Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Away From Home Freak Out (Anxiety and Panic Attacks)

"There's nothing like staying at home for real comfort" - Jane Austen

My life is pretty well structured and stable.  I like to stay with the same job for a long time, live in the same place, and my partner, kitty, and I have our daily routines.  I started a new job this past summer, and I enjoy it immensely.  When I found out that I would travel in September from San Francisco to Atlanta for  4 days, I had mixed feelings.

I was excited at this amazing opportunity to travel and to learn an incredible amount about the new industry that I am now in; but I also felt anxious. I hadn't traveled on a plane in years - even to see family - because something about being far from home and out of my routine would shake me up, causing anxiety/panic attacks and embarrassment along with these.

I was mortified when this began to happen on a business trip with my boss and co-worker.  Luckily, they are two very supportive gentlemen who believe in my abilities and to whom I have already begun to prove my worth in terms of my work. They talked me through some of the episodes that I had, and with their gentle nudging, I was able to focus on the tasks at hand - I was there to cover a trade show on our industry - to learn as much as I possibly could, and to become impassioned about my trade - and all of those things happened.

During this trip, something that is probably rather obvious became real for me: Safety is not someplace out of ourselves. To think that my home in the SF Bay Area, or my partner, or my cat, or my structure/daily routine are what keep my safe is only a farce that keeps me and my world and my potential limited.

I stepped out of my comfort zone and had a minor setback with anxiety (though it felt quite intense and crazy at the time - I could barely eat I was so anxious!).  But, once I began to meditate and remind myself that I was a Child of The Universe - that I could *choose* to have a good time and to not only do my work but also enjoy myself, have interesting conversations and immerse myself in a completely different American micro-culture, and my experience began to change.

I was able to have a bit of fun, and when it was time to finally go, a part of me wished I had at least one more day. Funny, isn't it?

So while the quote from Jane Austen at the top of this page (which my friend Gabby posted to my Facebook wall this morning) does ring true, if we can find the comfort of love, safety, and "home" within our hearts, knowing we are connected to all others and to Life no matter where our physical location may be, then we are truly free.

Through this trip, I grew as a professional, but also as a human being. I hope that sharing my humanness around this experience has in some way blessed you or can bless someone that you know.  I'll let you know the progress the next time I travel outside of my comfort zone.

Do YOU ever experience anxiety or panic attacks? What triggers it for you?  What helps you to feel better?  Your sharing may help bless others.

Much love.

Debbie aka Sulilo

These really helped me out in the past and are great references:
Hope and Help for Your Nerves (Signet)  Attacking Anxiety & Depression: A Self-Help, Self-Awareness Program for Stress, Anxiety & DepressionLucinda Bassett's Attacking Anxiety & Depression Cd DVD

PS - This video by Kandee Johnson also helped get me through!


  1. What wonderful supportive boss and co-worker you have. A great accounting of working through fears.

  2. Thank you so much for your kind comment, Danine. Miss you!


I look forward to reading your comments. Thank you for taking the time to leave one! ♥

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.