My panic attacks began eleven years ago. Out of the blue, I couldn’t seem to catch my breath. It wasn’t long before I had hyperventilated and passed out.
The panic attacks continued and would always creep up on me in an unexpected fashion. Not when I thought I’d be anxious, but when I didn’t. Like when I was home alone or when I was driving to pick up the kids from school–things I had done thousands of times.
I ended up in the emergency room a few times convinced I was having a stroke or a heart attack. But, they disregarded my imaginations and sent me home. Home to find my own answers.
I researched on Google. Not a good idea, I admit. But, I was desperate and thought I was losing my mind. I jokingly told myself I was having a midlife nervous breakdown. My friends discouraged such talk; however, I’m still convinced that is what it basically was.
It was my coming to a point in life where I could not continue on my own strength. And, having to realize I should have never been trying to do it on my own. But, I had.
This week let’s focus on going back to the beginning in the book of Genesis and remind ourselves our breath is from God–each one, from the first cry after birth to the last exhalation before death. God’s breath is our breath.
During my darkest moments, when I was lying face down on the cold ceramic tiles, my mind grasping at something to hold onto, I began to recite the 23rd Psalm over and over and over. This would bring my breathing into a rhythm and calm me down. I focused on praising God by speaking or singing or shouting his words back to Him.
You might want to try that yourself. Or, pick your own Scripture to mumble under your breath to calm yourself down.
Here’s a link for one of my favorite praise songs which talks a lot about our breath. I pray it lifts you this week.
P.S. More good stuff coming next week, so don’t forget to sign up to follow!