Life can be so unpredictable.. I’ve been through hard times in life but now I’d say that I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. My life is complete, I have a family that is healthy and happy, love my work and I’m grateful to work with something that we created.. I feel blessed in so many ways. Having said that, I’ve still been suffering from panic attacks.
Before I thought of depression and panic attacks as a sign of unhappiness and I always told myself I will never live a unhappy life, It will never happen to me. I thought only people who didn’t love what they do or couldn’t handle stress got depressed or suffered from panic attacks.
When we decided to go 100% all in on our own company and create my dream store, my panic attacks started. I was so passionate to create Petit, I lived for it, I worked in the new store day and night and I LOVED every minute of it.
Then one night, I woke up around 2am. I tossed and turned in our bed, had stomachaches and I couldn’t get comfortable. I went to the bathroom to see if I needed to go.. I sat on the toilet and my ears started to ring, cold sweats came over me and I didn’t know if I was going to shit myself, puke – or both at the same time. I felt like I was about to faint. I held on to the bathtub next to the toilet and started to feel my heart beating out of my chest. I thought I was having a heart attack. My face and feet started to numb and it felt like a thousand needles going over my face. I tried to scream for Gunnar, who was sleeping in our bed, but I couldn’t get enough strength in my voice.. it was like I was whispering even though I really tried hard to scream. After what felt like 20min I was able to get myself into our bedroom and I just collapsed on the floor, Gunnar woke up and saw that something was not right. I told him that I thought I was having a heart attack. Lucky me Gunnar studied psychology and he saw the sign of a panic attack, he slowly started to talk me thought my breathing and got me to slow down my breath and after a while I fell a sleep from exhaustion. For the next two days after I was mentally tired. I didn’t understand how this could happen to me, I Love what I do and I am happy! So why is my body reacting this way?
I had three more attacks within the next weeks and Gunnar was always there to help me out of them before they got as bad as the first time. I started to get afraid that this would affect my personality and my ability to work and create, I was afraid to lose my passion. I spoke to two psychologists who both said the same thing, which is that the most passionate people are often the ones that crash if they are not careful. They are the ones that push them self’s too far when their body tells them to stop and that if I didn’t change my ways now I could end in deep depression that could change my life forever. I needed to take these signs seriously and take a step back. Basically, step out of work and focus on something completely else, start yoga, sit and think of nothing.
Now it has been over 6 months since my attacks and we’ve put in extra staff in the store and I’ve stepped back from much work. I’ve been trying to focus on myself more and think of other things than work. I am just trying to be more balanced now than before. For me it is important to share my story, life here on the blog can look like a fairy tale and I want to share some moments of hard times as well as the easy and happy times.