I woke up at defcon one today. It doesn't happen very often but when it does it is the worst because I haven't had time to acclimatize myself and I'm just - there. So today I went with 'frantic call to my psychiatrist' because I didn't feel like going to the ER. He asked several questions to make sure I wasn't actually having a medical emergency (which, realistically, we all knew I wasn't) and then he asked me if I had tried breathing. Okay, the thing is he has taught me several breathing exercises and one of them has actually been pretty helpful in the past. We've also talked about some of the breathing exercises I've learned in DBT. So I knew that he was asking me if I'd tried doing any of those breathing exercises since I woke up in distress today. However, what he said was, "Have you tried breathing?"
Now that the majority of the symptoms have passed and I am just laying here riding out the inevitable 'panic hangover,' I seriously cannot stop giggling. Yes, Doctor, I'm breathing. People generally need oxygen to talk, cry, and whimper. Actually, seeing as how I am a) feeling better and b) giggling, talking to him totally worked. Sometimes I wonder if they do stuff like that on purpose, kind of a back door approach when the front door is blocked by a crazed, screaming monster.
So, today didn't turn out to be so bad after all, really just the regular amount of bad. In case you were wondering, generally breathing exercises exacerbate my panic because once I start thinking about breathing I am afraid that if I stop thinking about it I'll stop breathing. However, the one thing that actually helps sometime is 5-5 breaths. Inhale slowly and steadily for a five count and exhale slowly and steadily for a five count.
However your day is going, whatever you've got going on, just keep breathing and you will be on the right track. xoxo DD