24th July, Week 8 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

For how to join in with these prompts, visit Beckie’s blog post.

I am doing prompt 1 and prompt 2.

Prompt 1

This question was by Nova, of Nova’s Namaste 365 Online.

Write a narrative of what works for you when in the midst of a crisis, such as anxiety/panic attack or a manic episode. Please give an example of what happened and how you broke free from it.

My readers know that I can suffer from anxiety and panic attacks.

My last panic attack was when I was volunteering. Most readers will remember this particular one, as I blogged about it. It was the time of having issues with my old energy supplier, Spark Energy. I was checking my emails and this particular email I found in my spam folder, from a company that was chasing debt on their behalf.

Now as it was in spam, I had my doubts whether this was all genuine, because one, I never heard of this one and I already received a letter about the same thing from a different debt collector.
Two, I wasn’t in debt, as I paid my bill every month. But this company had my details to know they knew me. I was already suffering anxiety with the stress Spark Energy caused me, in addition to other stresses in my life around that time and I started to shake not long after reading this email, as well as feeling sick with it. I had my water to hand, which I kept sipping. I tried to ignore my anxiety brewing, which I could feel was going to turn into a panic attack.

After 10 minutes, I could feel my heart racing, but surprisingly, I wasn’t breathing in a panic state. I assume this is because of past experience and learning new ways to manage it.

After half an hour and not feeling like anything was getting any better, I said to one of the workers where I was volunteering that I wasn’t feeling well and, why and that I think I won’t be any good carrying on working there today. He didn’t like the idea me going home, while I was as I was and asked what usually helps me keep calm? I said water for one, which I have been sipping for past half hour. He then started to act daft, (in a good way,) to get me to laugh and I was chatting and laughing back. In the end, my anxiety reduced and I felt I could carry on with my volunteer role. I had lost my appetite at lunch time, so I had to force myself to eat. But I didn’t go into a panic attack, because of how this person helped me with this one, after I said I wasn’t well.

That is just one example for me, how I got out of an anxiety attack.
Others have been just focusing on my breathing to slow it down. It took some time, but I got there.

I have also suffered from PTSD, because of  my childhood and so through counseling I learnt new techniques, should I have PTSD ones. These were using my senses; sight, touch, taste and smell. These have come in handy for anxiety/panic attacks too. So I guess this is why I never went into a full blown panic attack, that I expected.

Anxiety is always a part of me. Mine is there at times, but ignorable in a way. I mean as in that I know it’s there, but I carry on doing what I am doing. Like I have always done. That fighter instinct in me that I have had since a child.
Other times my anxiety is not there and then there are situations that can bring it on, as one example above.

For anyone you witness having a panic attack, just see what you can do to help. If they are not able to answer, just talk to them, keeping calm yourself until they are able to say. Don’t touch them, unless they gave you permission and certainly don’t hug, because if they are like me, they will need space to feel they can breathe.

Prompt 2

There are two pictures in this prompt, which you can pick one, or use both of them.

I chose this one.

Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.
Visual of the image is that of heavy rain with the sun shining and pouring on a plant up against a rock wall.

I chose this one because when I see this photo, I feel refreshed, just like I would if the rain poured down on me, while the sun was out.

The cooling rain making me feel refreshed, washing my worries away, while feeling a gentle warmth of the sun.

12 thoughts on “24th July, Week 8 – “Working on Us” Mental Health Prompts

  1. Liz, I am so grateful for ou participating in Week #8, Prompts #1 & #2.
    I am really pleased with you bringing up a few points that many don’t know about… If you encounter someone who is in the midst of a crisis of anxiety/panic attack, simply talk to the person in a calm matter, and by all means, don’t touch or hug them. (Again, unless given permission). What the other worker did with you was perfect and should be applauded. He listened to you and distracted you, he was able to have you calm down and proceed with your duties.

    When I was still working, I had a horrible panic attack. I turned to my boss and explained as best I could what was happening to me, (Since this kind of thing happened every so often) He offered to call an ambulance, I declined and drove the 40-minute drive back home. Dumbest thing I could have done. As soon as I walked in the door, I told my then fiance’ I needed to go to the hospital. He was extremely annoyed with me and called an ambulance instead of driving me to the hospital himself. (There was a football game coming on). Yes, you read that correctly, he knew his priorities.
    I was held overnight and was given Xanax to calm me down. My blood pressure was over the top and they wanted to keep me there until they spoke to my personal doctor. I was instructed to take a couple of days and relax. Thank goodness this happened on a Thursday afternoon, so, I only lost one day of work. Whenever my (then) fiance’ would check on me, he would try to hug me… And, Bam! My anxiety would flare up again.
    I went back to work that following Monday and my boss, along with the HR person sat me down. We developed a plan for me if I was ever to have another attack. They were more compassionate towards me, then the idiot I was supposed to have married. (Thank God, I never married him).
    You are definitely a fighter and have shown you can work through it… Like you mentioned, it can be ignored to some degree.
    I also love your take on Prompt #2 of the rain falling down and refreshing you. It’s funny, I always find that rain calms me more than a sunny day outside.
    Again, thank you so very much for sharing your experience regarding anxiety/panic attacks. We, so greatly appreciate it! 💚 xoxo!!!

    1. Thank you and you’re welcome.

      Sorry to hear of your bad experience with your ex. But pat on the back to your workplace supporting you. Xx

      1. Oh yes. Better off without him, that’s for sure.

        I can understand you missing your old work place. I had a job once before I liked until finished off. The place closed a few months after, with remainders out of a job.
        I would miss my current one, if anything happened to affect it.

  2. I’m glad that your co-worker not only tried to help, but it sounds like he knew what he was doing, too.

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