As I enter the duck blind and think about the week I’ve had, it seemed so appropriate to be there. Blinded by so many unresolved events and experiences within my life and feeling like I’m starting over each day I wake. It’s a new day I say, this is going to be great, and then it hits me out of no where blinded by the events to unfold of yet another panic attack. What is it this time I question. Why is this happening to me, I don’t like these at all. From the past I’ve learnt that once I enter into that depth of the unknown it will be a while before I come out. They usually last 6-8 hours in length. So I hide inside and listen to all the stories that play over and over again while my body has no control. I’m learning as each one happens what I need to do to make myself safe and ride it out like everything else. It’s just another day but today says your shutting down all other aspects of life and you will focus on survival within yourself. What does that mean? It means waiting patiently until you can come out again. I learnt this week there is no benefit to questioning why this is happening but more of acceptance and what can I do to help myself survive. My therapist says we may be dealing with a panic disorder. Hmmm so that means this grandiose fear I experience of fight or flight with each panic attack is so well known to me but also so foreign. How can I be kinder to myself, how can I support myself better in understanding and having patience with myself. I say everyone has problems Nicole. I have great difficulty letting myself off the hook, this shouldn’t be happening to me, I’ve always been able to deal with problems and I can handle a lot of stress that don’t require shutting down. Yes I sure have for many many years but at the expense of holding them in, not acknowledging my pain and suffering but making it look like I have it all together because that’s what I do. I can handle anything until today my therapist says Nicole you have a lot on your plate right now. I’m like nah not really. So she rhymes off well first off you are a mother and a wife with a family that is very busy, a house, your husband works out of town and you own your own business. You are dealing with PTSD from a trauma, your are dealing with childhood issues, you are dealing with your mother that has just diagnosed with brain cancer, you are dealing with taking courses for educating yourself, you just had your pet pass away. And the list goes on. Your cup is full and it makes total sense that your mind and body are trying to deal with all this plus the years that you stuffed down all that pain and suffering. So I think to myself I guess that sounds like a lot. Do I give myself a break and permission…no I always just keep pushing. Now I can’t any longer. This is it, right here right now, you either choose to embrace this and start acknowledging really what is going on and give yourself a damn break! I feel lazy when I’m not doing things, no it’s because when you stop you see the exhaustion and all that is there to see. These panic attacks are the only way my mind and body are forced to STOP and listen. This is really hard because this is my time of year where I really come alive, the change in weather and the ability to get outside more and feel the sun and warmth of the fresh air. As I enter into this phase I’m energized and wanting to be so impulsive and have some fun. I’m learning that I just need to go with the flow of life, accept and acknowledge what I need in those moments of the unknown. Move through them with kindness, non judgement, and open my eyes to this new reality. Conscious breathing day to day, this is my path, it’s okay, I’m okay, you are learning to survive in a new way. I’m coming out and I’m alive, feeling my body and acknowledging my fears. Learning more and more to live in a state of freedom. These photos help me realize so much, the story is there. Each week it just all comes together as I see the progress, even though at times it feels like I’m going backwards I’m always moving forward. Jeff and Karli took these amazing pictures. I enter the duck blind and wait patiently until I get what I came for and as I come out I get to retrieve and see the benefits of my patience. Live, laugh and love always! Much love, Nicole xo

PS Look at the heart that formed on my butt 💜


  1. Activity does not equal progress, and being still is not the lack of progress. These are common thinking traps. Just as the body, mind, soul and spirit need sleep for rest and recovery, so also being still is often necessary to planning and learning. To equate “doing” with motion or outward activity is to forget that the mind and body are always working (autonomic nervous system)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Do not be critical of yourself for not being busy, but rather accept that just as grieving takes work (effort), so does processing anger, guilt and other emotions, and understanding people, circumstances or events. Avoiding that work is suppressing thoughts rather than allowing yourself to work through them to place them in the proper perspective. It only leads to imbalance; intellectual, emotional and spiritual vertigo.
    You must learn to view rest and relaxation as a reward for mental work as well as for physical activity or for completing tasks. Simplify or re-prioritize your task list, and schedule time for recovery…get a massage, soak in the tub, have a glass of wine, and most of all: be aware and assured that you have earned it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is such great advise! I think for years I spent running and moving quickly to avoid what I really needed to do was make room for stillness so I could process everything that was going on. Thank you 🙏


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s