Soooo . . . it’s been a while. I know. Get over it.

Hey, did I ever tell you I used to suffer from panic attacks? NO? Well, no wonder. Panic attacks aren’t very funny. Oh, sure, it’s funny when it happens to someone else. HAHAHAHA! Can’t walk half a block from your house to mail a letter because you’re AFRAID? Hilarious. Can’t sit on the front porch with your husband because you once had a panic attack there? BWA-HAR-HAR! Shove pills down your gullet to numb your central nervous system so you can’t feel anything? Tee-freaking-HEE!

Oh, wait. That all happened to me. But come on. It’s still funny. You have to laugh, right? Anyway, it’s been quite a while since my ol’ friend panic attack paid a visit. But the day I signed up for my first Bikram yoga class, I had a feeling we might be meeting again.

You see, my young friends, the panic attacks were always triggered by heat and humidity and the feeling that you can’t breathe because there’s no air when it’s hot and you gasp and hyperventilate and OF COURSE there’s plenty of air but that doesn’t stop your brain from telling your body YEE-HAW! It’s fight-or-flight time, and you ain’t got no one to fight and there ain’t nowhere to fly. So you’re stuck with all this adrenaline and shaking and sweating and the hands get numb and the heart pounds and you gasp and gasp and the black dots start to dance in front of your eyes and you pray for unconsciousness.

And when it’s over, you spend all your time worrying about the next one.

Still laughing?


Because this yoga . . . man, this fucking yoga. I swear. It’s like the perfect storm of panic attack triggers. Hot, humid, packed with sweaty people. And in between the poses, we have to be breathing statues. Or, in my case, last Sunday, a hyperventilating statue.

The instructor that day was tough but kind. There were a lot of new people in class, so he talked nonstop to keep them from freaking out. He assured them (and all of us) that we were expected only to give our 100% best, to work hard but to be compassionate. And to stay in the room for the whole 90 minutes.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever had a panic attack, but there is one basic tenet. Once it starts, you have to get out of there. I don’t care where “there” is — you have to leave. GO! NOW! Get the hell out of there! Because wherever you are, somewhere else is better. Especially if where you are is a 104-degree room in which you have specifically been told to stay.

It was about two-thirds of the way through class. I’d been struggling since the second pose. I typically stand on the “cooler” side of the room, because duh. But regardless, I was broiling from the inside out. The heat. The humidity. The breathing. We’re encouraged to sit down and take a break any time we need to, and believe me, I did. But it didn’t help. I couldn’t get a handle on my breathing. I tried sitting, lying down, doing the damn pose to take my mind off it, but it was dug in.

Then the instructor said the magic words: “We’ve got a lot of new people in here today, and sometimes when that happens, there’s a sort of panicky vibe in the air that can be contagious. The rest of us need to help keep that under control.”

Well, that was all I needed to hear. There are panic vibes?! In the air? And I’m breathing them in? Well, no fucking wonder! Shit, man, I’ve gotta get out of here! I felt the familiar numbing sensation that precedes a full-blown attack. There was no air in my lungs. My vision swam. Limbs turned to jelly. Pounding, pounding, pounding.

This was it. Was I really going to leave the room? What would happen? I was about to find out.

Between poses I raised my shaking hand and caught the instructor’s eye. I motioned toward the door as I unsteadily got to my feet. “Oh, come on,” he said but didn’t try to make me stay. I kept my head down, ignoring what I was sure were looks of contempt, turned the handle, and . . .

I was out! I had left the room! I waited for lightning to strike me dead (it would’ve been welcome at that point), but nothing happened. I ran to the changing room to get my panic pills, which I carry with me everywhere even tho it’s been 700 years since I’ve had an attack. I was still gasping and feeling pretty awful, but I was so glad to be out of that room.

It’s policy that if someone ever does leave the room, the instructor follows them out to make sure they’re OK. I really didn’t feel like talking, but between gasps for air, I explained what was going on. The instructor didn’t make me feel bad for leaving, but when I said I’d had a panic attack, he pointed out, “Well, it just won.” And he was right.

He returned to the room to continue the class, and I sat outside, concentrating on calming my breathing. So cool! So quiet! I was feeling a bit better. I figured I’d sit there until class ended, then skulk back in and get my mat and towel.


