I felt like the world was closing in, my peripheral vision became tunnel like, everything started to get blurry and the world began to blacken in front of me. But I didnt actually black out. What happened that day?
Let’s go back a few steps. We were two weeks into the adventure of a lifetime, touring around north Qld in a 6 berth campervan. Two families, four adults and six kids between us. We’d seen so many amazing sights and were taking every opportunity to soak it all up. The temps were always in the 30s and humidity was always high.
I was sitting at kids water play park in Townsville happily watching the kids play. Suddenly, I started to feel a weird sensation, my vision blurring, my world closing down and sense of fading out. I jumped up and sought out my eight year old nearby and asked for him to take me to my hubby. My friend who is a registered nurse immediately told me to sit and lower my head, taking my pulse and checking me over.
We concluded perhaps it was a combination of dehydration, heat exhaustion and low blood sugars causing a near fainting event. I felt a bit headachy for a few hours after, but never had the ‘faint’ feeling again on the trip.
Then we landed back in Perth. I was driving along the highway with hubby chatting to me and my toddler sitting in the back. Suddenly, I started to feel faint again. What was happening, was I about to black out whilst driving. I didnt say anything aloud, but managed to calm myself with focusing on my breath and taking a long sip of water. But I was rattled. What on earth was that?
The next day, I was driving back from dropping hubby at his project and the feeling hit me again. A sense of ‘I’m about to black out’, with fuzziness and my hearing feeling like I had cotton wool in my ears. Again, I was able to calm my self with some conscious breathing (thank you breathwork!) and focusing on telling myself everything is ok.
Over the next few days, it happened several times, not always when I was driving. Sometimes, I would simply be sitting and chatting to someone, other times I was standing. Still I didnt share with anyone what was going on.
For those who know me, you may already know that my hubby has experienced anxiety and panic attacks for over 15 years. So I am no stranger to what they are. But I have not experienced them myself. Not like this. Random, without warning, without merit.
After a few days, I summonsed up the courage to talk to hubby about it. I didnt want to him to worry – he already does that enough, but I needed to talk to someone I trusted about it. He was quick to reassure me and help me to recognise that sometimes we need to let the feelings just rise to the surface, acknowledge them, and let them go. Suppressing them or pretending its not happening will only amplify the issue.
He also posed an interesting question. Why has this popped up for you now? I have been sitting with this and I am still not 100% certain of the answer. However, I know there is definitely a link between letting fear prevent me from taking true action and these panic episodes. It has shown me how powerful something that is entirely constructed in my mind can be, and how, if I let it have the power, it can completely cripple me.
I will continue to sit with it and see what else needs to come through, but for now this is a great reminder about observing where our focus is, and how it is impacting our reality. Maybe if you’re reading this, you may feel called to check in with where your focus is currently sitting, and how this is playing out for you.
As always, I share this as a way of processing what’s going on in my world, but I publish it in the hope that it might help just one person with what’s going on for them too.
I always welcome you sharing if this is something you’ve experienced or know someone close to you who has come up with these challenges too.
Live, Love and Laugh,