The wedding of Jan’s daughter was six months away and the planning for it was gaining momentum. Instead of feeling excited, Jan was feeling desperate. What if she had a panic attack on the day of the wedding? What if she had to leave the church or the reception? What would everyone think? She didn’t want to make a fool of herself or disrupt the wedding in any way. What if she couldn’t even make it to the wedding at all? She was feeling anxious about it already, yet it was still six months away. Jan wanted to prevent her anxiety from increasing, but she didn’t know how.

Marilyn’s counsellor had told her that clinging to the memory of her first panic attack was not helping her as she worked on her recovery. Marilyn felt quite angry with the counsellor. What did the counsellor know anyway? That first panic attack was dreadful. Marilyn had been in the local shopping mall when it happened. She had no idea what it was and had thought she was dying. She had asked a few people to help her, but they didn’t respond. They must have thought she was either drunk or crazy. Marilyn had.to get back to her car and drive herself home, where she stayed for the next four years. Although she had made it home safely every time she tried to go out since then, Marilyn would think of her first attack and naturally she would become anxious. She didn’t want to go through that again. How could she not think about that attack? It was that attack which caused all the ongoing problems. Marilyn thought the counsellor, like all the rest she had seen, didn’t really understand and wouldn’t be able to help her.


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