Bethlehem Press

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Article By: The Press

Wednesday, January 15, 2020 by The Press in Opinion

I almost didn’t write this column. Sharing my opinions is fine. Sharing my personal experiences much more difficult.

For a long time, since the separation, I have suffered panic attacks. The attacks are often triggered by sounds. At their worst, they lasted as long as 10 minutes. Fear would overwhelm my system, and I would be shaking, rocking ball on the floor.

Over the past three years, the attacks have lessened in severity and occur less often. Part of this healing has come from time. More has come from understanding the traumas at the root of the attacks.

I did not fix this all by myself. Practicing yoga has helped immensely. A class on trauma was a trial to endure, but it gave me a better understanding of why I was having reactions to things beyond my traumas. And in very controlled settings, I have made myself go to places and situations that might trigger a panic attack, and pushed through them. Writing helps, too.

What pushed me to write this column was a random old television show I was watching. I identified strongly with the opening scene in which a woman huddles with her child behind a locked door, praying for safety. I have been there.

In the show, the mother, driven by fear and panic, commits and unthinkable act. No one should have to live in that kind of fear. No one. But it happens all too often.

Please, if you know someone living in fear, do something. And if you are living in fear, seek help.