It was Tuesday morning and my heart was racing.

The ceiling was spinning.

My hands were sweating.

I felt weak.

My vision was blurry.

My breaths were shortening.  

I couldn’t move but I couldn’t stay where I was.

I had to get out.

 I thought fresh air would help so I slowly moved myself outside. I sat on my deck, cross legged, trying to meditate, but that wouldn’t calm me down. I tried different breathing techniques, but I couldn’t relax.  I was in a different state of mind. I was in constant panic. I felt as if the world was closing in on me and the air was intoxicating. At this point, I was in so deep that I didn’t think I could get myself out. I called my husband and told him to come home ASAP. I am not one for medications but it was so bad that I had to take something. I took a Xanax from my emergency stash and I even grabbed my lavender oil to see if that could help. The thought of Tom (my hubby) far from home made me panic even more. I was scared to death!!  I was completely out of my body. I was in survival mode. As I was on the phone with Tom, I heard voices. Every time he spoke, I heard a dark, deep voice saying “Shut Up - You’re going to die”. When I asked him what he had said, Tom’s voice went back to normal. I was going absolutely insane. So insane, that I was rolling around in our backyard, trying to pull the grass because I had to feel/touch something. All my senses were elevated to the max. My whole body was shaking. I saw pure evil and darkness. The darkness was outweighing any sort of light. It was a big stormy cloud taking over my universe. Once the Xanax kicked in, I was able to relax. I laid in the sun, feeling exhausted but finally back in my body.  That Tuesday changed my life. And that my friends was a full-fledged panic attack.

Straight up Cray Cray, right?! No joke, one of the most terrifying experiences I have ever faced.
Let’s rewind, to clarify some things.
How did I know this was a panic attack? And why wouldn't I just call 911 or go to the hospital?  Well, this has happened to me before, but not nearly to this extreme.  I've had other panic attacks where I was taken to the hospital and all my test results came back normal, soooooo been there - done that. 
Why now? I was doing just fine until all this happened. *** Panic attacks can occur out of the blue
Maybe genetics? I couldn’t tell you since I am adopted and there was no family health history. UGH!
Could it be Stress? Maybe.
Was I doing any kinds of drugs or drinking the night before? No, none of the above. It was completely random. Thank goodness this happened at the convenience of my home versus out in public.
Will this happen again? Not sure/Probably/ Sources say people who suffer from panic attacks are more likely to have them again versus people who have never experienced them. ***Not all cases though.
For the ones who have never experienced a panic attack, then you really have no idea what I’m talking about. But for the ones who have (and I know some of you are out there), you are not alone. There is nothing worse than feeling alone. “When you can speak your truth, that’s when true healing occurs”.  I never use to talk about my anxiety, depression, or panic attacks. I guess in some sense, I was ashamed and embarrassed. I thought people would look at me differently. Maybe even, feel bad for me. And I didn’t want anyone’s pity. I didn’t want to be considered “weird”, “crazy”, “troubled”, “awkward”, or “mentally insane”. I cared so much about what other people thought, rather than actually dealing with my own true feelings.  Once, I started to open up about my anxiety I was able to call out to certain people. People who were struggling with the same issues as I was.
We all discovered that each day was/is a battle.

That panic attack F*cked me up and I haven’t been the same since. I took it upon myself to really focus on my mental health. I saw all kinds of doctors. I’m talking about Traditional to Functional medicine, ayurvedic, naturopathic, chiropractic, acupuncturist, etc.  I started taking numerous vitamins to calm the brain. I was exercising 2x’s a day plus yoga and meditation. I even saw a Reiki master along with sagging the house to get any bad energy out. I was eating completely healthy and clean.  I had weekly massages. You name it – I did it. The more holistic – the more I was into it. I basically reverted back to self-care and lots of self-love. I was willing to do anything and everything to feel like me again. Although, nothing was working fast enough. Anytime I left the house, I would immediately panic. Basically anything I did or didn’t do, would still make me panic.  Even when I felt relaxed, I would panic. That Tuesday kept playing in my mind over and over. What was I going to do? I felt hopeless.  I needed some kind of sigh that told tell me I was going to be okay. In my mind, I’m not always quite sure.  Whenever I feel defeated, down, or troubled I turn to the higher power for help. Soooo, I randomly picked a white butterfly to be my sign.
Six weeks later, a small white creature came fluttering around my face as I sat on my deck. I tried to push it away but the damn thing kept coming back. Once I took a third glance, sure enough it was my white butterfly I asked for. I mean come on……SHUT UP!!!! My heart felt warm. I was in tears of joy. I finally felt safe. Okay, so this is the best part of the whole experience. Later on, I googled what I a white butterfly symbolized. It was all too perfect. It means angels are watching over you and you are protected. I had no idea. Absolutely amazing!!! That moment was one of the best days of my life. Thanks again universe for having my back.

While putting things into perspective, I realized I had so much judgement on where and how I should be, rather than giving myself the time I needed to heal. I’m the kind of person where if something isn’t right, I want to fix it right away. This new journey I am on is teaching me the true essence of time and faith.  I have had to let go of my ego, the need to control, and any judgement along the way to stir me back to love. “My faith has the power to turn trauma into healing, conflict into growth, and fear into love.”

I am writing this blog not only to share my story but to bring more awareness to mental health. It has been heart-breaking to hear more and more about the many suicide deaths. The amount of depression + anxiety has increased enormously. What will it take to bring more action to these topics??? Something has to change.
I have said this before, but how we speak to ourselves is crucial for optimal health and well-being. I think so many of us feel scared, ashamed, and embarrassed to open up about this subject. I was. Some of us have no idea what to do about it. And some of us would rather do nothing. I have seen it on all different ends. The more we can talk about it, the less people can feel alone and confused. My story could be your story. I never thought I would be on this spiritual journey for health and wellness. I thought I would be this high end executive working in the fashion world. Funny how life happens and brings you where you were meant to be.  You just need to be awake for all the signs. My struggle doesn’t have to define me and it doesn’t have to define you. Let us be strong, let us to open, let us be free.  We can all get through this together.

Learning lessons:
Bring more awareness to mental health.
Anxiety/ depression/ panic attacks are REAL! Although it doesn’t define you.
You are not alone!
Once you own your truth, that’s when true healing occurs.
You need lots of self-love and self-care.
You need support by whomever you trust.
Try not to judge yourself or anyone else for that matter. We have no idea what another person might be going through.
Ask for a sign when you feel defeated. The universe will come through in some way – I promise.

For more information about panic attacks please click here https://draxe.com/panic-attack-symptoms/