In June 2002, I was a bridesmaid at my cousin's wedding when I had my first panic attack (or "episode" as I called it at the time). I managed to get through the wedding without anyone knowing I was having a problem, but in two months I was going to be a bridesmaid at my sister's wedding. What if I this "episode" happened to me again at my sister's wedding? Well, it did happen again, well before my sister's wedding.
It started to happen during meetings at work, in the car and at restaurants. I started to stay in a lot, other than work (I seemed to be ok at work unless I was "stuck" in a meeting). I somehow made it through my sister's wedding without a problem. I definitely had anxiety, but no panic attacks (I was also taking Meclizine at the time for dizziness, which made me drowsy, which is why I think I didn't have a panic attack during the ceremony). After this wedding, I swore I wouldn't be in any more bridal parties.
Well, wouldn't you know it, my other sister goes and gets engaged! At least I had a whole year to prepare. By this time I had done some research online and realized that I was suffering from anxiety and panic attacks. I started going to a support group and found that I was not alone! In group I learned many different "tools" to help alleviate my anxiety. After a year of weekly sessions, my sister's wedding came and went without a problem!
I was so proud of myself for all of the hard work that I did to get to this point. I "graduated" from group and have been free of panic attacks ever since. I still have some anxiety, but when this happens I break out my tools. One of the tools that works best for me is to light a scented candle and do my diaphragmatic breathing exercises. Inhaling the calming candle aromas always makes my whole body relax.
Another tool is to get involved in something that will keep my mind busy. I decided to combine these two tools. I started an online business selling relaxing scented candles?Candles that warm your heart and melt your worries away! I wanted to share this tool with others and in doing so, I also helped my own anxiety. Managing the site definitely keeps my mind busy. Although I still have some minor anxiety, my panic attacks have stopped. I know that candles are not a cure for anxiety disorders, but candles definitely helped me. I hope they can help you too!