“Panic Attack – For God’s Sake Don’t Tell Them What You Do For A Living” Brief Summary of Show:
Ever had an anxiety attack or a panic attack? If so, are you having them more frequently during these periods of self-isolation during the pandemic? In this Inspired Action For Imperfect Humans podcast episode, Christopher tells a recent story about having a panic attack, and how he got through it… and offers tips for others to get through their moments of panic or anxiety.
Calls to Action:
Tell us your “inspired stories” stories by visiting www.InspiredActionPodcast.ca
Christopher Lawrence LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/career-life-coach-christopher-lawrence/
Kyle Kalloo LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kyle-kalloo/
Change My Life Coaching & Strategic Leader LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/6446498/admin/
Change My Life Coaching: https://www.changemylifecoaching.ca
Strategic Leader: https://strategicleader.ca
The Ultimate Anxiety and Panic Toolkit: https://www.changemylifecoaching.ca/2020/03/31/the-ultimate-anxiety-and-panic-toolkit/
“Panic Attack – For God’s Sake Don’t Tell Them What You Do For A Living” Transcript:
So girl, I asked one question and, and then it’s like all of a sudden, it’s just like, the entire bag of shit falls out of his mouth. And was like, “Oh, there it is.”
It’s not true.
[Narrator] Is the thought of being imperfect keeping you from taking action? Welcome to “Inspired Action for Imperfect Humans.” Each week, we give you real life stories and thought-provoking research that inspires your soul to live a more fulfilled life, through your own actions. From the heart of Calgary, Canada, here are your hosts, award winning coaches Christopher Lawrence and Kyle Kalloo.
Well, hello, hello, hello. Welcome back to one of our, another exciting podcast. I hope you guys have been liking the podcast we’ve been doing. And I think we’ve, before we jump into it, we’ve been asking for your feedback. We’ve been asking just to let us know what resonate, what doesn’t, um, you know, cause sometimes when people have something bad to say, they usually have no problem saying it, but we just wanna say, if you have something good to say, we want to hear about it as well. And are you sharing the podcast? Christopher and I go back and forth all the time sharing podcasts. Where we’re like, did you listen to this? Oh, did you hear this? Are you guys doing that, or is that just us? I just wanna know, like, what’s your story?
If you don’t want to share it for the three listeners we have, if you don’t want to share it,
That’s not true.
Tell us why?
That’s not true.
You know, but it might be a little bit true. Actually it’s funny because somebody actually messaged me and I can’t even remember who it was on LinkedIn. And they said, I know you keep saying you have no listeners, but I actually listen,
and I was like, aww, thank you. Why can’t I remember who it was? My, my brain is so foggy these days, jeez.
Couple people have commented on that for us. And, and one person said.
Can we talk about, oh.
Sorry one person all, and I just want this to stop, so for those who are listening, I want this to stop. We don’t need any more feedback about, you know, Christopher always attacking me and you know, all that stuff. We don’t need that type of stuff. You know, us going back and forth cause a lot of people, sometimes they think, not a lot of people, someone has said, is that, they asked if that was scripted. I said, no, all his attacks on me, folks, are genuine, okay.
They are. Can we talk about why I’m mad at you today?
Oh, okay, why? Why are you mad at me today?
Because you abandoned me in my time of need.
What are you seriously, this.
Yeah, yeah, totally. Well, okay. So here’s the thing like, like, like folks know by now, like, you know, we’re business partners, but we’re long term, you know what we’ve been friends for, I don’t know, 14, 15, 16 years.
And so we know each other’s ins and outs, right? Like, like we, we can call each other out on things. We have a very good friendship.
He knows too much. So those are the people you keep closer, when they know too much.
Girl, I ask one question, and then it’s like all of a sudden, it’s just like the entire bag of shit falls out of his mouth and was like, oh, there’s that.
That’s not true, that’s not true. He pulls it out of me.
Yeah, I say hello. That’s pulling it out of him. Yeah. No. Okay. So I’m calling this podcast. Sorry, girl, this one is going to be hard for me. Oh, okay. Girl, I feel like laughing and crying at the same time.
That’s usually what happens, yeah.
So I’m calling this one panic attack, don’t tell them what you do for a living.
