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  • Jonno White

My Panic Attack At The Ballet

Updated: Nov 17, 2022

Imagine you woke up in bed, looked up and saw an intruder looking down at you with a weapon.
What would your body do?

Adrenaline.


Heart racing.


Desperation to attack or run. Fight or flight or freeze, whatever you call it.


You'd scream at the top of your lungs.


Go from 0 to 1,000 miles an hour in a second because of the fear you would have for your life in that moment.


That moment. Imagine it. Imagine your body reacting like that.


That's what a panic attack is like.


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I took my wife, Liz, to see the ballet in Sydney, Australia, for her birthday.


We were in the second row and everything was okay until the conductor came out right in front of us.


All of a sudden I started worrying I would get nauseous and vomit over the orchestra pit and ruin the ballet.


My breathing got faster and I started purposefully slowing my breathing.


I felt my heart speed up and tension started building in my body.


I squeezed Liz's hand and continued trying to slow down my breathing.


I furiously tried tensing my muscles and then relaxing them like I'd learned about when I'd previously felt anxious.


This was different.


Nothing was working and the feelings coursing through my body were just growing and growing and growing.


The only way I can describe the feeling of what happened over the next 10 minutes is to get you to imagine you woke up in bed, looked up and saw an intruder looking down at you with a weapon.


What would your body do?


Adrenaline. Heart racing. Desperation to attack or run. Fight or flight or freeze, whatever you call it.


You'd scream at the top of your lungs.


Go from 0 to 1,000 miles an hour in a second because of the fear you would have for your life in that moment.


That moment. Imagine it. Imagine your body reacting like that.


That's what a panic attack is like.