Fear of losing
example, a trip I was planning put me in the throws of an anxiety
When I was
by myself, pacing around my apartment, anticipating a trip that would
place me in a situation I couldn’t control, I created an adrenaline
response in my body. I was busy telling myself, mostly on a
subconscious level, that there was something to be afraid of. The
automatic adrenaline response kicked in and I started having symptoms.
My heart pounded and I felt intense fear. I couldn’t calm down. The
awful, spacey feeling of confusion was clouding my head. My mind
responded by registering, “Something is wrong!” Then adrenaline started
racing through my body. I was too anxious to focus on anything. Cold
sweats and feelings of impending doom catapulted me from straightforward
anxiety into the next stage of fear: panic.
with internal negative dialogue, the type of thinking that’s a sure road
to a panic attack. I had a bad case of the “what-ifs.” “What if I get
on the train and I need to get off? What if I can’t catch my breath?
What if I embarrass myself? What if I can’t stop the train?” I went
through my usual litany of fears, creating the second stage of anxiety.
Then came thoughts like, “What’s wrong with me? Am I going crazy? Am I
going to die? Am I going to lose control? Where can I run to get
progressed, building on itself, until I was so far into it, I had no
idea how to get out. I didn’t even know that getting out was an
option. As I paced the apartment with the walls closing in, my thoughts
intensified. My focus was no longer on the trip. Now my focus was on
my body symptoms and my scary thoughts. I could see myself being
checked into a mental institution, with all the elements of personal
control being taken away: straightjackets, heavy medications, inability
to communicate. Under the intensity of these ideas and images, my body
released ten times the amount of cortisol and adrenaline. The somewhat
anxious thoughts that had been intermittently breezing through my head
had become nonstop. Increasing in intensity, they became a virtual
hurricane, spinning out of control.