So I want to talk about a real life situation. So talk about imperfect inspired action. And there’s lots of opportunity for this. So like vaccines are going around. Some people are vaccine people. Some people are not vaccine people. You know, for me, it’s like, hey, I, I, you know, it’s not a scientific experiment. The research is very good on it. It’s in the arms of millions and millions and millions of people. And the likelihood of having illness from the vax like ongoing, terrible side effects from the vaccine are less than ongoing, terrible side effects from COVID. That’s my understanding. For listeners that disagree, you are totally welcome to disagree. I think there’s a lot about the human body, with we’re still learning about, and that we’re still understanding, so.
True story. Yeah.
With that said, I did decide to go get vaccinated, and I went to go get my second vaccine, and my husband was out of town.
And my best friend was out of town.
That’s why I abandoned you, okay.
That’s why you abandoned me. And so it’s like big deal. It’s just a needle. I’m not actually afraid of needles; that doesn’t bug me. But I do have a little bit of like medical anxiety. And so anxiety is a growing thing in our, in our society, like, like, like, numbers for those that are diagnosed with anxiety are really high, right. And certainly it went up during COVID.
Okay, before we continue, can you talk a little bit about what is, for those who are kind of, maybe not even sure, what is anxiety? Is it anxious moments? Is it uncertainty? Like what would you?
Yeah, so actually I’ve got, um, I’ve, I’ve got something up here that, that differentiates between an anxiety attack and a panic attack. So there’s generalized anxiety, which is just this general feeling of anxiousness that people experience, you know, as they go through their day. It can feel like somebody sitting on your chest. A lot of it actually has to do with breathing that people are breathing too shallow, and they’re sending a message to their brain that they’re, that is like, hey, you should be freaked out right now. Right, so it’s like, so if we focus on breathing, it actually calms a lot of it down. Getting back into the body can help a lot too, into the physical body. Sometimes we try to fix it by like, you know, it’s like, well think, you know, count to 10 backwards. And it’s like, actually what we should do is like progressive muscle relaxation or something. So, so an anxiety attack is, this becomes really important for the story. An anxiety attack involves apprehension, worry, distress, restlessness, and fear.
A panic attack shares fear, but it moves into fear of dying or losing control, a sense of detachment from the world. So derealization or depersonalization. People experience this sometimes when they feel like they’re dreaming.
But you’re awake. Do you ever have that experience where there, there’s such an intense moment that you, you start to depersonalize, you start to detach, and it feels like you’re, you’re, you’re up here. You’re not.
And, and, and then, and then they both share like heart palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath, tightness in the throat, like you’re choking, dry mouth, sweating, chills, or hot flashes, shaking, trembling, numbness, or tingling, nausea. And of course, when you get these symptoms, you believe that something’s actually wrong. So then it perpetuates. So then you become afraid of panic or afraid of anxiety.
And these things are happening at once, you’re saying?
They can, yeah. You can experience all of it at once. Yeah. And often when you’re in that attack state, so we’re talking about anxiety attack and panic attack,
Of course, right.
There is a difference between the two. So, so that’s the difference.
Have you ever had anything like that?
That, periods of certain things like the out of body one connects to me. There’s moments where I’ll trail off into a, what I thought was a daydream, but then I’m, I’m just aware that I’m just out of my body, so to speak, but it doesn’t last long, right? And it hits me, right away.
Yeah, it’s interesting, right? And so, so some people go here faster than others. I don’t think we really know why. I’m sure it has to do with neuro-plasticity. I’m sure that people who experience ongoing anxiety can tap into anxiety faster in their brains. Just like people who have ongoing chronic pain, the neural pathways to, to, um to get to pain in the brain are shortened. So, so basically it means that you can get there much faster, meaning people in chronic pain tend to continue to stay in chronic pain unless they actually take, you know, the medication and everything else, but also a therapeutic approach.
Right, and I think when you just explained that between the panic and the anxiety side of it, I think, you know, when I was dealing with my grandmother’s death, you know, there was moments where I just like, as the day got closer as the, that, like I was feeling a lot of those things that I had to kinda process and, and you and I chatted a little bit.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. That would probably be anxiety,
like a generalized anxiety, as opposed to an anxiety attack.
