My First Real Panic Attack at Age 61

panic stress (2)

I needed to read Jana Greene’s post about grace and weakness.

I don’t like to feel weak. I’ve spent all these years trying to be strong and building my skills. So, why, at age 61, with all my training and experience, did i have my first real live panic attack?

I’ve heard plenty of people talk about panic attacks and how bad they can be. I’ve secretly wondered, Do people really need to go to the emergency room? Does it really feel like a heart attack? Are you really being attacked? Can’t we call it something else, something less invasive? Can’t you just take some deep breaths and calm down?

Now I know. Now, I’m humbled.

If it hadn’t been for my years of meditation and breathing practice and my supportive, former EMT husband watching me closely, I might have gone to the emergency room. My chest hurt worse than ever before, and it was hard to breathe. Years ago, I’d gone to the urgent care place with chest pain shortly after my first husband left. It turned out to be stress and acid reflux, but I don’t remember that being as intense as the pain I felt during my first real panic attack couple months ago.

Chest pain is nothing to guess about. When in doubt, get medical attention.

The first good news is, that I know what triggered it. I felt challenged, then I felt cornered and I was hungry.  Since I’m hypoglycemic, I can get shaky and irritable when I’m hungry. It’s best not to challenge me when I’m hungry. Fortunately, I can take steps to minimize exposure to these triggers. I can maintain my boundaries and use the “broken record technique” by simply repeating, “this is not a good time to talk about this.” If I’m able, I’ll offer an alternative time, but simply repeating my boundary is enough.

I’ve been trying not to feel embarrassed about feeling weak, and leaning more toward feeling humbled and gifted – the other good news – explained in Jana’s post . I’m reminded that I’m never going to have it all together, because I’m human. Some weakness will always pop up to humble me and lead me to God’s grace.

 

“Wait Is a Four Letter Word.”

Loving me, too, means learning to trust the timing.

Anything is Possible!

When God says, “Wait,” we can control only two things: how we wait and who we become along the way.  __Elizabeth Laing Thompson

When God Says Wait Enter for a chance to win a free copy by signing up for my monthly newsletter to the right >>>

It’s always something. If it’s not waiting for your soulmate, it’s waiting for your kids to become independent, or waiting to retire, or waiting for your manuscript to be ready for publication.

I’ve just started reading the book, When God Says Wait, by Elizabeth Thompson. It’s easy to read with well-fictionalized biblical stories, personal stories from the author, and simple exercises at the end of each chapter. I sure could’ve used this book 15 years ago when I was wondering if I’d ever fall in love again, if I’d ever find a partner who’d be a good fit. Still, the messages about “navigating life’s detours…

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The Long and Winding Road of Becoming Me

She thew away her masks and put on her soul

First, I wanted to be a veterinarian

and save the whales

Or maybe a biologist

and save the world.

But way before that,

I was an artist.

I could draw dogs and horses

All day long.

No one taught me this.

I just did it.

And people said I was a good.

I loved to write,

And make up stories in my head.

But I didn’t value those stories much.

I didn’t value my drawings and paintings

As much as I wanted to save the planet

But trigonometry hurt my brain.

So I ended up in the mind field.

Fixing me more than anyone else.

While God helped me

Help people

Save themselves.

And taught me things

I needed to learn

About saving time for me.

Along the way,

I’ve saved dogs,

I’ve saved cats,

I’ve saved trees,

And  God saved me some time.

Because the long and winding road

Never disappears.

It always lead me back to my roots

Back to the work of my soul.

 

 

I love how this song can be about anything we want to come back home to.

Being Held

“You are being held so strongly and so deeply, that you can stop holding on to, or defending, yourself. God forever sees and loves Christ in you; it is only we who doubt our divine identity as children of God.”

                                                                       ___ Richard Rohr in Breathing Under Water.

 

899. The people who know God well—mystics, hermits, prayerful people, those who risk everything to find God—always meet a lover, not a dictator. ~Richard Rohr

I know I’ve been neglecting this blog lately. I’ve been so busy….. but Natalie’s post really struck a couple chords in my soul, reminding me that I am deeply loved by a loving God. The song, “You Are My Hiding Place,” is one I’ve sung to myself many times. It reminds me to rest and be held in God’s love. As usual, the flower is exquisite. It is also comforting.

Sacred Touches

Once you are in communion with God,
you have the eyes to see and the ears to hear other
people in whom God has also found a dwelling place.
~Henri Nouwen

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Lover of my soul
Will you listen to me
I know you will
My spirit you see
My heart you touch
My soul you shape
My being is yours
I’m here, please take
Me away to that secret place
Where we connect
~Staci Lys Dunn Silva at:
https://stacilys.wordpress.com/about/

From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth—he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. ~Psalm 33:13-15  ✝

**Rose image via Pinterest

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September Sunset

Waiting for the sun

To dip toward the horizon

I turned in wonder

At the show going on behind me.

good one

Click for a close up. (Photo by JoAnne Silvia)

Then the whole sky

Began to climax

The sun spreading it’s love

All over the blue sky

good cloud drawing

I turned in circles

Slow dancing

To the pink cloud panorama

 

good pink clouds

As it flowed into soft peach, yellow and orange

And the blue dome darkened behind me.

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Everywhere I turned

was a gift…

God showing off again.

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Do you see what I see?