Five needed to ask for help. I’m so glad she made an appearance.”

When I get extremely anxious about being abandoned by my therapist, it’s usually little-me that is chaotically frightened. The core of that fear is suddenly not being loved by a caregiver. The fear exists(-ed) because little-me wants to know safety and love are endless, so she can talk. Or at least release things somatically.

I have a lot of tears that need to be shed inside this precious safety. I’ve accepted that, at this point I’d say it’s expected. What I’ve also come to discover in recent months is the amount of panic attacks that seem to want to make their way out of my body.

“I’m here with you. I’m not letting go.”

Words I tried to hang on to as I could feel myself leave the room. This time, I don’t remember much of my thought process. What I remember is feeling utterly and helplessly disconnected to my body and terrified I’d never find my way back to my body.

It’s the oddest feeling to be breathing, albeit barely or uncontrollably, and at the same time to be suspended away from your own body. I couldn’t feel any part of myself. I felt vacant, maybe even dead. Frantically searching for clues to the location of everything; who is telling me I’m not letting go? Where am I? Whose hand am I holding? Am I holding it? I can’t feel it, help, help,, mom, please. Mom please help. I don’t know where I am. I’m going to die. I don’t want to die.

I wasn’t present enough to hear the words my therapist began to pray. But that prayer brought me back to my body. One by one I regained my senses. The first thing I felt was the side of my face against her chest. The first thing I heard was her heartbeat. The protection five felt in that moment of return was monumental. Salty tears of gratitude streamed down my cheeks and into my hands, tingling from hyperventilating.

When that much panic is trapped, I can’t move on. For that reason, I’m so thankful five came today, too. And I’m thankful to have so quickly released my fear of abandonment and trusted.

I am worthy of this healing, this connection, this safety. It is not going anywhere. I am met wherever I am at, and I am loved there. It’s ok—no, incredible, that we are both willing to work this hard and that the relationship looks different than anything I’ve ever known. That’s what God knew I needed. Maybe, even, what we both needed.

3 thoughts on “Panic Attack Season

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