I started avoiding all the places that could possibly trigger an attack, including grocery stores, social gatherings, and even my place of work. My life went from being filled with adventure to being very, very confined.
Anxiety was literally trapping me inside myself.
As my life spiraled out of control, I realized that I was doing anything and everything to avoid the fear. I was afraid of the fear. Instead of riding through the sensations, allowing them to be in my body, I was pushing and squirming against them.
I knew I had to find a way to ride the attacks through.
I started adopting mantras, words, or phrases that carry spiritual significance, to repeat to myself during intense moments of anxiety, and I found that my ability to handle the attacks grew. The mantras served as a vessel to carry me through the stormy waters.