The London diary & other adventures
The first time I had a panic attack I was in Ikea all by myself.
I clearly remember it because I was in doubt in between some covers for my cushions on a gloomy, autumn afternoon, 2 years and a half ago.
I recall bending over to grab a cushion from a box and suddenly feeling a strong, inexplicable dizziness. I remember having my phone in my hands, as I was chatting with an Italian friend on Whatsupp about plain colours or intricate patterns for the covers. For some strange reason I wasn’t really able to make a choice, a simple stupid choice.
I really needed an advice, some kind of guidance.
At the beginning I thought I was having a sudden drop in blood sugar. I thought: “Feds, you’ve been walking around for hours, haven’t eaten that much today and drank no water at all. Just get some rest!”
I didn’t realise at all that what I was experiencing what the very fist panic attack of my life, and of course I had no idea it would have been followed by many more, in several different occasions.
I approached the bar at Ikea trying to find some sugar or anything that could have helped me, and in the meantime I kept on writing to my friend, without mentioning what was going on though.
In my mind it definitely wasn’t an important element to mention, however I could feel some kind of relief in knowing that I wasn’t “alone”. Despite the fact that my friend was back in Italy and couldn’t have done that much to really help me, my mind needed to feel reassured: there was someone willing to help me, somewhere, somehow.
Throughout the years I have learnt to classify my panic attacks, not because I have fun in doing so, but mainly because it helps me in keeping track of my mental health condition. On a scale of 1 to 10 I guess that this specific episode could be located somewhere between 4 and 5, and I know that this is the main motivation why I didn’t take it seriously.
I’ve read a lot about panic attacks during this last 2 years, and I know that some people also end up in a ER, thinking that they’re having a heart attack.
Thank God I didn’t feel like that.
Not yet at least.