6 comments on “The Day After

  1. Thank you for posting this. So valuable to read about coming out the other side of a terrible anxiety attack. I wanted to give three cheers for your wife as I read this, too!

  2. I’ve had some limited experience with anxiety attacks of my own. Now that I recognize the symptoms, I try to go with them when they happen. I have had no luck actually preventing an attack once it gets started, so I stop everything I’m doing and let it happen. (This mostly entails sitting on the bathroom floor, unable to breath easily, feeling like I’m going to throw up and never doing it. I even fainted once.)

    I have found that going with it shortens the attack and makes it more bearable. Sometimes just the act of acknowledging that I’m not normal makes me feel better, more prepared to weather the storm. And I’ve noticed I’m less exhausted afterward, though I continue to maintain my “not normal” attitude until I actually feel normal. I also drink strong chamomile-lavender tea as soon as my breathing makes it possible. It really speeds up my recovery.

    My anxiety attacks also involve too many thoughts in my head, like a whirlpool of worry. I feel very overwhelmed so I try to concentrate on the moment, even though the moment SUCKS at the time. I try to realize that there will be time later to think all the things crowding in on me, so I don’t have to think about them now. My body can’t take it and is letting me know so my brain just has to take a break. I try to think about nice things. When my husband rubs my back or says something funny, I focus on that.

    But the most important thing for me is to cut myself some slack and accept that I can’t be normal until my body is ready for it. Sounds like you’ve come to the same conclusion, but I know how hard it can be to keep the faith. I hope you get good news this week so your anxiety will be easier to manage!

    • You have some good tips here, thanks! For me the thing that helps the most is getting cool – going outside if it’s cold or just standing in front of an open fridge. Once it’s mostly under control I sometimes play Yahtzee with my wife to get back to normal.

      Some your self talk sounds it would work for me. I’ll definitely try it out next time.

      • Funny, I usually feel very cold during my attacks, so I like to hold a heating pad against my stomach. The game thing sounds good though. My husband and I both love board games so I’ll suggest that next time.

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