At the beginning of lockdown back in March, I recall having regular panic attacks when I had to be out in public and around people, the worst one I had was when I was in what used to be my local co-op
No-one was following social distancing or wearing masks and it was crowded and there were no things in place to help or to reduce the risk of transmission – someone even bumped into me and it was at that point I could feel the spiky skin feeling all over, colds sweats and I just froze in fear for what felt like hours but in all likelihood it was only a couple of minutes, I ended up writing a poem about it which is in my book [amazon.co.uk]
Panic is a weird thing to deal with, up until this year I’d only had a handful of panic attacks in my life, but this year has “gifted” me with regular ones – sometimes they just make me feel uncomfortable and like my skin is prickling all over, these tend to be more of a warning sign and when I experience these I tend to try and find a way to focus on my breathing and take myself away from things that might’ve triggered them in some way, but other times and thankfully these are less frequent I find myself in a stasis, noises seems louder and lights become overpowering and then I feel myself become heavy and weak – often after these kind of attacks I’m absolutely exhausted too and I don’t fully recover until the following day.
I still get really nervous about being around people, I’m considered high-risk due to my asthma so I make sure I’m masked up if I’m having to be in public areas and I think I’ve definitely been more able to cope with being around people at times, but there’s always the fear in the back of my head, gnawing away, but I make sure that these periods of time around others is kept to a minimum, so that gnawing never quite gets all the way through to my panic button!
I think once the vaccine/s have been widely circulated and things can return to what every “normal” might be now, that gnawing will dissipate but until then it’s just something I have to be alert about.