When In Darkness Always Search For The Light
Imagine being plunged into total darkness and not knowing where you are. No one to help. No one can hear you. And you have no idea how long you will be in this darkness.
Now, add to that, the fear that actual death is eminent. There is no doubt whatsoever in your mind that death will come in moments. It's a feeling so strong and so powerful that you have no conscious control. Your Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) has taken over, locked you out, and thrown away the key. It's too late.
Your eyes go blurry, your heart feels as though it is going to stop on the next beat, everything inside of you hurts, you feel a burning sensation through your entire body, and there is no way out. This only touches the surface of what an anxiety and panic attack can do to you. I know from first hand experience. Wonder drugs such as Xanax and Ativan are the only refuge ... if you can get to them in time and if they are already in your system.
Your body has gone into "fight or flight" mode. The mind has determined a threat. It matters not if it is real or not. To the mind ... it is. Millions of years of evolution have now come together to release endorphins, adrenaline, and multiple other chemicals into your body. Your bowels are shut down. Your whole physical being prepares for battle, or to run like hell from the imaginary threat that triggered this reaction. From the view of your SNS, it may as well be a hungry, and angry, Kodiak Bear standing face to face with you and ready to rip you to shreds. The SNS is prepared to stay and fight, or to run faster that you have ever been able to run from the eminent danger. One problem. There is no bear, and there is no threat. It is an illusion and part of the imagination. Yet, you have no conscious access or control to stop this reaction.
There is only one way that I have been able to better deal with these attacks. I stay mindful and alert of the first signs. I am consciously aware of the very first moment of a possible anxiety or panic attack. For me, the first hint strangely enough is in my butt. I can sense a slight burning sensation. Here it comes. Now if I can't stop this before the SNS take over autopilot, then I suffer I will ... greatly. I have devised a prayer/affirmation and I begin to say it out loud. I confirm it and I believe it. I firmly repeat it with conviction and dominance. Here is what I say:
"I am now speaking directly to my Sympathetic Nervous System. Thank you for always being here for me in the rare event of an emergency or a perceived threat. However, at this time, everything is under control here. There is no eminent threat. There is no reason for fear. I am safe, and I am secure. If you are perceiving a threat at this moment, I assure you that it is an illusion. I am just fine. All is well. There is no threat or danger. I am in the safety of the present moment being guided by my guardians and my Higher-Self of whom you must answer to. I am totally secure and everything is under control. If you would like to stay, you are welcome to, as long as you stay as a spectator. There is no need for your intervention at this time. You may have been called upon by some sort of false alarm that was caused by an unknown source. You were alerted unknowingly, and I appreciate your willingness and ability to respond this time and any time. You are surely good at your job. This time though, I have complete control of the situation. There is no problem or fear that I need any assistance with. It is an illusion. It is not real. I am fine, and you can stop your automatic processes now. I do thank you very much and you are free to leave at any time. Thank you."
If you can catch it in time, this may help you. It has worked for me on several occasions. But if not, down the rabbit hole you go. Darkness comes, fear, desolation, and every negative emotion you can conceive of. The Anxiety and Panic Attacks can last from moments, to hours. They have landed me in the ER on many an occasion convinced that I was having a heart attack and was going to die. If you are a sufferer ... may God/Source bless you with the ability to get through this darkness and once again turn on the light. It isn't easy, and it is uncertain how long this affliction will tie itself to you. It could be months, it could be years. May the energy of the universe help you to accept it. Because you certainly cannot fight it.
Just a thought ...
~Justin Taylor, ORDM., OCP., DM.