Austin shares what it is like to have a panic attack and wants others to share their experiences.
By Austin John Jones
What I am about to talk about I think is a very personal experience for me. However, I want to tell you about it because I know I can’t be the only person on earth who has felt this way.
Sometimes, I feel like I don’t belong inside my own body. It’s almost as if my soul wants to be released to experience a greater feeling than being human; to be one with all things. It’s difficult to explain. Sometimes I feel like my body is a prison. And I just want to tear off my body and explode from it. I want to become an ever-flowing expanse of freedom. It’s as though I could just freely roam the cosmos and the universe without limitation.
Now, I know some of you might be thinking:
“Austin, you are not a higher power; you are not God. What you are explaining is impossible to do.”
I’m fully aware of this. I am aware I am not some godly, omnipotent being with unlimited power. But that doesn’t mean I don’t have what some people call “spiritual moments” that allow me to feel how it would feel to have such powers. In my opinion, this is the power of the imagination at its best.
So why do I end up feeling this way sometimes? Well, most of the time, it’s because of sadness. Or depression. I feel like this a lot when I have panic attacks.
ESPECIALLY when I have panic attacks. My brain ignites. My thoughts race. Bounce around like a pinball machine. I get the overwhelming urge to tear the skin off my body. Am I the only one that has these emotions, feelings, and thoughts? I’m not sure. But I hope you have not felt this way at some point in your life because it is a true moment of psychological struggle. I never want to actually feel this way. It is a terrible feeling. In these moments, it’s almost as though I’m losing my sanity. Next day when I wake up. I feel like I am dead inside. I feel like the life has been drained out of me. These moments are very taxing on my brain and body, physically and mentally.
I know some people will think what I am talking about is sacrilegious. I know some people will think I’m crazy. But I’m just going to be honest, I don’t mind. You are fully entitled to believe what you believe in. I will not judge you for that. I have no right to do that to you. I myself am agnostic. That means I might believe in a higher power. I just am not sure. I am one of those people that needs to see things and experience things to believe it, and ties back to what I said earlier, I experience things and use the power of my imagination together.
I write these blogs to share my personal experiences on the spectrum. I hope my knowledge and experiences will help you in your life and experiences. And sometimes, sharing experiences that some people aren’t comfortable with is just something that has to be done to get a point across.
Have any of you ever felt these feelings that I am talking about? Please share some of your experiences in the comments below.
My name is Austin. I am an artist. I am an art teacher. I am a gamer. I am a storyteller and a writer. I love my community, I love my friends and family, and I am on the Autism Spectrum. My favorite game to play with my friends is Magic the Gathering. My favorite video game to play is Spiral Knights. I am a Guild Master of my Spiral Knights Guild: Altosk. I am an avid Hearthstone player.My favorite food to eat is Mexican Food. Specifically Carne Asada Fries and California Burritos. I went to Art Center College of Design for college and graduated with a degree in Illustration.
Header Art: Austin John Jones “A Prison of the Mind”
Austin: Don’t forget that science does not understand consciousness, although many scientists act as if everything is understood.
Many poets and writers describe encountering experiences of various meditative mind-states. The English poet William Wordsworth describes these as “happy stillness of the mind,” where he believed that every man could attain the vision of joy and harmony of life in nature, which for him transformed the whole of existence.
Peaceful calm mind-states have been recorded throughout history in different cultures. William James (1902), as well as other prominent psychologists (such as Maslow and Jung) have hailed mystical experiences considering them to be a sign of health and a powerful agent of integration. Research studies have shown that people who undergo these experiences display lower scores on psychopathology scales and higher psychological well-being.
So, I would say to accept these experiences without labeling them as good or bad – just experience them as they are. If you haven’t learnt mindfulness, it might be useful for you to learn it as well so that you can be open to these experiences non-judgmentally.
Also, regarding the label of ‘autism’ you received – that is also a mere label that was given only based on a check-list. That check-list doesn’t have to limit you!
By the way, I really like your art work!
All the best to you!
Thank you for the open and exact sharing !
I feel that you will love to read my book when it is published…
I experience the feeling of strong electrical current running throughout my body and my skin is going to fly off and the electricity is going to shoot out of my body and then I will die.
This post brought me to tears. Im hopeful and although I agree no one wants to go through this, its bittersweet knowing I’m not alone. Thank you.
I used to have panic attacks when I was going through some heavy therapy that brought me to a critical point in my life. I was also blossoming spiritually, and my body didn’t know how to deal with the change. I finally found the courage to allow my body to do whatever it needed to do, and quite often it meant leaning over a toilet to release the knots in my gut, but then I found shaking to be of great relief and deeply calming. I would simply lie on my bed with a blindfold, detach my mind, and give my body permission to do whatever it needed to do to self correct, or re-calibrate itself, which it will do if we remove any obstacles to this self healing process. With a bit of trust and practice, my legs and arms would start to shake, and then my whole body would join in until the bed was vibrating. I found I could regain control anytime. This is a simple clearing exercise that allows the body to burn off excess stress, especially that neurological energy that accumulates and starts to feel prickly and annoying. I find this exercise quite grounding, and when followed by simple meditation it reconnects body and mind on a more harmonious level.
I’m 70 now, and I do another morning exercise in the bathroom to set myself up for the day. Every morning is an opportunity for a fresh start as we reinvent ourselves upon arising.
This is a spiritual exercise in belief! I begin by gently tapping all around my head, shoulders, chest, to stimulate my proprioception (your sense of where your body parts are in space and time). I do some gentle stretching in front of the mirror as I remind myself that I am NOT what I see in the mirror, but a high spiritual entity from the multiverse, an infinite being with great abilities and powers…let it sink in. Tingling will often start on the backs of my arms and shoulders, and that’s when I raise my arms like wings, and imagine myself as a 40 foot being of spiritual light with a heart like a furnace full of love. I stand and hold that image until it fills me with a new warmth that is very calming and uplifting. It works for me. Good luck.
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