When we are young we believe we are invincible. It’s only when we are adults that we realise how fragile life is and how much we value it, but more importantly how necessary we are to those dependent on us. The children we bring into the world are fully reliant on us, and we need to be healthy, strong and available for them. Last week at the beach, this hit home.
I was standing in the queue to buy an ice cream for my son when my eyes caught the sight of a young lady around my age. She was asking for a first aid box as she had hurt her hand. I saw that she looked faint and pale. I asked if she was ok, she nodded but something inside me urged me to go and check up on her again. She wasn’t well. She was sitting down on a chair in front of the kiosk, a lady was standing next to her trying to comfort her. Although I didn’t want to invade her privacy, I went over to her. Her pallor indicated she was on the verge of fainting. Fear clouded her eyes until she shut them. She hadn’t completely lost her senses but her eyes couldn’t open. Having witnessed this particular episode, not more than a couple of months ago, I knew what she was going through. Two doctors were luckily around to help control and monitor the situation till the ambulance arrived and me and my best friend were also trying to soothe her as we knew what she was going through. Her hand was not the issue.
The lady was describing all the symptoms which my friend and I were familiar with. She was having a panic attack. Sitting next to her, my friend tried to snap her out of those monster’s mind games some of us have from time to time! Thinking of her children, who were playing on the beach, so as not to worry them (mother’s instinct) she had worked herself into a frenzy. By the time the ambulance arrived, the lady had snapped out of her self-destructive trance but was still experiencing the aftermath of it. They drove her off. She was going to be fine.
Why did this affect me so much? Probably because it could happen to any of us at any time. From one minute to the next things can change; this is what scares me. Having love and support definitely carries us through. But a mother is really the be all and end all in most cases, as described in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “the woman is the neck that moves the head.”
We juggle many things daily and manage to keep our heads above water. But we all have those dreaded moments; those stress-related “monster playing with our head” moments that can creep up on us, paralyse and scare the living day lights out of us, like it did to this lady at the beach.
What we need to do as resilient, mindful women and mothers is learn to identify these demons for what they are, stress-induced panic attacks, and forcefully drive them away. These mind games can seem controlling, but we have the power to fight back hard and overcome them.
From my experience if you are ever in this situation…
- Don’t breathe too fast (you will hyperventilate and this will have an adverse effect)
- Try to get up and walk about (to get your body in motion)
- Keep “chanting” to yourself that you ARE OK (positive thoughts fight negative ones)
- Let someone near you know that you are having a panic attack (someone “holding your hand” will help it come to an end much quicker)
- Always, always, always remember YOU ARE NOT CRAZY, and you are most definitely not the only one that suffers from this.
Author: Maria Thomas
Author Bio: Born and raised in the UK, I moved to Cyprus at 11 years old. An English teacher by profession, I have been teaching for 17 years at our family run English school in Limassol, Cyprus.
My current state of affairs is that of a 38 married woman with 3 beautiful children-boy girl boy. Part time teacher, full time taxi driver and now lifestyle blogger.
Link to social media or website: http://wednesdaymorningcoffee.com