Name: Tracie J.
Occupation: Educator, Writer
Tell us your story:
Anxiety and depression each know no age, race, gender, etc. As humans we are all prone to one or the other, if not both, at some point within our life span. I am no exception. I am a professional woman, mother, wife, sister, daughter, with an advanced degree and responsibilities to match. I have always considered myself someone who “has it all together”, with the ability to multi-task, managing many things in sequence and without fail. However, through my own personal trials I have learned that we are not necessarily created to multi-task and simultaneously take care of many things, without a break.
A few years ago I had a traumatic flying experience, no the plane I was on did not malfunction and almost crash, thankfully, but I experienced for the first time, what I now know to be as, a panic attack. Seemingly out of nowhere, I began feeling ill, I was dizzy and dripping sweat, although cold at the exact same time. I felt as though my body was floating and my arm was so heavy, I couldn’t place it on my leg to steady myself. I was alone, in a flight full of people, yet strangers. I had no one to yell to for help, as I tried to will myself well, I began to breathe and pray, breathe and pray. I survived the flight, but it shook me so badly, that I was unable to board another flight I’d booked to attend a family funeral, just a couple of months after that panic attack. As my husband approached the airport, I could feel my heart sinking and I “knew” there was no way I could get on that flight, something I’d never before experienced.
He (my husband) didn’t get it at the time, why I couldn’t get on that plane, especially when he’d gotten up super early to drive me to the airport for a 7am flight, heck, I didn’t get it. I have since learned the coping skills necessary for me to fly, but more importantly, I learned what my limitations are, and when it is necessary for me to slow down. Experiencing anxiety, depression, panic attacks and the like does not make anyone weak, or lesser than, it makes us human. Ignoring these occurrences in our lives is a mistake, there is help for all of us. Be encouraged.
What advice would you give another woman who is going through a similar experience?
Seek the help from a professional, your primary care doctor or licensed therapist if necessary.
Keep a supportive group in your corner.