Here’s the instructor again. Holding the door open and motioning me into the room. “Get back in the game.” Without hesitation (but also without much enthusiasm), I trudged back in. I made it through the last two poses and breathing exercise somewhat shakily, but I didn’t die. Getting back in that room was the best thing I could’ve done, even if it was the last thing I wanted to do.

So now the question: Why the hell am I doing this? Well, most of you know I’ve had ongoing chronic and debilitating back pain. Many of you know about the Vicodin. But what you probably don’t know is that I’ve been at the end of my rope in more ways than one. Yes, the end of THAT rope. Chronic pain will do that to you. So will Vicodin addiction. Turns out panic attacks were the least of my problems.

This yoga is saving my life.

My pain is manageable — some days I don’t even call it “pain.” I’m stronger, mentally and physically. Before last Sunday, I’d made it through 88 classes where I breathed through the discomfort, the heat, the challenge of the poses. When I’m in a tough situation, I feel better equipped to deal with it.

The instructor advised me to “get my ass in the hottest part of the room.” That doesn’t sound very fun. But I’m not exactly in this for fun. I’m in the fight of my life, and panic may win a few rounds, but I plan on taking the championship.

Starting today.

*        *        *

Oh, my god, are you still here? Well, don’t worry. Next post will have tons of nudity, sex, and juvenile humor, just as you’ve come to expect from I Do Things.


Please read about my second Bikram yoga class here (It’s way shorter and much funnier, I promise!)


Bikram studio came from here

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65 Responses to “I Left the Room so you don’t have to”

  1. 1 Lauralee (flit)

    SO glad to see you posting again …. hell, you could post a recipe for popcorn and we would all be glad to see it.

    I wondered why the heck you would subject yourself to what sounds to me like a totally not fun experience. That’s definitely one thing I’m glad you do so I don’t have to (I would NEVER – with my breathing issues, I wouldn’t make it through the first class).

    I’m quite good at having my own panic attacks though – so no need to keep doing those for me. Thanks, though.

  2. 2 Florida Girl in Sydney

    What a painfully honest (no pun intended) and brave post. I could nearly feel your panic attack reading that, especially since last week my closest Aussie friend invited me to a Bikram Yoga class which I have been thinking about, but am scared to death to go to.

    Anyway, to go with your Bikram– have you seen an acupuncturist? My sister is a Dr. of Chinese Medicine (acupuncture, chinese herbs)– I think she may have said acupuncture is exceptionally effective for pain?

    You’ve got your whole life to write about nudity and sex; you gotta write what you’re feelin’ or it’s all just a big old phoney baloney dance off.


  3. 3 Jaffer

    If the next part involves nudity and sex, then man this foreplay sucked !

    But then, if it’s saving your life in some way, then you are brave. :-)

  4. 4 meleah rebeccah

    Oh JD. I’m so happy you are posting again. And I am so sorry you are dealing with such horrible panic attacks. I know what that’s like all too well. I am glad your Yoga instructor is helping / forcing you to get through them. And I’m even happier your pain is going away.
    meleah rebeccah´s last blog post ..Waiting…

  5. 5 Shieldmaiden1196

    I surrender my protective-of-you attitude toward bikram now that I read this; if it was all horribleness and rule-making and no benefit it’d be one thing, but I can see that it is indeed very important and helpful and I can understand why you are willing to endure its challenges.

    Also– Please don’t feel like every post has to be all about hilarity. The darkness is part of the ride. We know that. You do too. And we’re here for you in it.
    Shieldmaiden1196´s last blog post ..Summer Breeze

  6. 6 Stephanie Barr

    Hey, kiddo.

    Don’t be afraid to send emails. I worry about you.

    I’m there for you, too.
    Stephanie Barr´s last blog post ..Sensual Romance Part 1

  7. 7 MomZombie

    I, too, am glad to see you posting again. I wondered what happened because so many bloggers are disappearing into the wild blue. Not you, too, I had hoped for months. Obviously you’ve had some major life challenges. I’ve never had a panic attack but I am hyper-sensitive to our Great Lakes climate and have always shunned yoga classes for this very reason. Thanks for this very real post. One day at a time and all that. You rock!
    MomZombie´s last blog post ..Travel journal: expectations<br /> and the unexpected, Part II

  8. 8 absepa

    JD, I’m sorry you’re dealing with all this heavy and definitely non-fun stuff. I’m not usually a hugger, but I’m sending a big Internet hug your way, along with prayers that you continue to see improvement for your pain through your yoga classes. I have dealt with panic attacks in the past and I know that feeling of dread very well. It’s such a relief when you know that that beast can’t control you anymore. We’ll be here when you feel like writing about sex, nudity, and juvenile humor again. :)

  9. 9 Ron

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay….JD posted!!!!

