Whenever I am late to things, I’d typically default to the habit of panicking. My eyes would tear up, I’d start hyperventilating, and the adrenaline kicks in for me to get moving. It’s a terrifying feeling. I get this sense of panic, where I cannot stop thinking about needing to do something. To get my closure. To finish the task. It’s all consuming, obsessive, and most importantly, something that needs to stop. People tell me all the time I need to calm down, take a breath, and relax. My personality, it’s naturally neurotic, highly stressed, and it just is not something people want to be around. The last thing somebody wants is to get panicked or scared every time they are in my company. And the last thing I want for my own health is to be constantly panicked, stressed, or terrified.
This sense of urgency that drives me being panicked, it comes from my need to complete things and my strive for perfection. But panic should not be the reaction I have to being pressed. I should be driven, I should be motivated, but I should never feel scared, helpless, or incompetent. The main reason why I feel this way is because I do not like to fail. And I do not like surprises. I don’t care if it’s a good one like surprise party. I do not like them. It also goes back to me wanting to feel like I am in control, and when I lose control of my situation, it scares me. That sort of uncertainty, my reaction to it is to relinquish control of not just my situation, but me. I shut down and freak out.
Being forced to adapt to sudden and unexpected changes frustrated me. Typically, these were changes that were out of my control; others were being incompetent, and now I am being forced to compensate. It was so frustrating. But with time pressing on, my frustration and urgency come together, and it shuts me down. I just get angry, scared, it’s a mixture of emotions that I struggle to channel properly. What I hated the most about panicking is that I did not understand how to control it. But what people were saying to me, rather than taking it personally as me being stressed equating to being annoying, I just took that as advice. I’d take a breath. I would cut off contact with the source of my stress. Between doing both, the panic goes away, along with the tunnel vision that comes with it so to speak.
My panic attacks, they stemmed from a similar feeling of me thinking very little of myself. Something I have come to realize is that I have already achieved a lot and I have a lot left to achieve. Rather than thinking about what other people think of me, I need to think of what I know about myself. If I am a capable person, what’s there to be panicked about? And if I am not, then now I have a goal to aspire to. I need to first make myself a capable person, so that I will not have to be afraid again. By becoming a capable or competent person, then sudden changes or feeling useless won’t happen. You can become the person you want to be, and ignore any fears or doubts.