This editor's reminder to be kind to yourself, ask for help, and please don't feel like you have to keep calm and carry on

This editor’s reminder to be kind to yourself, ask for help, and please don’t feel like you have to keep calm and carry on

Oops I did it again.

After more than three months of not needing to take a pill, a panic attack found me and all the way here to Mumbai, traveling across oceans and time zones, no less. So vulgar.

In a sense, you have to marvel at the brilliance of the human body. In my experience, there are very physical warning signs when terror is about to strike. Warning signs that I wish I had taken more seriously.

I’m starting to zoom in (no pun intended) on reality – it feels like stepping into a different dimension or something and watching what’s happening as a third party observer even while you can sit there in a meeting or with a friend who interacts quite normally. But you’re not here. I call it the glitch in the matrix.

My hands and fingers usually tend to get stiff and then a little numb, like they’re moving through sand. This will usually lead to heart palpitations and waves of what I can only describe as pure terror. The time between the glitch and this one can vary from a few minutes to a few hours, even a day sometimes. Although you’ve suffered a panic attack many, many times, when you’re in the terror zone, you still think… “That’s it, you’re going to die now – it’s a heart attack.” Unfortunately, in my experience, there is no way to reason yourself out of this objectively irrational fear. No one else can at the moment either.

Eventually, after what feels like forever in hell (probably just a few minutes), the fear subsides and your heart and breathing begin to normalize. I am very shaky and my body feels like the human equivalent of a deflated pool toy. Sheer exhaustion and feelings of overwhelming sadness and worst of all shame then set in. It is an extremely leveling experience where you are cruelly reminded of the control you do not have over your own biology. You thought you were above this Megha, well you are not and I am here to remind you.

I know I’m not alone in this, and I’ve made an ironclad commitment to myself that I won’t be shy about speaking out about these struggles. It’s no shame after all. A radical honesty policy if you will.

#editors #reminder #kind #dont #feel #calm #carry

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