Wednesday, 5 November 2014


Sometimes I forget...

Don't get me wrong I remember having PTSD.  But the moments when I felt I had lost myself feel vague, like patterns of grey that swirl in my mind without seeking purchase.  Until I get a reminder....

For me, this is a week of change, a time to show appreciation and to express this fully I need to say a thank you and share a secret I have kept for a long time. 

For myself, one of the most difficult symptoms was a panic attack.  It's an experience that's hard to explain.  All I know is that for me, it made my lungs burn, my head thunder and filled me with such an overwhelming state of panic the shiver of the memory still lingers. 

One day, three years ago, I was hit by a full-blown panic attack whilst driving on the motorway.  I had a car in front, behind and to the right of me.  I was trapped.  I can't fully express the overwhelming state of panic I felt in that moment.  I had no choice.  I had to keep driving as my lungs stuttered and my vision swam.  In the sea of cars I looked past to the grass verges down to the water below and I wondered if it would ever stop.  I wondered if I would ever be well again.

I fumbled with the radio and tried to find a distraction and instead fate found me.  I tried to focus on the voice of the presenter and then the song began and as the verse merged into a chorus I listened to the words and sung along.  Needing to connect with something.  Needing to help fight my way free and unbelievably it did.  The song helped me find the way home and when the car finally stopped and I took the key from the ignition, I sat for an indeterminate period of time, shaking and safe.

The story from there to here has been beset with twists and turns but it it were not for that experience I would not be the person I am today.  It made me write.  It made me well again.  It made me be who I am meant to be and for that I am very grateful. 

I don't know why I felt compelled to share this memory.  It's very private and a part of me I have never revealed before.  But I did not not for me but for others.  Perhaps there is someone, somewhere in the world, who needs to believe that they can come back from the brink and maybe my story can give them hope that they can.   You can be well again.  You can learn to smile again.  You can live the happy life you were meant to. 

Sometimes you just need to say Thank You without expectation of reward.  Because some words should be said.  And in this case, I say thank you to the song that saved me in more ways than I can fully express.

Music like any other art form is therapy and on that day it was the best help I have ever had.

And the song?

The song was "The Planets Bend Between Us" by Snow Patrol.