I was having panic attacks a while back. They started when my daughter and I were involved in a car crash. It was the closest I have come to death in some time. The fact that my daughter was with me made it worse. The first panic attack came as I was driving through the north woods of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, on my way to Montreal. our family was taking an adventure during COVID, and thats for another day.
As we drove through the woods and the evening turned to darkness, we ran out of street lights and still had a long way to go. Every side road became a potential threat, every intersection dangerous. Anxiety began to grip me and turned into a full-blown panic attack. I could not share what was going on, since I was driving and didn’t want to freak my kids out.
This was just the first of a series of panic attacks. I don’t know if they are connected, but this whole thing culminated in the summer of 2022, when for 6 weeks, I experienced something that I can’t really explain yet. I had adrenalin surges for hours at a time, followed by lethargy. I simply couldn’t function. I was placed on a medical sabbatical. Slowly but surely, I’m getting better. No, we still don’t know if it was neurological, emotional, or stress related.
This morning, I was listening to a podcast and the researcher was sharing his battle with anxiety. And his solution was that when he experienced connectedness and awe, his anxiety would disappear.
For him, Connectedness was being part of a basketball team. Doing things together with other people. Working together towards a common goal.
But awe was surprising. Awe for him was the immersion of being at a concert and being swept away in the moment with others.
I wonder, when was the last time I wondered? And who needs me to be community for them, who is waiting for me to connect to be ok?