Wen and everyone else living in the dark world of panic, I want to share something with you a therapist told me once. This way of thinking got me out of the house after not leaving it for 7 months and have gotten me through some rough days. It also got me to do everything alone.
The therapist said to me "The success is in the trying and not in the actual event"
In otherwords, if you want to go to Walmart but you're afraid if you go you're SURE you'll get a PA, and yeah you might, but start the whole journey a step at a time.
For example, start by getting dressed to go, then get into the car, then drive to the destination (Let's say Walmart). Then if you can't do it and are panicking just being in the parking lot, then drive away and go home.
This starts the process of trying.
The next time, do the same thing and if you feel stronger, get out of the car and just walk into the store. You don't need to buy anything, but you can just walk around the front of the store.
If you freak, then leave, but again you tried.
As you keep doing this and use this train of thought, eventually you'll say to yourself, ok this is simple and I can leave whenever I want. I am NOT trapped.
Then when you're really strong, you can do all the steps again and then buy JUST ONE thing and wait at the cash to pay.
This is how controlled my panic attacks in public. I still get them and I still use this method daily, even after 23 years since having panic disorder.
I just came back from the grocery store 30 mins ago. I was uptight, panicked and have PMS, and I am sweating big time.
I said "Ok Jen just get dressed and get your butt in the car, get to the store and see where it takes you"
I got there, walked around, uptight and nervous, but I got a whole order and it was all good.
It took practice, but it's very doable!
The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong in the broken places