Panic, Finding My Way Back

fate through tree

I walked through the woods and didn’t see anything.  Not a single tree not a leaf, not the brown pine needles and gray leaves under my feet.  I didn’t feel the new ferns tickling my bare legs, even the mosquitos couldn’t get my attention for long.

My feet, my legs, my swinging arms, the movement of my body all unraveling the tight spool of thoughts tightly wound in my head.    I could only see what was behind my eyes, not what was in front of them.

I was stuck inside myself, growing smaller and smaller.

This is what panic attacks do to me.   They makes me forget the larger world.  I collapse inside  myself like a black hole.

But as oblivious as I am to the reality surrounding me,  my walks in the woods do help bring me back to me.  Are the woods innately healing?

It took a dead tree to get my attention.  And only because it had fallen on the path and I had to step over it.   I don’t want to be this way, I thought, walking unseeing through the woods, taking what she has to offer without giving back.

But sometimes it’s all I can do, waiting for the panic to subside.  Allowing the memory of fear to slowly loosen from my body and mind. Finding my way back to now.


8 thoughts on “Panic, Finding My Way Back

  1. You’re description is right on. My vision narrows to only what is directly in front of me, when darkness comes. I loose the periphery, the beauty. Not suffering from panic attacks, I can’t know how you feel, yet I’ve never heard anyone describe the visual effect (which I do sometimes share, for a different reason) so clearly.
    Thank you. Sending light.

  2. Beautifully written. I was with you on that walk, sharing the journey. The photo is breathtaking!
    Thank you for sharing your world.

  3. You are courageous to share this. All I kept thinking was “breathe, Maria, breathe…”. Sending you love and light. xo

  4. Dear Maria, This is so achingly beautiful. You have swallowed the fear and pain in your determination to truly live. I know this makes all the difference. Annie

  5. Hi Maria, sorry you had a rough time yesterday. I’m glad the panic loosened its grip as you did the things you love. I agree with the others, the photo helps tell your story and is beautiful.

  6. Thanks Maria, you are not alone. This is very well written…takes you right to the truth of anxiety…and I too find being with animals and and in nature to be calming and grounding I am also challenged by anxiety at times. I have named it “the grip”. Now that I can identify it and I have tools to help me manage I can walk through it. Sometimes though I just need to practice acceptance and patience until it passes.

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