For instance the wearing of a hat and gloves in the Winter to not catch a cold when in truth it's more about germs than bundling up. How about the no swimming after you eat or saying bless you after you sneeze? Hang with me a little longer I am building a point.
illustration by ifthedevilhadmenopause.com
Ever stop to think why we use certain phrases in certain situations? Like calm down, when someone seems too irate for our own good or have a drink, it will relax you. You'll get over it or it's no big deal. In time you will forget or as time passes you will feel better. It's not a big deal or it's going to be ok. I want to stop here because now I want you to think about this...
What if the person you are saying that to doesn't see that at the moment or any moment any time soon? What if that person you offered that drink to so they can relax has an addiction? What if those words are hurting someone more than they are helping? Perhaps we would like to think that more than likely we are dealing with rational people all of the time and rational emotions most of the time. We tend to be wrapped in our own bubbles floating around not really listening or truly understanding at times.
illustration by robertfitzpatrick.blogspot.com
So of course I called back hoping it was just a quick minor thing when in reality the moment I said hello I knew this was going to be something totally different. I'm hearing lots of words, lots of teeth chattering, lots of interrupted breaths but couldn't understand a single thing that was going on. I said please slow down and take a deep breath. I asked several questions, the answers blew me away. Weren't we just talking and everything was fine? Weren't you just looking forward to some great new things coming your way? Don't you have some new things lined up for your life? As it turns out the yes answers to those questions were driving my friend to loss of sleep, nausea, sweating, shacking, light headed, can't focus on anything, I am losing my mind full head on Anxiety attack.
Personally I have never experienced anything this severe, nor have I ever been around anyone going through one. I tried using every positive word, phrase and example I could think of at this time in the morning. I repeated over and over please just breathe. I even said make yourself throw up so you can let go of some of that "weight" and I didn't mean pounds I meant the kind of weight you feel sometimes that makes you sick to your stomach, literally. We spoke for over an hour but it seemed to just get worse not better, my friend finally did throw up but it helped very little. My friend was more concerned about waking me, keeping me up and me having to get to work in a few hours than the situation at hand.
illustration by myptsd.com
We did some breathing exercises I use in my Yoga and Meditation practices and I suggested some music videos on You Tube to help in falling asleep. After what seemed like forever but less than two hours later, we hung up and I just said a peaceful mantra/prayer that my friend would be fine shortly.
Gratefully when I called to follow up my friend did pick up but things weren't sounding any different so as we talked I Googled "How to deal with someone having an Anxiety attack? Guess what? Some of those positive things I had rattled on at 5:30 that morning were totally wrong! You can't believe anything positive is on the other side when you feel as if your drowning. You can't believe things will be ok when you feel the walls closing in. Luckily I did one thing correctly which was suggest breathing and a distraction which was listening to music to fall asleep. As I read other suggestions I kept my friend on the line and suggested one more thing. I commented on You Tube having numerous videos on a particular subject very near and dear to my friend's heart. As we continued to talk I read off some of the videos I had come across and asked to please just give it a try.
Several hours later I received a very excited, positive and grateful text saying Thank You. Expressing how the shared information had bought peace, comfort and a new outlook on things. I was so relieved we had finally made some progress. I was proud of myself for looking for help when I felt my hands were tied. My friend was coming along and found something to help along the way.
What I learned from this was please watch what you say and if you don't know ask or research. Carelessness can do more harm than good. We all want our loved ones to be happy and safe all the time but sometimes life deals us cards we are not prepared for. With support, love and good research we can take the necessary steps to healthy choices and a happy healthy life.
illustration by everythingedrecovery.com