Don’t Panic!

Yesterday, I Panicked! That feeling of “Oh, No!–This can’t be happening!” My panic wasn’t the result of the most awful thing in the world. No one was hurt; everyone I love was safe and sound, and the earth was still tilted and spinning normally on its axis.  But, it was life-shattering for me in my immediate moments of realizing what had occurred.

I put my photo memory card in my computer, and it wasn’t recognized. Of course, no worry yet. I had the brilliant idea of trying it in my camera. It would certainly read in there. But, NO! No response, no recognition. Hu? Why? What’s going on here? THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! All of my pictures of my son for the last 6 months—GONE! NO! A portion of the story of our life as a family erased. And of course this is when my heart, Sank.  And panic flooded my insides…Hot hands, racing heartbeat, uncontrolled thoughts all dismantled, defeat, worry….

But wait a minute...I don’t want to feel this way!

With everything else calm and quiet around my house, I was able to grab a hold of the chaos inside me, and put it on pause for a few minutes. Okay, brain: You work. You got to help me out here: You [mind] got to get this heart of mine under control, and help me FIX THIS! I won’t accept defeat!  Normal brain function returning, I was able to start solving this problem like a puzzle: Getting out another memory card, and examining the two together, I realized a significant part of the edge around the access point of my broken card was missing.   So of course the panic returned for a minute, and then my mind started buzzing:  “I’VE GOT to FIX THIS, I’VE GOT to FIX THIS!”

Stabilizing myself, I began some creative ideas to fix this. But none seemed practical. And then I paused, as I sat at the window, and I began to say a prayer: “Saint Anthony, I know I ask you to help me with things I have lost, I’ve lost my photos. Please help me find them.“—Connecting to my faith calms me down; it re-centers me….What works for you??  Believe it or not, I started to get my answers. I went back to where I was sitting on the couch the night before, and laying on the rug, was a tiny strip of black plastic. After many cross-eyed tries at the microscopic puzzle and with super-glued fingers, I got that strip back on! I put my memory card gently in my computer. And there were my photos. BREATHE, AGAIN. All was not lost.

I realize this was a lesson for me about Life, not just about this particular moment of panic. I know in many situations when I am panicking I lose all sense of hope; i.e., I become hopeless. I feel like nothing will change. And I get stuck. But yesterday, I handled myself well. I need to remember   this experience when I lose control of other parts of my life. I know that I won’t be able to fix everything that’s placed in front of me. But I can learn to work at re-centering myself, and being more intentional about asking for help (because we aren’t made to walk this walk of life alone).

It also made me realize, how much I don’t want to sink into that trap of Depression again. It’s funny how proactive we can be with ourselves, when we are working in opposition to something negative in our lives, isn’t it?  And that’s the key here: Yes, I’m writing about not wanting my pictures to be lost, but what I am really writing about is: “I don’t want to get stuck feeling this way!”  And wanting to change the way I feel, has great power in it. This power is what I want to hold onto. It’s what we all need to hold onto when we want to change our emotional state in life. It’s not the kind of power that dominates, and dictates, rather it’s the kind of power that is gentle and honest. It’s the kind of power that says to each of us in our own unique way, “ You are going to be okay.” ” You are going to get through this somehow.” And thus, it is the kind of power that also says, “It’s okay if I don’t know the outcome, I’ve just got to give myself the chance to Live through this, rather than being a puppet of panic and anxiety.”

The best part of this lesson learned, is that the strength to get through the obstacles in life is right there inside each and every one of us. And life offers us the opportunity to tap into our inner strength daily. Sometimes this inner strength moves us forward to discover solutions (like fixing my memory card) other times this inner strength teaches us how to take care of ourselves (like in my case asking for St. Anthony’s help…maybe for you its taking a relaxing bath, meditating, admitting when you need to rest, etc).

So know you are not alone when you panic. It’s a very real feeling for all of us. Knowing this is healing. Taking care of ourselves in the midst of struggles is healing.

Somehow all will be well…Life will find its way to take care of you, when you open your arms to receive healing.

Blessings of healing and peace to you,

Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All Rights Reserved.
Please visit my photography site: Naturescapes, Flowerscapes & Life: Photography by Bella Bleue

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9 thoughts on “Don’t Panic!

  1. Beautiful post Erin – and thank you for sharing this experience. I think most all of us reading will identify — amazing how the body can perceive things as ‘life/death’ even when they are not remotely close. I think we are genetically programmed from our ancestors who were truly dealing with these types of life/death scenarios on a daily basis.. Your awareness and ability to manage the emotions — call them out — level with them — was amazing. I too would have panicked if I lost something so precious as family photos I treasured… you are right when you say – ‘taking care of ourself in the midst of struggle is healing’ ~ perfect words to remember ! Blessings and Love – RL

    1. Yes, I also believe that we respond to challenges with a life/death response at times too. It certainly seems to be a natural part of our body make-up. It’s like we have no control of the emotions, no matter how much we try to keep ourselves in balance. The feelings are going to come no matter what. I’ve had a few of these reactions to some things in my life recently, so I felt prone to write about it. And this experience helped me get a grasp on some of the other things, my mind wanted to wander off with and live in panic mode. Now I am good and calm! Blessings all around you, Erin

  2. Very familiar feeling Erin. It sort of short citcuits everything else for a time. Everything seemd ruined. And really…for most of it….how bad can it really be? I have to work on this and why think about your wisdom.
    Jonathan

    1. Yes, that panic feeling certainly does “short circuit” everything else for a while. I know I sometimes get stuck in this “short circuit” for a lot longer than I want. I’ll get out of panic mode for a bit and then I’m right back there again. So I’m trying to find balance in my life, so that I can keep the panic from lingering and popping up too often, when I get myself into a panic state. I hope you are well. Yes, working on it…is an ongoing challenge. Blessings on your journey, Erin

  3. Erin..the broken memory card is such a great metaphor for how we panic when we can’t fix something…that immediate sense of loss then despair…it happens so fast.. In the blink of an eye…and yes it’s difficult to stop, breath, find patience with ourselves and perhaps the answer…reassuring that I’m not alone here…thank you….xoxmeryl

    1. Yes, it does all happen in the blink of an eye doesn’t it!? I’m working on the stopping and breathing part! There certainly is something about sharing feelings, and knowing we’re not alone in them…this has become so much more important to me once I started being open about my struggle with depression, and still is at times, but learning to get a hold of the panic is important to me so I don’t get into that downward spiral. So having your support and encouragement through your own desire not to be alone too, encourages me. Thank you! Blessings all around you, Erin

      1. Yes, just happened to me about 10 days ago…Hadn’t been so bad in several years.. Just coming out..but exhausted so your openness came at just the right time so I don’t feel so alone…

  4. It sure is “human nature” to panic…I totally agree with you! And it does come so fast, that its hard to get those breaths in. But somehow we manage to get through….I know I need to connect to this taking a breath more often. I hope you are well. I see you have a new Gravatar image of the moon over the sea. Beautiful. Blessings, Erin

I love learning from your sharing & wisdom.

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