Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Panic attack

Yesterday I had a panic attack on the tube. It was too crowded, and then a young man with a rucksack pushed on right next to me, and something about it felt terribly wrong and my heart started thundering and I felt sick. So I got off, and got out of the station, and tried to calm down and stop retching. Eventually I got a taxi, and I arrived at work late.

Work was really, really busy, and I felt on edge and tearful all day. I wanted to have a cry. It was really hard to concentrate; there was this sense of foreboding, and the busy cheerful office felt slightly unreal. But there wasn't time to think, to consider why the violent panic response had flattened me earlier. There was too much to do.

My instincts had said 'Danger! DANGER! Get off the tube NOW!' I trust my instincts, so I did. But the train didn't blow up, so my instincts were wrong.

He was just a sweaty, nervous young man with a large bulky ruck sack, and he was young, and he was black. Like the man who pushed himself onto my train and blew himself up. I know: but there you go, that was my reaction. It sickens me. I literally made myself sick.

So now I don't know what to do: my reaction was completely innappropriate wasn't it? And that is what upsets me. I don't want to be a hostage to misplaced panic reactions. I don't want to be afraid going to work. I don't want to be scared of young men with rucksacks. I want to trust my instincts, but they didn't tell me anything was going to happen when we pulled out of Kings Cross on 7th July and yesterday they got it completely wrong.

I am sick and tired of being sick and scared. Everytime I think it's getting better, and I'm doing well, it creeps in again.

J was shakey when he woke up. He had dreamed that I was killed by a bomb.


Blogger Beth said...

I'm so sorry...I don't really know what to say besides:



October 05, 2005 8:23 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Thanks Beth. It's okay because at the end of the day I went dancing with my girs and that made it better. When scared, put on high heels, drink wine, hang upsidedown from a pole and shout 'yay!'. Well, it works for me. There are good days and bad days and even on the bad days there is usually something good, somewhere. Hiding in the house doesn't work for me.

And I got a taxi home. The girls paid. ;-)

October 05, 2005 8:52 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Rachel,
Like Beth I really don't know what to say, it's a real rollercoaster for you at the moment.

What I find most promising is that you're not trying to hide your feelings or pretend they don't exist. You acknowledge them and face them and sometimes they win, but only sometimes and even then you didn't give up and you carried on to work.

You said above that there are bad days, if I could wave a magic wand and make them go I would (probably like everyone else who read's your blog), but we can't. The next best thing is to do what you did - find the good thing in those bad days and to know that, in the end, you did win and that panic attack was a setback that you dealt with.

I really hope that didn't sound patronising - if it did just tell me to shut up.

Hope today is Good day.


October 05, 2005 9:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope you are okay. For what it is worth i think trusting your instincts is a good thing - sometimes there are just bad days.

*Virtual hugs*

S x

October 05, 2005 7:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your response to Beth's comment is touching Rachel. It helps to have a sense of humour. You Brits know how to survive. I read a similar story at Route 79 - - about the panic that sets in etc.

October 11, 2005 9:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trust your instincts if you are nervous or scared even if they are wrong, as long as you feel safe.

October 30, 2005 3:05 pm  

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