Thursday, May 9, 2013


I have nothing that can accurately describe the cold terror that accompanies a full blown anxiety attack. It started with chest pains, then difficulty breathing and then then a no-holds barred full-on-full-fat-serious-motherfucking panic attack.

I have no idea what triggered it this morning. There was that idiot in the traffic. The realisation that I didn't have keys to open the office with. The receptionist/admin assistant who is off sick yet again (she fears she has finger cancer) and I have to do both my work and hers.

It was very dramatic. A lady from an adjoining office popped in to say hello and found me red faced, bent double and gasping while clutching my chest.

I hate this thing. I though I was handling things okay. Just the other day I congratulated myself on how well I appeared to be doing and that perhaps the last anxiety attack I had was, in fact, THE last.

Sitting here with the cold wet cloth pressed to my face, I feel like a complete fool. I popped the little magic pill I got from the doctor at the hospital from my last histrionic attack, and I feel like an utter fool. I have calmed down. The chest pains are gone and I have absolutely no idea whatsoever to make of what has just happened.

What I have done is disrupted several people's days. My wife raced back from Johannesburg city, my friend Joe in the opposite office block was summoned to sit with me.  And now, here I am, alone, and reasonably okay, but I have no real answer as to why this has happened. Again.

And mostly, I feel like a fool.


  1. Hi Tam,

    Personally, I think the best thing you can do is not see the anxiety attack as your anxiety returning. See it as a one off thing, unrelated to any other anxiety attacks you may have had. Making an issue of it only makes it 100 times worse.

    Maybe you have a lot on your mind and your body just needed to "vent".

    Hope you, your family and all the pets are keeping OK.

    1. Thanks, Stephen. What you say makes a great deal of sense. I intend to fully incorporate that.

  2. Tam, Wow, what an epic story. Firstly, I hope you aren't feeling like a fool anymore. But secondly, I think it's really great you can share this story - it helps! even if you might feel like it is only helping you to release it know that it is helping others too.
    I suffered from MASSIVE anxiety attacks for a period in my life. I actually ended up hospitalised last year as a result. Anyway, different situation but....I wanted to offer you my experience in case it resonates : ) THE thing that helped me the very most to overcome this was chanting. Not the thought of chanting or the actually saying the first 'Nam' LOL - cos that's the hardest bit when you feel so full of anxiety.
    But for every breath and moment that followed that first Nam I could feel myself calming and releasing whatever the hell it was that needed releasing.

    1. Thanks, Pegasus. I did chant, but chanting didn't work to calm me down. Crying worked.