First of all, I have to express my gratitude to Miss 1wRong, who happens to always be right.
She sent me a Talk on Panic attacks in mp3 one night. I thought: Oh blargh, I’ve seen the psychiatrist and it didn’t work, seen the doctor and it was useless, read all about anxiety and it didn’t help. How is it this time this mp3 will actually take away the mental problem I’ve been living with for 4 years? All it’ll probably do is tell me that it’s scary blah blah.
I didn’t expect it to be a Buddhist talk. I didn’t expect the talk to be in English. And I sure didn’t expect it to be so enjoyable!
And most importantly, it works! Well, it takes time to heal but I’m making some progress.
The most recent attack was last December and it lasted til late March this year.
Everyday was pure fear, total fatigue and stress stress stress.
The moment I wake, that horrible cold feeling, the kind one gets when we realise there’s an exam that morning which we did not even study at all, would paralyse my mind. My hands will start to turn ice-cold and sweaty, so sweaty it looked as if I’ve just put them under running water. I felt like someone’s strangling me and I always feel dizzy, always thinking I’m going to faint anytime. My body felt weak and it ached. Always felt like vomitting all the time. So many awful sensations that there are times in the morning when I’m heading for work, I felt like throwing myself into the train tracks just to end it all. I could hardly think back then. The only think holding me back was the fear of getting mashed under the train. Seems really painful.
WHY? I didn’t know. I just thought: Shit. Of all things to suffer, it has to be a mental problem! Why can’t I just get a physical disease or lose a leg? Because to have a mental illness, it’s not about what others think. It’s the fact they can’t see it because it’s in my head. It’s invisible. It’s also the fear of going crazy, of not being able to control my actions. I’ve been to the edge before. While waiting for the train, anxious and all, my mind was so confused, my body actually felt like making the jump onto the train tracks. THAT was frightening.
This was how I lived. Nothing but fear and worry. Always anticipating a fainting spell that never happened or letting my imagination to go wild. It must be a physical problem that’s causing all this fainting spells. Some hormonal imbalance or something that’s causing all this physical symptoms that leads to anxiety. No one should see that I’m going to go crazy so I suppress. Keep my hands in my pockets and grit my teeth while smiling.
There was nothing much to hope for except go to work like a zombie. Just earn the money that I’ll be using to pay the hospital in the future. I can’t go anywhere because the very thought of going to a foreign place on my own, made me so afraid. What if I go crazy and there’s no one to help? Can they even help me?
It was so tiring. So alone.
Until Miss 1wRong sent me Ajahn Brahms’ Panic Attacks dhamma talk a few days ago.
I listened to the talk on my way to work the next day and I giggled on the train. (no, it’s not me going crazy from anxiety)
Now I understand all those aches, pain and dizziness are the result of being anxious.
And that anxiety is the result of all those years of pressure and worry I piled on myself, ever since I was a kid. My mother beat me for every mistake I make when she tests me on writing Chinese. Almost everyday was Chinese test day. Thank god she only knows Chinese and not English. I’d be writing this in a foreign language now. Japanese probably.Ii desu ne? Hahaha.
So yeah, I was conditioned to be anxious all the time and I wasn’t even aware of it. It accumulates overtime and as Ajahn Brahms described, one small, insignificant thing happens and the whole snow of fear falls into a huge avalanche, burying everything in its way. That avalanche was the first panic attack I got when I was 19.
The subsequent anxiety attacks got worse because that pile of snow got bigger and bigger, the fear of fainting, the fear of going crazy, the fear of fear itself, these huge heaps of snow made the snow pile so big, avalanches have to happen more frequently.
How to stop this cyclical torment? There seemed no end and I have no faith in anything. The happy pills from the psychiatrist are a total disappointment. I still get panic attacks even in a peaceful Buddhist temple. It is difficult for me to believe in ending this mental illness.
But there is a way. FINALLY.
The Ajahn Bhrams’ Anti-Virus Anxiety Software.
For this program to work, one should download it when one is not having any anxiety.
When you are feeling secure, comfortable, relaxed, this is the time when you download this anti-virus anxiety software into your mind.
Say to yourself 3 times: When it happens, I will not get anxious.
So simple that it’s unbelievable it can work when all else failed.
But it works. Slowly but surely it works.
By saying to oneself in a calm setting, it is easier to tell the mind to not to react when anxiety is going to happen. Previously, my mind reacted violently against every small trigger and the process begins with chest tightness, sweaty hands, shaking, stomachache, faintness etc. Just pure insanity.
By being in a calm setting, it is very easy to input whatever what we want are mind to be.
So saying to oneself:” When it happens, I won’t be afraid, I won’t get anxious.” Slowly, the mind changes its bad habit of going nuts to one that does not react to the trigger.
I’m trying it out. Of course there are times doubt will set in. Thoughts like: Oh, nothing works, it won’t work for me later. Blah blah.
Can’t help that such thoughts can arise because of my education. If one can call it ‘education’. Well, guess I’ll have to learn to accept and change myself slowly. It’s not easy but it can be done. After all, if there’s no change, life would be boring.
So yeah, if you need free therapy and entertainment, just click on the buddha banner in the ‘Links’ and download! It’s free! Because it’s free, it’s priceless.