Coping Methods (from 10/11)

Count.  5 things you see.  4 that you feel.  3 sounds.  2 smells.  1 taste.  

I usually let panic attacks spiral.  I usually let them take control; I fake being “okay” until I can make it somewhere secluded enough for me to fall apart a little bit.

Slightly worn, pinstriped carpet.  Shoes attached to feet attached to legs, moving in my peripheral.  The white clock face in its black frame hanging on the white wall.  Red chairs.  My hands, shaking.

Just a little bit.  Never too much.  I can allow myself to crack, not to break.

Cold air clinging to my edges, but especially to my fingertips.  A cramp in the arch of my right foot.  Pressure behind my eyes, reaching up through the crown of my skull.  The ice pick drilling into my temples.

Maybe I’ve been drinking too much coffee this last week.  Maybe it’s effecting me the way it did at the beginning for some reason — back when I lived off of hot tea and patterned tights and the laughter of my best friends.  Back when I was heart broken, but healing.

Holly’s voice, calling roll.  The scratching sound my pen makes as it travels across the page.  The heavy rattling of the A/C units.

Maybe it’s the weather change.  Maybe the dying trees shedding their leaves are bringing a new sort of melancholy (but it can’t be the weather — these are my favorite types of days).

Air freshener — clean.  Rain whenever the door of the stairwell opens.

Most likely it’s a cocktail of memory and emotion and sadness trying to force it’s way past the Sunshine I’ve been feeling this last week.  Because the last few days have been good.  The weekend was great, last week was so smooth — but yesterday things started to spiral. It was gradual, so gradual that I couldn’t feel it coming.

Gum — mint — numbing my tongue.

And today everything collapsed.

It works.  I’m still feeling it — the bad, the static — but less.  



  1. This is a very helpful grounding technique that I use. I generally just find one thing for each of the five senses, and I try to really live in that sensory experience for a moment.

    It’s helpful to for me to find things outside myself when I do this, because they reconnect me to reality outside of my panic spiral. I especially find it grounding to feel something around me; right now, it’s the softness of my rut in the sofa.


  2. You are so very good at hiding your distress. When I talked to you earlier, you just sounded tired. I didn’t realize you were having an anxious day. I’ll be praying for you, sweetheart. ❤


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