I wanted to post this as I’ve been silent for the last day or so and I wanted to give the reason for it. I had a very strange day yesterday, I was trying to be productive in a cafe, I set up my laptop to blog and a couple of events triggered a reaction that sent my plans out of the window.
I was in the cafe in the city library, pretty tired from the night before. I had an iced coffee on route, but it didn’t really wake me up. So, I decided to order a large coffee in the cafe. This would later turn out to be a mistake.
The coffee started to kick in, and I am terrible at making drinks last. I had a few large gulps straight away so the caffeine quickly got to work. Before I knew it I was full of energy, too much. I started to get the shakes and regret ordering a large.
Now I’m not sure if you are aware, but it is Riverfire in Brisbane this weekend and tonight is going to be pretty epic on the river. There are military flybys going on, as well as a firework display this evening. Yesterday there was a practice run, one I wasn’t expecting. As I was trying to focus on blogging, a jet flew by and the sudden sound of it caught me off guard. Everyone in the library turned their heads to see what it was about, at this point I had no idea what was happening as the sound became deafening. I thought a plane was crashing! I’m an anxious person in general, and I often fear the worst. Despite realising that this was a flyby in preparation for today, I still went into shock. It sounds so silly, and I had no idea a panic attack could occur due to a coffee and a low flying jet, but I did. I love an airshow, and I love the roar of a low flying airplane, however as I couldn’t tell what the sound was as there was no visuals to go along with it, it just set me off.
I tried to open Instagram on my phone to distract me however I could barely hold it in my now trembling hand. I struggled to even press the power switch on my laptop as I knew I couldn’t stay sitting there, so I just shut the lid and left the cafe. I wanted to go outside to see the plane as a method to calm my nerves, I needed to confirm that what I heard was indeed harmless. I did so, and I managed to compose myself and get a couple of videos and shots of the scene.
Despite this and having no reason to panic, the thought of having that happen again was enough for it to, you guessed it, happen again. I was outside as the jet was circling above, and every low pass just created more anxiety. I had to put music on to calm me down, as I tried to walk back inside my legs were weak and I started to see stars. Oddly enough, my heart rate didn’t seem to increase, although I was expecting it to. I kept taking deep breaths, drank plenty of water and sat down as soon as I made it back inside.
I sat on a chair in the library for 45 minutes or so until I calmed down and felt like I could walk back home. I just sat there staring at the floor, letting it take its course as well as reminding myself that it will pass. Another reason I love the internet is that I typed what to do during a panic attack and instantly I was reading a step by step guide as to what I should be doing. It was pretty reassuring and we are fortunate to get instant knowledge at our fingertips, something previous generations were unable to do.
It was a pretty terrifying experience, and I haven’t had a coffee since. It reminded me that panic attacks are real and not to be taken lightly. It also made me think how terrifying it must be to be in a warzone, if I could be in this state in a calm and peaceful environment. No wonder people flee across borders.
I know people will be able to relate to this post, and I like that I can provide my thoughts and feelings on this website. As I type the planes are doing some rapid flybys, and I love it. The mind is pretty unpredictable and very scary at times, and just because someone was okay yesterday doesn’t mean they have to be today. I was that person yesterday, and if I have any advice for myself or others, it is that the feelings do pass. It’s all about riding the wave and knowing that time is a great healer.