I walked onto the plane and instantly felt like I couldn't breathe. The thought of leaving my safe place of home to be on the beach sent panic through my body.
You see, my body remembered vacation was where severe panic and anxiety started for me. The trauma of my past was catching up with my present.
In the book, The Body Keeps the Score, Bessel A. van der Kolk says, "Traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies: The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort. Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside. They learn to hide from their selves." (p.97)"
Pick up The Body Keeps the Score here.
It is essential to understand what your body is telling you. I have trauma from my past panic attacks, so it's important to know my triggers so that I don't let post-traumatic stress get the best of me.
Here are three things I do to fight PTSD.
Be aware of the places that cause me trauma. For me, airplanes, vacations, and beaches can trigger me. You should know your triggers.
Be prepared to fight spiritually. Since I am aware of my triggers, I take time to pray in advance and ask my inner circle to cover me in prayer as well.
When my past panic triggers PTSD, I embrace it instead of being ashamed of it. Shame always leads to more panic. Please note that embracing is not the same thing as enabling. I don't give it authority over me, but I also don't walk in denial that it's happening.
Instituting these three things has helped me tremendously to overcome the PTS of panic attacks. I believe it can help you too.
As always, I highly recommend working this out with a professional counselor if you haven't already. Here is my mental health resource page.
I get it, PTSD and panic attacks make you feel stranded and in need of a rescue. It's challenging amidst anxiety to accept the gift and freedom of salvation in Christ, yet it's so necessary.
If you are drowning and in need of a live saver, I want to invite you to the Fearless Rescue Retreat. If it sounds familiar, it should! We hosted this retreat for the first time in March and are so excited to bring it back to you from September 9th-11th in the beautiful hills of Branson overlooking Table Rock Lake. Let our teachers pour into you and support you as you learn to live fearlessly rescued.
Check out all the event details and apply here.