But you would, you may be maybe experienced some of this stuff.
For sure, okay. All right.
So not that this, you know, just, just saying this on behalf of a friend, it has nothing to do with me at all, but this friend who was abandoned by his best friend. Oh my God, so I can laugh about it. You should know that. And I think if you’re somebody who has anxious moments, anxiety, or panic, find the humor in it because it will make it easier, get to know your body, reach out to me. I’ve created a panic and anxiety, um, toolkit.
Okay, which is brilliant by the way. I mean, I’ve used it on couple of my clients. I’ve, it was was very helpful. And I actually told them where it came from. And I think that’s a great way of when you experienced something that you’re trying to help yourself, but you’re also helping others, which also helps you too, right? So that’s like anyone who needs that, definitely should reach out for it. It’s a phenomenal kit.
Yeah. So I, I’ve, I experienced this early in my twenties, quite a bit, like some panic and some anxiety, and, and, and it, it was a long journey, but I, I never gave up on working on it. So it’s like, you know, I can have little, little anxiety attacks that maybe last like three to 10 seconds sometimes. And I’ve had them in front of clients before. I’ve had them in meetings, but I know what to do with them. And usually when I’m done, I start laughing a little bit, like I giggle. It’s like, oh yeah, remember to breathe. Right, cause I know what’s happening. And mostly it’s just, your body is out of control, and it’s lying to your brain and saying you’re not safe. Right, and so the idea is to continually get yourself into a parasympathetic nervous state when you’re not in panicking anxiety as often as possible. So lots and lots of self care for people. And so maybe there’s an inspired action there for people.
So what does that mean, para-, before you get to that?
Oh right, okay.
I haven’t seen you experience that in a while. So it’s interesting.
It’s been a while Yeah, so, so panic, sorry, parasympathetic nervous system is the part of our nervous system that is in decompression mode. So it’s like, it’s like, that’s our resting states, our relaxation states. Some people wrongly think that when you sleep, you’re automatically in parasympathetic nervous system. But actually there are people when they are high strung or high stressed, they stay in their sympathetic nervous system even while they sleep. So the idea is to actually take moments to replenish and relax and take yourself down a notch, right? The sympathetic nervous system is that kind of high energy, high state, stressful. So that’s really good. That’s good when you’re playing sports. That’s good when you’re performing at work. That’s good when you’re performing on stage. You know, that’s good for, you know, kinda staying alert, right, out in the world. It’s a really good thing to have. Most of our society, I think, and this is why I think anxiety is much higher than it used to be in our society. It, most of our society actually lives in the sympathetic nervous system for too long, throughout the day and ongoing. And they never actually dip into the parasympathetic nervous system long enough to actually have a replenish. So they burn out; they get sick. You know, all this stuff happens. And so certainly, you know, like, like COVID was hard on everybody. COVID has been hard on our business. COVID has been hard on our team. COVID has been hard on our families. I think, you know, even harder, you know, when you have deaths and stuff and girl, we cannot talk about your grandma. Cause I already cried about it this morning.
Oh really? Yeah.
In front of a client. Yeah. I’m there right now. Like, I miss her, you know.
Don’t get me.
I can see you,
Go on, Christopher has the good looking cry. For those who know him, he has the good-looking cry. I have what I think people hear about, which is called the ugly cry. And it does not, so please, with the amount of makeup I have on right now.
You, girl, oh but you have such natural beauty.
So anyway, it’s been, it’s been a hard year, you know. There’s other family stresses, and of course you can’t go see people in hospitals. And you know, even though things are opening up, the hospitals are still pretty restricted and, and that kind of thing. So, here I am by myself and you know, so, so I have a bit of medical anxiety, which means that it’s just like, sometimes when I’m in a medical situation, it has to do with a childhood trauma. Sometimes when I’m in a medical situation, I experience anxiety that’s a little bit more heightened, and I just need to kinda work through it. And it’s, it’s no big deal, right? Most medical practitioners are used to it. And so I go into Shoppers Drug Mart to get my, and I’m going to say the name, because they were so kind, to get my shot. I get my shot. And they say, wait, your 15 minutes, right, to make sure you don’t have a reaction. And I was going to wait my 15 minutes in the store, but I’m like, I’m going to distract myself, because I know when I get an injection, they can take blood; I’m fine, right? But when I get an injection, I get a little bit weird about, you know, I get weird about taking new pills and stuff. There’s always a bit of anxiety. It’s just like, I don’t want to react.
