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Here is my share from tonight’s AA meeting that I didn’t actually get to share because someone decided to ramble on for TEN minutes about everything in her life (almost all of which was off topic).

SERENITY NOW!

Anyway:

Fear and projection.  Yeah, I am familiar.  I have had panic attacks since I was 14.  If you haven’t had one, you really should try it.  Feels like you are dying… sometimes I can’t even feel my hands.  The absolute terror that these panic attacks invoke is devastating.  And then, after it subsides, I get afraid that I will have another one… and I project all of the awful scenarios that could go down.  And I begin to fear them… but fear is what triggers a panic attack in the first place.  So, it quickly becomes a cycle that is very hard to break.

I never really dealt with the panic attacks before… they went away on their own when I went to college, and then drinking made them stay away for the most part.  So I guess I could be pretty pissed that, after a year being sober, they are back in full force.  But, really it is kind of a blessing to be able to confront them head on, sober.  To really deal with the issue, instead of running away from it.  But, if I am being honest, the panic attacks make me want to run away from everything, to hide out in my house until they go away.  And then I start projecting that maybe they will get so bad that I will never get to leave my house…  Fun times.

And then I have to turn it over to God.  Because I am totally backed in a corner.  In the grip of a panic attack, I can’t do anything else but turn it over.  And breathe deeply.  So, I keep doing the things I have to do, even though the most basic things (like standing up in front of my class to teach) can cause an attack.  And, if it happens, I breathe through it, ask God for help and carry on.  It is like my own built in 11th step… conscious contact, baby.

I know this will pass.  And I know I am learning from the experience.  But the learning is exhausting lately.

Thanks for letting me share.

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