Deep Panic Breaths

Don't Panic

I have been in panic mode since childhood. Violent household. Hiding in the closet with my fingers in my ears and holding my breath until my face was red. That’s how I learned to play possum. If I couldn’t cope with my surroundings, I would just make myself numb, still, silent until it passed (or I passed out). There would be some dissociation. Sometimes I could see my body, balled up and trying to disappear. When it was over I would cry so hard I’d choke on my own tears, my sinuses would puff up and I would still not be able to breathe.

Now all of the stress I have shoved down into various parts of my body forms a well-worn path. If something stressful comes up, I go into full panic mode. I automatically assume crash position. A type-o becomes a worst case scenario and I become neurotic and hypervigilant. I can’t relax until I have made it right. And sometimes I can’t make it right. I know that’s the shallow end of my PTSD but it is enough to really get in the way of my happiness and productivity.

I think I might find my way out of this feedback loop by going into my body. By getting deep body work and motion therapy. Currently all of my past injuries, still very much alive but usually dormant, are acting up. My neck is frozen, my lower lumbar is in spasm, I have pain shooting down my leg into my foot and across my hip, latching on like an itchy sweater. I just can’t get comfortable. But maybe that’s the point. I should no longer ignore this pattern and go about my day until the next cataclysm takes hold.

Any thoughts? Any volunteers to be my panic buddy?