And I just want to add this one little piece before I get vilified. I just want to add this one little piece that says normally we’re with you, either myself or you know,
Usually, yeah, yeah. Usually it’s depending on what it is. Right. Most of the, most of the time, I’m good. You know, if I take a new pill or something, you know, like a painkiller, an allergy pill or something, I, I, I’m usually good, right? But when I get an injection, I always get a little bit weird, right, like.
Yeah, and because of the injection, as the best friend I am, I said, hey, why don’t we have someone with you? Hey, why don’t we move the date? Hey, why don’t we do something? Cause I don’t, I kind of know.
No, I don’t want to wait for my vaccine, and if I had.
I didn’t want you to go alone.
No, I, I know that. And, and I wanted the vaccine. I wasn’t going to wait. Cause I’m like, I want this done. I want it over with, and I didn’t want anyone else with me, because if I got anxious, I would, I would have felt embarrassed, which is a big thing with people who have panic and anxiety attacks, the embarrassment is a really big part of it. Embarrassment is just like, it’s shame. That’s the inner critic coming out.
Folks, just remember what he just said, okay, all right.
So he didn’t want anyone with him cause he didn’t want.
Well I go to get a water. I take 10 steps away from the room I got my vaccine in, and I started to have a panic attack. But of course a panic attack, in your mind, is a very similar experience to anaphylaxis. Meaning you’re choking on your own tongue and you’re you got a dry mouth. You’re sweating. You got chills and sweats at the same time, it’s shaking.
It’s physical, yeah.
So I honestly, in all honesty, I haven’t had one this bad probably for 20 years. I was just like, it kind of caught me off guard. And so within 30 seconds, I hit the floor, because I was hyperventilating. So I hit, I fell to my knees. I start screaming for help in the middle of Shopper’s Drug Mart,
Literally, literally folks,
Help, help me .
Could you imagine being your shopper and you hear that?
Oh my God, well, you know, So, the great thing, the great thing is, is that I was surrounded by people. They got me to a chair. They gave me some water. I’m like shaking. I, I stayed for an extra half an hour just to calm down. But the best part of it was, this woman who, this woman who was standing there, she, she, I said, I don’t think I’m having an allergic reaction. I think it’s a panic attack. Like I managed to get some of these words out, because I’m familiar with it. right. So getting to know panic and anxiety is a really good idea, right? Haven’t really experienced anything like this. Don’t take medication for it. Like, you know, it’s just, and there’s no shame in medication. It’s just, I don’t need that in my life anymore. Girl, I could have used it that day. And, but, this woman, talk about inspired action. I said, I think it’s a panic attack. She was a customer waiting to get her shot. She says, she says to me, take off that fucking mask. You can’t breathe with that fucking thing on, take it off. She says, my daughter gets panic attacks. She said, they’re bad. She said, if this is panic, she says, you’re doing a really good job. She says, we usually have to call the ambulance for my daughter to make so that, they can tell her. She said, we’ve spent so much money on it. And so she just, she just, I, and then I started, she was good. She’s like, I’m like, okay, I’m calming down. But then I started to freak out again. I started getting my head in. And so I just, my inspired action was I said to her, I said, while you’re waiting for your shot, can you come and speak with me please? I just needed to talk. That’s one of the ways that I get out of my head, I need to talk about what’s happening. I need to talk about other things. I don’t like to be asked what’s happening to me. Cause then I focus on myself. I need to not focus on myself. I do progressive muscle relaxation. Once I was calm enough, I got into that. She goes, gets her shot. She waits 15 minutes and I waited her 15 minutes with her, more for me, so kind. So, I think there’s a whole bunch of inspired action here, which is like, you know, if you experience anxiety, get to know it. You know, ask for help when you need it. Ask for help, even from a stranger. I was amazed, you know, just like.
Is that the part where, when did it come up? Where they asked you what you did for a living?
