Photo by Emiliano Vittoriosi on Unsplash

I scream in silence

“I feel an immense pain in my chest, an endless squeeze… My heart is beating fast as if I am in a race… for the speed, I feel that I will be the winner… palpitations, difficulties in breathing… what is happening? What should I do? I try to stay quiet, breathe calmly, abstract myself from whatever is causing this reaction in me … the problem is: how can I remove myself from something if I can’t identify its source? Now that I’m aware that I don’t know what the problem is, I’m even worse … uhhh … I can’t get air into my lungs … the chest is constricted preventing its circulation, especially its air entrance … how long can I stand like this, before my body collapse? A few seconds? What do I do? How do I make myself breathe? Why does the brain not obey me? How come it doesn’t understand my instructions? I am so distressed that it seems that I have lost total control of everything… I can’t! What to do to solve them? I’m about to collapse! Now even the voice does not want to come out, the tightness has increased, the heart feels it beating at my temples, the temperature has risen, only the air does not enter… in the desperation of the situation I throw myself to the ground, hitting my ribs thus forcing the chest to expand, and then at the last second, I got the air I desperately needed. I cry without anymore power , but finally I breathe! How I hate to feel this way!”

After all, who controls what? It’s not me anymore, but the problems, the unconscious, … everything but myself! We all have problems, our own ways of dealing with them, solving them, avoiding them, postponing them… but one thing is certain, our body is the place where they lodge, they start as a little seed – it appears, settles in, stays, grows, … until it gains roots and, sometimes, because they are so deep, they are almost impossible to get rid of completely! The problems are exactly the same, they appear, they remain until they gain strains – and, although we think they are already solved and, they are no longer a problem, we realize that these roots are still here – our subconscious captures and keeps everything! But why the above reaction? There are many reasons for that – although they may not always be rationalized as thinking or understanding – trigger such feelings, fears, terrors that we once experienced and that, at first sight, have nothing to do with it, but that our unconscious “associates” and then tries to express them.

The panic attacks that I experience have several origins, but they are nothing but afflictions, silent screams from my subconscious! It may seem strange, but to me it is the only thing that makes any sense! A simple thing like an image, a word, an expression of affection, a touch, … it is enough to be the “teleporter” door for something that has affected us and, then, we unconsciously started to relive it again for a few agonizing and distressing minutes, where our thoughts command us – us and our body – without being allowed to interfere!

Anyone who has never had a panic attack will not be able to understand what I describe but, in the other hand, everyone who has experienced it, just by reading, it seems that they are already feeling it again! Our entire body is quite perfect and complex, but as for the brain, I can’t describe it! As thinkers, we try to rationalize everything into simple thoughts, solutions to problems, sensations, feelings, … this consciously! But, our unconscious, I like to think of it as our immune system of everything that makes us what we are – experiences, feelings, fears, … – that when it detects some ‘known or familiar danger’ it gives the warning signal, but when ignored for some time, it reaches “41ºC / 105ºF fever” – panic attacks! So, only when we start to feel the first symptoms, we think something is wrong, but it is often too late… all because we ignored the uncontrolled alerts, the silent screams given by the brain and the body!

These screams don’t kill us all at once, but gradually … each day we lose a little bit of us. If we don’t want to get to this point, we have to be attentive to the “signals” that we are receiving, so that we can rationalize them in order not to fight them, but to fight side by side with them! This will allow us to get to know each other better, to have a calmer life and, at the same time, it will teach us to be attentive in order to prevent these cries in silence from being manifested!

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