Fight or flight?
I did it! I faced down my fear! I finally understand how to break the negative cycle of fear of fear (therefore, keeping fear alive.) Claire Weekes was right, banging on about the same concept a quadrillion different ways, but it has to be felt to actually understand it.
The importance of despair & being authentic.
At the very knifes edge of panic one must be courageous & ignore one’s imagination’s tendency to think the worst & harping on all your insecurities. In that very moment, one must choose to courageously seize the moment as opposed to shrinking in fear! You, must, in fact, run the exact opposite of your instincts & let the despair manifest itself, even outwardly, in public without trying to enforce a (false) “happy” emotional state (masking.) Doing so allows the panic (not dangerous in itself) to pass through you without continually spiking fear of fear in a never ending cycle. Taking five minutes out to compose oneself is infinitely better than having to retreat home in shame & lie down in a darkened room.
Life will, no doubt, give ample opportunity to practise this new skill & doing it under pressure will require diligent rehearsal. However this is most definite a step in the right direction.