I am going to use my blog as a sounding board for an idea. I gladly welcome comments on what I write over the next few posts and with permission would like to use relevant stories. If you post a comment please bear in mind it may end up published elsewhere.
I have decided to write an e-book about panic disorder.
While this book is a ‘left field’ look at what I have figured out about me, it may just work for you to. I invite you to listen to my story and take what’s useful and leave what’s not behind.
This blog entry will form the basis of chapter three.
I like to think of shopping in a supermarket as my equivalent to an extreme sport. For me buying a tin of peas can be like jumping off the golden gate bridge with a bungee cord.
How do I know this?
Some time around the beginning of this century I decided to go parachuting. What I noticed while training for the jump was, I had all the familiar symptoms of anxiety, even panic.
The instructors of any of these kind of sports know this too. Which is why they use repetitive training to get you to remember specific routines that may well save your life. Parachute fails to open? What do I do?
Okay mine opened on a wire after about four seconds. That didn’t stop me from looking up and counting one, one-thousand, two, one-thousand, three, one-thousand, four, one-thousand, then check, check…
When you have had a guy tell you twenty times, when this happens do this, in that kind of situation you do it.
I can bring certain parallels into this conversation from that experience. My mind learned a short cut. It simply went from jump from plane to count without me having to think.
The trick is not to reduce the level of adrenalin coursing through your body while you are doing the activity.
The trick is to increase your ability to function while it is doing so. You don’t want to stop having a panic attack you just want to gain the ability to function while having a panic attack.
Test this out. It works.
I used to have a negative story around panic attacks where I would say to myself “I can’t go here, there etc. because I have panic attacks”.
It was when I was participating on the Landmark Advanced course and we were working on our life story that I finally decided to test the truth behind that theory.
What I discovered is; I function just fine when having a panic attack.
I am able to have a conversation with someone. My legs work, I can walk. I am still breathing. Alright I feel weird as hell, my face may or may not be flushing, I am perspiring, trembling even making strange noises, all of which may cause me some personal embarrassment, none of which actually stop me from functioning.
Let’s go back to extreme sports again and draw some more parallels.
You are hanging on a cliff face by a single rope, you have no safety net. You are several hundred feet above the ground. If you fall, you will die. You perceive yourself as being in a situation you cannot easily get out of.
It is about survival.
You feel like you are losing control?
Just like a panic attack, it is about trying to control the uncontrollable.
People are paying big money for extreme survival experiences, snow boarding, white water rafting and so on.
Now think about this…
You are getting that buzz for free!
Action sport, adventure sport, extreme sport or just plain old running.
Athletes would do anything for that extra shot of adrenalin. It could mean the difference between a lose and a win for them. And you have it at your disposal. At the flick of a thought.
So start by saying it’s fun…
See you on the other side of the looking glass,