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Seeking Reassurance in Anxious Moments

Back when I was struggling with anxiety and panic attacks on a daily basis, I looked for reassurance often. I called my mom nearly every day, and sometimes even multiple times a day. She’d pick up the phone and I’d almost always say, “Mom, I’m freaking out. I need you to talk to me.”

But there were of course times that she wasn’t able to pick up the phone. And I remember one of those times vividly...

I was at work, lying on the bathroom floor with my feet on the toilet (so gross, I know, but I felt like I was going to pass out!). I was crying hysterically and shaking. And I thought, what am I going to do? And I knew that I had two options... I could either continue to convince myself that I was going to lose all control, or I could put my focus on what I had control of at that moment. So I chose to focus on what I had control of.

I acknowledged how I was feeling and I reminded myself that I was safe (even though it didn't feel that way at all). I allowed myself to feel it all, even though it was so uncomfortable and scary. I began breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth. I began to remind myself of how many panic attacks I had successfully worked through (which was literally all of them), and that none of them had led to anything catastrophic.

I stopped fighting. I stopped looking for a way out. And I slowly changed the story that I was telling myself.