Oh yeah. I forgot the title of the podcast. So then she asked me, she’s like, what do you do for a living? And in my head, I said, oh, for God’s sake, don’t tell her what you do for a living. She’s going to be like, but aren’t you supposed to have this all figured out? I said, actually I run a life leadership, and I own and run a life leadership and business coaching for. And she’s like really? And I said, yeah, kind of ironic, right, . And so it was just this moment of like, you know, it’s like, oh, hang on.
I’m glad you said something because,
Tell her I’m an engineer or something.
I think that’s another thing that holds people back when they’re in these other moments of different things. Like even as a leader, when you, you make a mistake, you haven’t figured out, and you have to tell someone that you’re also a leader, right. Because sometimes that gets in the way and we don’t always have it all figured out. And there’s moments of life that jumps in, which is really what happened in that moment for you, right? And I, you know, I, I’m kind of relieved that you allowed it to happen because if you didn’t and you were trying to, you know, subdue that or hold that back, and I could just think about what could have happened while you were driving home. What could have happened when you got home? What could happen in other things?
It would have been so much worse if I had actually run away and hidden.
It would have lasted for so much longer.
In first aid we learned choking don’t go away, right? And that’s what people do is they run to another place, because they’re embarrassed. They don’t want people to see them choking. But we can’t help you if you’re not there.
If you hide, yeah. Yeah. So here’s the thing. I had a little bit of embarrassment about it, but actually, you know, the, the truth is, is that that passed fairly quickly. Like I, you know, I, I really believe Kyle that, that people who experienced that, including myself, that was a human experience. I had a human experience and, and there’s nothing for me to be embarrassed about. There’s nothing for people with anxiety to be embarrassed about at all. For nothing, It’s like, yeah, but you literally yelled out loud in the middle of the store and people came over. Yes, because I was fucking scared. With the information my brain had at that time, and the way that my brain was able to process it, yelling for help was probably the best thing I could’ve done.
Of course, and what I love is, someone was there. Cause sometimes,
And not just someone; I was surrounded by staff and customers. And it’s like, and, and, and of course you do the thing right. It’s like, I’m, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry. And people are like, stop apologizing. And you know what, I did. Instead, I turned it into gratitude. Thank you. Thank you so much. These moments are hard, but I’ll move through it much faster, right? Turn those apologies into gratitude. Girl, what a story. I’ve told that a couple of times since, and every time I do it makes me laugh, because it’s like, I can see myself falling to my knees, help, help me. It was scary in the moment. And I know when for anxious people, anxiety is not a funny thing, but I promise you, if you start to see some of the humor in it, it’ll make it lighter for you. It’ll make you process it a little bit faster. You’ll take yourself a little bit less seriously. And you’ll just feel like, you know, it’s like, oh, what’s happening? What are you freaking out about Christopher? Nothing, and that’s the scariest part of it. It’s like, if you can have fun with it, it just gets a little bit easier.
So what’s the imperfect inspired action?
Yeah, well I think the imperfect inspired action could be any number of things. Maybe the imperfect inspired action is just to, to, to relate. You know, everybody just maybe relate to a little bit of self-compassion. Find that space in you to recognize that no matter where you are in your life, you’re a leader, you’re a star worker. Maybe you’re a really crappy worker and you know it, you know, but you’re having a human experience, and nobody needs you to be perfect; nobody does. And, and especially with those leaders out there, sometimes they feel like they have to hold stoicism. But actually your employer, your employees trust you more when you admit your mistakes.
Absolutely, and For those helpers out there, thank you for, for being there, and always finding an opportunity to help. And those people who sometimes don’t know how to help, like Christopher talked about today, sometimes just having a conversation, just staying with that person and be present.
Yeah. And letting them know that it’s okay.
Yeah, thank you guys for listening. We will see you again next week, and like always, let us know what is your perfect and inspired action that you want to take, especially in listening from today, take care.
[Narrator] It’s our goal to build a global community of inspired action takers, and we can only do that with your help. So if you love inspired action, please leave a review on your favorite podcasting app and share us on your socials. You’ve heard from us. Now we want to hear from you. Go to inspiredactionpodcast.ca, and tell us what is the inspired action you took this week. Next week on inspired action for imperfect humans.
Following your dream is not as easy as it sounds. And I think that stands for most things. However, I would say it actually is downright hard.