There’s something in yoga called a drishti. When you’re in a difficult pose, you look at a certain point -a drishti- and focus on that to keep your balance, to make the time pass more quickly, to help you deal. My yoga studio is decorated with a giant street art mural on one wall and during my class this morning, I chose a small pink heart as my drishti. Then I had this thought: The people I love -my relationships- are what keep me balanced. My friends and family are my life drishti.
I mean, I guess it’s obvious, but to me in that moment, it was all very profound and A-ha!-y and stuff.
I had a massive panic attack on Sunday. It was so bad that I was still reeling from it on Monday and found myself canceling plans that day. Instead of being kind and practicing self-care, I beat myself up for it. It felt like failure. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and panic attacks for three years or so but it’d gotten better and it’d been a loooooong time since the last panic attack so I got cocky. I forgot how awful they are, how terrified and fucking shook they leave you. How you feel like a fragile, hollowed-out version of yourself afterwards. Now I remember: they happen and they suck. I’m doing all the things: the yoga and the therapy and the eating well but give me too much caffeine or excessive stress or not enough sleep and BAM, panic attack. It’s just something that I have, something I might always have.
I was left feeling depressed and without a why. If I couldn’t trust my own brain and body not to betray me, what could I trust? What was the point of anything if the minute you start feeling good about yourself and comfy with your place in the world, you get smacked down?
But then I had amazing lady lunch dates on both Tuesday and Wednesday and I realized that I’m quite literally drowning in awesome friends who inspire me and GET me and that my anxiety disorder doesn’t define me. If anything, my relationships do. That little heart on the wall and my reaction to it says more about me than one little panic attack.
(Big props to Sammy Nickalls for inspiring me to join the conversation. #TalkingAboutIt)