I remember the moment I lost control. Running through a busy airport to catch an international flight, my husband and I just made it to the gate. Suddenly, I felt a chill, starting in my calves and working its way up to my stomach. I knew something was off but didn’t know what. Without time to think about it, we boarded the plane.
Our seats weren’t next to each other, I was placed next to a younger man with headphones. As the flight attendant began to conduct the safety briefing, it happened. I began to cry, biting my lip, and sweating at the forehead. At that moment, I realized that my husband and I were on a plane together for the first time since having children. What if the plane crashed? Who would take care of our children and handle our bills and finances? I tried to calm down, but couldn’t. I was having a panic attack. Not wanting to scare the man next to me, I pretended my tears were caused by the overhead vents.
A few days later, I told my doctor what had happened. There had been similar situations before. Reflecting, I realized that these panics had been occurring as far back as childhood. I figured that I was just the kind of person who would feel overwhelmed.
The doctor gave me a diagnosis of anxiety.
To overcome my anxiety, I needed to become aware of my triggers. The biggest one was being a wife and mother. I tell myself that things that I fear probably won’t happen. It helps give me perspective.
Taking medication for my anxiety has made a big difference. Opening up to family and friends has also helped. Those close to me can recognize an anxiety attack and help me through it. Self-care tactics help me regain my sanity and strength.