My Experience

Good day folks.

Today has mostly been spent in jeans and a hoodie, drinking coffee and doing sweet eff all. Bliss. I am currently sitting in said outfit, drinking coffee and chewing my theoretical writer’s pen trying to work out how to word this post. And then I thought – f*@k it – so lets go.

My experience with anxiety started when I was very young. I used to tell my mum I was having ‘deja vu’ – I felt panicky and overwhelmed, and something just didn’t feel right. If I was around my mum it was okay because she could just hold my hand until it passed – that human contact always seemed to help. But when I had this deja vu when I was alone, or with people that really just didn’t understand, it took longer to pass and I felt more panicky. It’s only as I have gotten older that I’ve realised that this feeling is not deja vu as my eight year old self may have first thought, but actually it’s a panic attack. This is a real ┬áthing – a horrible, debilitating thing. You ever tried to explain to someone who has never experienced one how horrible a panic attack is? It’s pretty hard. You instantly sound like you’re whining and seriously over exaggerating: ‘oh poor little old me’.

The funny thing about panic attacks is that when you’re with the right person/people and know the right breathing techniques, they aren’t that big a deal. But finding these people and remembering to breathe through it is difficult.

Here are my top tips on powering through one:

  1. Breathe. In through your nose for 5. Out through your mouth for 5.
  2. Focus on a spot in the room, the garden, wherever. Concentrate on this spot when you are breathing.
  3. Try and clear your mind of everything but the thought of the air you are breathing in. Ride it out.
  4. Remember – panic attacks always pass.

For all you lucky peeps out there who don’t have panic attacks though, please try and be tolerant of those who do. It isn’t a made up, attention seeking craze; they are not drama queens; they are not over reacting. Squeeze their hand and remind them to breathe. Tolerance is a rare quality in this day and age, but it is a beautiful one. Be kind.


Robyn x