I suffer from panic attacks. I’m not ashamed to admit that, mainly because I know I am in good company. I had them for years before I realised they were panic attacks. The first time I had a big one I remember going to the Doctor not knowing what had happened and my Doctor explaining to me that it was a panic attack. If you suffer from them yourself you know panic attacks vary from person to person. Mine definitely aren’t a daily occurrence but my anxiety is ALWAY present. They also have varying levels of severity. For me, they usually start with fidgety hands. I can be in a meeting at work (for example) and all of the sudden I won’t be able to stop fidgeting, I think this is because I’m trying to stop my hands from shaking. If I cannot remove myself from the situation at that point I will progress to crying. This is often the point of no return and I will gradually begin to hyperventilate. I feel like I can’t get enough oxygen and through my tears I will literally gasp for air. I have also fainted on more than one occasion. After all of that I will feel like I have run a marathon and the next day my muscles will ache.
I hate them.
Panic attacks feel like an avalanche. One minute I can feel perfectly fine and the next minute it’s as if the roof is caving in on me. It’s like I have too many emotions and they are all rushing through a narrow door. One of the most frustrating aspects for me is they are often triggered by the smallest things, like raised voices or loud noises usually combined with closed spaces. I know that these small things aren’t the cause of my panic attacks but sadly loud noises often can’t be avoided in everyday life. This is also not to say that I am always like this. I am usually fine in my day to day life. It’s almost as if my panic attacks will bugger off to Bora Bora for the summer without even sending a post card but I am all too aware that it is just a holiday and one day they will be back…hopefully with a tan.
Anxiety is not fun to live with. It’s kind of like being at a party, having a good time and then suddenly out of the corner of your eye you see some creepy-ass guy watching you. He then proceeds to follow you around all night. And then follows you home. And then to work…..you get my point. Anxiety is just there in the background being a jerk. I find the best advice I have been given to prevent panic attacks is to try and remain present. I try not to think about that massive make-up job I have next month, or that tiny roomed team meeting at work. I try to focus on what I am doing now in this moment. I also find it very helpful to talk about my panic attack and anxiety. I am very open and I don’t hide that part of myself, mainly because I’m hoping that maybe one day I will be chatting with someone that I can help. Anxiety is not a sign of weakness, it is more a sign that I care deeply about life.
If you are struggling with anxiety, help is available. Talk to your GP or contact a charity or organisation such as Beyond Blue (1300 224 636)
Kimi is a Makeup Artist of 13 years and started a beauty YouTube channel 18 months ago because she was passionate about helping people with their makeup struggles. In her blog series "That's What She Said", Kimi will be exploring the world of beauty and talking to people about all aspects of the beauty community in order to remove stigma and dispel myths about the industry in a 100 per cent positive way.