As we were sitting there, my heart started to tighten. My breathing felt short lived. It felt like everything was closing in. In one instant, one moment, I felt powerless. My body took advantage of my mind. It used one vulnerable moment to rewire my brain into letting FEAR take hold.
It all started about two months ago when I went in a mirror maze in Panama City. I know what you’re thinking, that would make anyone slip into a panic. And it did, for a brief 25 seconds, I felt like I was never going to get out and my body was going to go into full shock; needless to say, I made it. After that incident, I felt fine. Everything went back to normal and I felt normal. Or so I thought.
Roughly two weeks ago, that 25 seconds of fear turned into an anxious episode I feared would never go away.
It was a Saturday. My husband woke me up early to go flying. I argued until I finally gave in to accompany him. I hadn’t eaten, I was tired, I took motion sickness medicine, it was so hot. There were so many factors that contributed to the events to come next. I started to feel nauseous in the truck, because I was focusing on putting on my knock-off converse (why, I don’t know, it could have waited). Due to the nausea, my mind started to wonder. I thought to myself, “I may be scared to fly in the back of the plane.” Suddenly, the panic I felt from my first encounter with this panic fled back. So many fears, some irrational, started to flood my mind. I told my husband I was worried I would panic in the air and he would have to land way earlier than planned. He reassured me that if that happened, we would come back down.
I told myself I was okay. I told myself I could handle it. There was something I didn’t know. This fear of mine would paralyze me in the moment when the situation mimicked that of the first event.
We walked out to the plane. I was nervous, but not to the point I felt like I couldn’t handle it. Until I got in. I got into the plane. The back was my only option, because my husband needed to train with his instructor. It was so hot, I felt like I could barely breathe. I positioned myself into the back. The windows were bolted. All of their equipment and plane stuff was piled next to me. My husband hopped in the plane. I felt a brief panic. I calmed down, and told myself I was okay. Then his instructor got in. My exits were blocked, and my chest started to tighten. I tapped my husband and told him I thought I would have to sit this one out.
I thought it was over. I went and sat in the lobby, chatted with some people on the phone. I felt relieved and normal. I study psychology. I knew it wasn’t abnormal to feel anxious after being in a situation like the mirror maze. My body had been triggered. Of course, situations like this would set off an internal alarm. I again, brushed it off as a one time thing that I would need to keep working at.
We then headed to his Granddad’s house to pick up some tools. I was frustrated that I backed out, but I was okay with it.
Then, we went to Mexican. It was small. and hot. I was in the inside of the booth. All of a sudden, it started to happen again. I went to the bathroom and still felt closed in. As we were sitting there, my heart started to tighten. My breathing felt short lived. It felt like everything was closing in. In one instant, one moment, I felt powerless. My body took advantage of my mind. It used one vulnerable moment to rewire my brain into letting FEAR take hold.I was stuck. Stuck in the building. Stuck in this situation. I tried to get my husband’s attention, but he had no idea the signs.
We finally went outside, and nothing got better. I was stuck too long. Even outside felt like a small box. The fear of fear created this cloudy fog of the future. I was terrified this was going to be permanent. It was never going to end. We finally got in the truck. I closed my eyes for a second, but then was scared of the darkness. I explained to my husband in short breaths what was happening. He tried to check my pulse. It was a bit speedy. He talked to me and said we would figure this out.
We finally got home, and I fell asleep for hours. My body was overloaded and stressed.
That night we went to the grocery store. Everything felt different, it felt smaller. That was one of the longest days I can recall. I was so scared to not be okay. I felt a weight on my heart. I feared being stuck like this. Over taken by fear. A visitor in your body. Not having control over how you react to anything.
The good news? We prayed. My husband & I prayed. He prayed over me. I prayed for God to fill my heart, because him & fear cannot live in the same place. Everyday I find myself have brief moments of panic & anxiety. I remind myself how much power is in me.
This is my story. It’s not over by a long shot. I have so much more to work through & grow from. I now know the power of fear, but I am not afraid.
I encourage you to share your story & know you are NOT ALONE. Please share this if you feel led, visit my website: justagirlsheart.com. There is also a video up from that day on my husband & I’s YouTube Channel
P.S. If you are struggling with fear, listen to the song “The Breakup Song” by Francesca Battistelli. This song calms my heart.