Thoughts On Panic Attacks

I’ve had three or four of these in my lifetime.  Each time, for a period of something less than twenty minutes, I was incapable of making the most trivial of decisions.

I would start toward the store from the car in the parking lot, change my mind and turn to return to the car for something I’d forgotten  Then I’d decide I didn’t really need it and pivot back toward the entry after only a few steps.  Then I’d change my mind again, and repeat the
actions.  This would continue long enough I began to imagine people watching me.  Or maybe I’d just begin to notice it.

Nothing made any sense.  All I could say for sure, however, was that I wasn’t capable of making a decision and sticking to it.  Then full-blown panic would set in.  It was terrifying.

Each time I was able to reach my wife on the phone and, hearing her voice calmed me down.

Yesterday I realized that is precisely how the last seven years have felt.  I am on the very verge of panic.

On the last Sunday of last year I participated in a burning bowl ceremony-one in which you identify something you decide you wish to let go of, write it down on a notepad, and then burn the paper.

I let go of doubt.

Doubt that I’d convince enough listeners in time to get at least some form of Earth-life off the planet before the human species goes extinct.

Doubt in my abilities to scientifically confirm the truth of my Vision of 1986, which clearly foretold of our ability to set in motion events fatal to the planet before we die off.

Doubt that the truth I see-that we will achieve that terrible and unintended consequence- is inevitable.

Doubt that people will ever see that the only chance we have of saving life from this planet is to prepare another place for it to go.

Doubt people will ever understand, or care, that the problem isn’t about the future of humanity alone-that the problem so dwarfs concerns about the future of mankind as to make such thinking an example of failing to see the forest on account of all the trees.

Now the test comes in whether I can really let doubt go.

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5 Responses to Thoughts On Panic Attacks

  1. Hank Raymond says:

    It’s hard for me to imagine what a panic attack would be like. I’ve heard it described many times, but hard to wrap my mind around that. Must be some sort of misfiring in the brain? Or something like that?

    As for getting rid of those doubts… Good luck on that George. Those seem like very reasonable doubts to me. I doubt you can just write that on a piece of paper and burn it and thereby change everything so easily. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could?

    • George says:

      The only experiences i’ve had share an iimportant characteristic with panic attacks are accidents in which you see something totally beyond your control and dead set to hit you, and chemical reactions to something in your brain, called dystonia, that, for no apparent reason suddenly overwhelm you for a few seconds–very much like when a wave hits you in waste deep surf. there are doubtlessly numerous other examples.

      As to discarding doubt, a careful reading of my post should convince you that I, too, believe the work of actually doing so lies in my hands, not in some magic of the ceremony.

      You can, and I think are more open to doing so than a great many, help, however. My doubt lies in my ability to convince others to abandon, at least as axioms, their deeply held believes about a great many things.

      Recognizing what is and what is not held as an axiom is the first step.

  2. Barbara Truman says:

    I like the symbolism of burning.
    I DON’T like panic attacks!
    Glad I helped . . .

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