Walk in Peace Through Panic Attacks

I had a panic attack during Krav Maga yesterday. It’s a terrible feeling to be fine one moment, and then be blindsided by a brutal attack by my own mind. Sadly, no amount of inside or outside defense drills can prepare me for the moment when my brain turns against me and kicks me in the equivalent of the groin.

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It’s like a trap door goes out under my feet and I just fall into this spiral of hatred. A never-ending loop of:

“You’re so stupid. You’re worthless. Everyone is staring at you. Everyone hates you. Life would be better for everyone if you died, and stopped wasting their time. You’re such a burden, a drama queen, worthless, useless, stupid…”

It fills up my head and makes me unable to breathe. To my frustration, I couldn’t finish the class. I feel so ashamed and weak, I wanted to just get away as far as possible. After encouragement from my wonderful teacher, I watched the class to gain some mental notes.

And I’m going back today.

Why do I keep trying? Because this is what I tell myself after.

Dear Me,

I’m so proud of you. I know how hard this burden is for you and you showing up and staying consistent is a show of your strength.

Don’t be ashamed of your struggles. Facing them and pushing on is a victory. This is a place where people come to deal with forces stronger than them. Whether it’s an abusive ex, a mugger, or your own mental health, everyone is struggling against impossible odds and learning how to win. So will you.

You are safe here. The mat has been called a pillow and it’s there for you to fall on. If you feel scared, you are among friends and classmates. No matter what your mind is telling you, you aren’t alone. The people around you care about you and want you to be here.

I know you can’t see it for yourself, but I see what is good in you. I see how worthy you are, and I wish I could lend you my eyes so you could see yourself the way I see you, as someone strong and smart and good.

Most importantly, you belong here. You aren’t a burden. You aren’t a drama queen. You are fighting a battle as a Krav Maga Warrior should, and you are winning. Every day you show up, you win. Every mistake you make and learn from, you win.

Concentrate on this truth. Krav Maga was made to turn victims into victors.

You are exactly where you belong and the more you train, the stronger you will be against your enemies.

Keep trying, and enjoying every step of your victory.

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