Love–Don’t Panic

If we were having coffee, it would have to be later in the day this weekend. I’m tired. Exhausted, really.

Sometimes I can plan and prepare for this type of physical and emotion attacking week, but this one I felt I was totally prepared for.


I wouldn’t say anything bad happened, but when you hit survival mode by 8:15 on Monday morning, well, it gives you an inkling of what’s coming.

So, I did what all overwhelmed, panic attack looming, over-time employed, mothers of teenagers do when they find themselves hanging on by a thread.

I drank more coffee, ate more sugar, got up earlier, stayed up later, and made sure to spend a bit of time doing things for me. I left work when everything wasn’t quite finished. I read a book that I have a book review coming due on. I went and watched a movie. I had dinner.

Yeah. I’m a party animal!

At one point during the week I could feel the panic attack coming on. My breathing pattern was changing. My eyes were expanding in my head. My thoughts were racing.

This is new for me. Recognizing the symptoms before they get too far.

So, I shot my hubby a quick e-mail at the break.

I’m feeling a little overwhelmed today. Tears…panic attack pending…

And in less than two minutes I got an e-mail back.

That stinks! I love you anyways 😉

Um, who wouldn’t stop and smile at that reply?

Take a deep breath. Assess the situation. Nothing terrible is happening today. What do you need to do right now? One thing. Not everything. Do that.

Yes, I still went home exhausted. Wore out. Feeling emotionally wiped out. But with one quick e-mail response, the full-blown panic attack was averted.

What do you do when you get overwhelmed? Can you recognize the symptoms of impending meltdown?

Do you need someone to strategize with you? Talk you down? Or just remind you that you are loved?

Do you have to withdraw from everyone even if that means leaving work or your own family immediately?

I’d love to hear what others do. I will need to find some other strategies as my husband will soon be released to return to work and won’t be able to respond to me immediately for much longer.

12 responses to this post.

  1. I don't usually get panic attacks. Anxiety, yes. Panic, no. When I do get them, if there is no one around to talk to, I check on anything related to the anxiety, like my kids or my mom and if all is okay, I try to distract myself with a movie or a book or such.


  2. I have never had a panic attack (fortunately) so I can't really ay what I would do. When I am particularly anxious or feel overwhelmed I often need to retreat to 'my cave' and pend some time in the quiet…


  3. Great that the modern way of communicating helped you in a time of need. But, just think. How would our forefathers have handled the situation? Maybe they'd be closer–like on the same property. You could send a child to run for assistance. Thank God for the way technology has advanced.


  4. never had to go through this situation. but i remember one of my friend who used to rely on meditation to relieve himself of his stress


  5. I've had panic attacks, and (unfortunately) what I have done is avoided the situations that provoke them. It has limited me a lot in some ways. Thankful, so thankful, for an understanding husband; it has impacted his life, too.


  6. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. I believe that when we all pretend that everything in our life is perfect, it really limits our opportunities to communicate with others. When we allow ourselves to become a bit vulnerable with one another, that is when true friendship and communication can happen. I will admit, I haven't gotten to the place where I am as brave as you are ;o) but I truly appreciate your sharing and applaud you for stepping out to share your heart with your readers. You've inspired me! Perhaps I will take that step soon on my own blog. We'll see . . . . . Nina @ Vintage Mama's Cottage


  7. PS in case you might be interested, I would like to invite you to submit some of your writing for an upcoming issue of our online Christian women's magazine, Ruby for Women. One of my goals for this publication is to share real, honest stories of “ordinary” Christian women, and your writing is just what we are looking for. If you are interested, please visit the submissions page on our blog at or you can email me directly at Hope to hear from you! Nina


  8. For some reason my post was deleted. ugh.
    husbands and friends are good for uplifting and understanding.
    I need absolute quiet and solitude – once the initial attack is over I need comfort or reassurance that it's not 'all in my head'. 🙂


  9. Hmmm, I tend to find a quiet place if I can. Yes, I tend to withdraw and there are scriptures that I sing. Singing lifts my heart. So thankful for husbands who know just the right words to encourage. Be blessed: He will hold you up with victory.


  10. Carrie,
    My goodness, you are a wise woman to be able to stop, assess, ask for help, and then go on to have a productive day! I have a similar thing happen from time to time–I can often head a migraine off at the pass, so to speak, with a few therapeutic measures that I take–exercise, drinking extra water, napping, and so forth. Also limiting sugar. I hope the threat of panic attacks get lesser and lesser, dear Carrie. Blessings.


  11. I've never had a panic attack, an anxiety attack, yes. For me trying to just focus my mind and attention to happier moment, setting, people, helps me. sometimes I even put my phone app on that has soothing sounds for sleep. They never make me sleep but it is a white noise aversion and helps me relax. Not sure if that can help you, but maybe it can. Thank you for sharing!


  12. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly. I've had one panic attack and have been known to have anxiety attacks but thankfully, I manage to maintain balance which minimizes these feelings. I meditate, listen to soothing music, practice gratitude and take deep breaths. I hope you are able to experience less and less of these attacks, Carrie.


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