Oh right, panic attacks. Aren’t they just frightening? But the size of the Psyduck gif scares me even more (credits to google/tumblr)
P a n i c A t t a c k
Let me b-b-break it down for you.
(P.S. this is going to be a long story so buckle up and get ready for a whole lot of nonsensical journey of mine| this happened in dec 2016)
I was on my way to the airport, alone and it was my first time flying back home on a 7 hour flight alone. ALONE. I reassured myself that I have tons of flying with a plane experiences like pfft who gets scared even?
But seriously speaking, I did not get a wink of sleep before the morning of my flight because I was worried about not getting to the airport on time, or I would get confused in the airport and irrelevant concerns that should’ve been abandoned at the back of my mind. Similar to a Walking Dead zombie (I swear I have never watch Walking Dead before but you know just any zombie will be fine to fit into this description), I waited for my taxi to arrive but just so you know, the student accommodation I lived in during that time, the people from the ‘construction place’ were starting their renovation as early as 7AM. As soon as I saw them when I was getting out to get some McDonald’s, I realised that I need to get into the lobby next door before they really dig the hell out of the floor next to the elevator.
That is how I waited for two hours in the lobby for my taxi, and that taxi driver wasn’t even punctual. Okay, maybe a few minutes delay wouldn’t kill me but hey, I waited for two whole hours. But during those two hours, a Chinese lady/tourist approached me and asked me if I could speak Mandarin. As someone who speaks very little Mandarin, or could I say, very VERY bad Mandarin speaking skills, I nodded my head in sympathy, trying to understand what she was saying. Through that experience though, I can confirm that my Mandarin intellectual and speaking skills are worse than I thought. I’m pretty sure that lady was annoyed why I couldn’t start up her pocket wifi. Like hell I know how when the device itself wasn’t even responding well. As again, I apologise to you, tourist lady, for spending your precious 20 minutes with a person who claimed to understand what you are saying when I only understood 50% of what you are trying to say. Hmm…my dream of being a translator just shattered, just like how my self-esteem breaks all the time.
Alright, back to the airport.
Getting into the taxi was alright, on the way there was getting okay, but that damn phone call shook my whole existence.
I-I just can’t tell you how much I suffered from my panic attack after that phone call. Worried and anxious as I usually am, I picked up the ‘No ID Caller’ phone call which has been ringing twice repeatedly.
Unknown: Hi, I am from ____ Airlines. Am I speaking to Ms ____?
Me: Yes, I am ___. How may I help you?
Airline Lady: Your 1.15pm flight has been delayed because of some plane issues (I can’t remember clearly what the reason was but as far as my memory goes, it’s similar to that).
Me: I’m sorry? Delayed? What time is my flight going to be?
Airline Lady: Your flight will be delayed for 8 hours. You have to check into the counter to get your meal coupon later at 10.30AM. I apologise for-
Just from that delaying-for-8-hours moment, I stopped breathing. I know, I know, people had it worse than me, some people even sleep overnight at the airport or days even. But remember, it was my first flight home and I am only 17 that time. The taxi driver was glancing at me because the phone call actually interrupted our conversation.
He was asking what’s wrong and saying don’t worry.
Little did he know that I was terribly perplexed and stressed because I was going to arrive at the airport at 9.30AM in the least and please do count how many hours do I have to wait until my flight departs.
Yeap, I had to wait approximately 12 hours at the airport that I have never been once alone in.
Short, sharp breaths began to kick in, I was gripping onto my side of the car handle for dear life due to my taxi driver driving really fast and stepping onto his brakes too inconsistently. (Like seriously why would taxi drivers drive like that? I should’ve Uber it instead). My hands, arms and legs were beginning to lose feelings and gain pins and needles instead. The feeling of vomiting in his taxi was real, I almost threw up on his seat but I tried keeping myself calm and relaxed. I did not reply him after that phone call, in fear that I might throw up real bad in his already-not-so-nice-smelling taxi.
FINALLY, we reached the airport with a terrible jerk as he stomped onto his brakes.
That is where my symptoms worsened. I practically couldn’t breath and I had to call my parents to calm myself down. I was feeling very dizzy, as if I was twirled around for 20 times. In addition to that, I was losing my sense of touch and was emotionally unstable. My heartbeats were irregular and faster than usual. It really did scared me. Calling my parents did calm me down as well as ironically, made me burst into tears too.
Okay tell me what’s more embarrassing than crying in front of your crush and in front of your whole class. Yes the airport. Bawling my eyes out, people were giving me looks which I didn’t really care about because I couldn’t see them properly due to tears and I had my glasses removed, they were fogging up too much anyways.
And marshmallows. Marshmallows calm the hell out of me. During the whole journey, I consumed a whole bag of mini marshmallows (that were originally meant for baking) slowly and calmed myself down.
Marshmallows man, who knew they could be so effective? (not really, just the puffiness and softness of munching on them gave me a sense of calmness)
So my conclusion is?
I have never experience a panic attack before in my life and this panic attack was wrongly scheduled but who knows when and where it will creep onto me again?
To you all out there who are suffering from panic attacks or any disorders in general,
Firstly, just calm down.
Secondly, try to consume something, in my case, something sweet will do the trick. Or just close your eyes and try to breath in and out slowly. It doesn’t matter if your hands are numb, just as long as you keep breathing, it is a sign that you are still alive and well. It’s just that little guy who is trying to make you suffer.
Thirdly, try to talk to someone you trust and love. Even though it might worry them, it assures you that you are not alone, you are loved and you are not going through this alone and it’s going to get better, trust me.
Lastly, just be optimistic, in the case that you have to keep breathing, calming yourself down, crying it out, and do everything that might help you improve your mental and physical state a little better.
I would like to say that even though I have just experienced panic attack once so far, I just wanted to comfort you all who might be going through this everyday. I might not be accurate with my advices but they are just advices drawn from what I had experienced so if you have any more accurate solutions to such events happening, please do comment, as it might help other people.
So, ending it, I was feeling better that throughout my flight, I just slept and ate and my parents had to pick me up at 2AM and drive all the way home, which takes 1 hr and a half. My poor parents, what did I do to deserve them…
Sooo…to my parents,
Thank you for loving me and giving me the support I have always need. Taking care of my sister and I were difficult right? I will probably know how difficult it is to be a mom in the future but currently, I just want to say that I love you mom and dad, and of course my sister, you guys mean the world and the universe to me. Even if I don’t show it often enough, please do know that I am absolutely thankful to exist, live and taken care of by you all. I love you guys lots.
(Thanks for reading this so far and I hope you have a great day ahead!)
Mint ／(･ ᆺ ･)＼♡