

The other day I read Morgan Shanahan's "Portrait of an Anxiety Spiral" and had all of the thoughts. It's not just me! Someone else feels like this, too. I'm so relieved someone could put this into words and it makes sense. I hope other people are able to understand.

Here's an excerpt:

Sometimes it creeps on me in my bed before I open my eyes. Other times, I get all the way through my morning routine before it kicks me swiftly in the backs of my knees, taking me down in one feel swoop of desperate confusion.

It always anchors in my self-esteem. I am stupid. I am lazy. I am fat. I am ugly. I am boring. I am annoying. I am obnoxious. I am ruining all our lives. I can not get my shit together. I think it, and then I silently yell at myself for thinking it, and now I’m having a fight with my own inner voice and it’s so loud I have to close my eyes.

The thing is, I don't even remember ever having a panic attack before. Maybe once in high school? My problem is just a general uneasiness. A feeling of I just don't feel like myself. And then, like, Morgan, I end up fighting myself.


Anyway, I don't want to bring things down around here, but I also don't want to paint a picture that everything is always happy happy joy joy.


  1. Hey Sweet Pea ! I've been out of touch but I'm following you on Twitter now and spied the link to this post. Although I have never had a panic attack, not the completely out of the blue kind, anxiety and I go way, w-a-y back. This year I've had a great therapist through Nova Scotia mental health & they fortunately have embraced the new Positive Psychology approach to anxiety/depression.

    one of a few fantastic books that they have introduce (& given me copies of are the following) I know you're a big reader - these books have helped me tremendously. Bren´Brown's books - The Gifts of Imperfection & Daring Greatly, The Happiness Trap, What Happy People Know, Shawn Achor's 2 books about Happiness & Margaret Wehrenberg's - 10 Best-Ever Anxiety Management Techniques & her 10 Best-Ever Depression Management Techniques. Hope these might help you learn to cope better with these demons. Lots of love, xoxo Susan & les Gang

    Now I'm off to read Morgan's post - breathing ahhhh ! a life saver ;-)

    1. Hi! So nice to hear from you! Thank you so much for the recommendations! I keep meaning to read Brene's books and just haven't gotten around to it. I think it's about time!

      Hope all is well with you! xo

  2. Thank you for always sharing your experiences so positively even if the experiences weren't so positive. :)


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