    OMG, this is just too ironic because all day yesterday I was thinking about you and wondering, “When the hell is that girl ever gonna post again?” It’s been ages. And you’ve been missed!

    “This yoga is saving my life.”

    Good for you, girl! And I’m so proud of you for sticking with it. Like I shared with you previously, I also practice yoga (not the hot kind), and it truly makes a world of difference in how I feel – physically AND emotionally.

    ” I’m in the fight of my life, and panic may win a few rounds, but I plan on taking the championship.

    Starting today.”

    (((( JD )))))

    YEE-HAW….glad you’re back!

    Ron´s last blog post ..How To Achieve An Orgasm Without Taking Your Clothes Off

  10. 10 Katherine

    Yeaaaa you are back! How awesome that you went back in. The attack THOUGHT it won…but you came out in the end! woohooo!
    Katherine´s last blog post ..San Diego and Sandwiches

  11. 11 Christa

    JD, I’m glad you’re writing again and proud of you for entering a Bikram studio. As a beginning yoga student, I feel you choose the most challenging style. Yoga isn’t about the destination. It sounds so f-ing cliche but it’s true. If part of your learning experience is leaving the room, so be it. You paid your money. Who cares.

    I can’t stand the Nazi-like way Bikram works. I understand the concept of challenging people but if I wanted a gulag, well, you know where I’m going.

    As a yoga instructor and student, I’m here to mention gently that if you suffer from panic attacks, it’s ok to choose another form of yoga. I think you may benefit from a practice that includes sun salutations (often referred to as a flow yoga class – common poses plank, low plank, down dog, lunges). Of course, I could be wrong…

  12. 12 Babs

    Well hello JD!!! I just knew you’d be back if I waited long enough.

    You are very brave (and obviously very determined) to continue with these classes. I’m so glad they are doing you good. I know all too well what panic attacks are like and I must say that to shut myself in a room that was humid would be an absolute no-no for me. It’s been about 25 years since I suffered with them but if anything could trigger one in me, that would!

    So glad you are back blogging :)
    Babs´s last blog post ..Remember our old tin bath?

  13. 13 Daisy the Curly Cat

    Oh my Cod, now I am starting to feel a bit anxious…

    If you want, I could share my heated cat pad with you. Then you will automatically feel warm when you do Yoga. It plugs in, so you can’t sweat too much on it, or you could get electrocuted.

    ps: I’m glad you’re back!
    Daisy the Curly Cat´s last blog post ..The Food Vault

  14. 14 Surfie

    JD!! YOU’RE BACK!!! *HUGS* I’m sorry to hear you have had so many struggles. But I’m glad to hear that you are kicking their butts! And being funny at the same time? You are definitely going to be taking that championship! It’s so good to have you back. :)
    Surfie´s last blog post ..Your Friendly Neighborhood Copperhead

  15. 15 cardiogirl

    I am THRILLED to see you back and, like Shieldmaiden, I don’t think you should worry about writing a serious post every so often. It’s so easy to say that to another blogger and yet it’s hard for me to follow that advice.

    I want to be *on* baby. I want people to laugh. I want to seem in control but I’ve had a few of those panic attacks and they ain’t cool. And I think I’m the only one in the house who wants to kick the yoga instructor in the nuts. I know, tough love and all.

    Congratulations on 88 yoga classes, gingah! That’s a hell of an accomplishment!
    cardiogirl´s last blog post ..The Cardiogirl state of the union address

  16. 16 The Accidental Somebody

    You had me at Glass Poo award… I stumbled upon your blog and gave the precursory once-over before reading my first post, and now I have to dig deeper because I like what I’ve seen dammit. Anyhoo…you’re a very brave strong woman and I look forward to getting to know you more!


  17. 17 Kathy

    Yesterday, CNN put the wrong lead story on their home page. It shouldn’t have been that the govt. raised the debt ceiling. It should have been that you wrote on your blog.

    Welcome back, my friend.

    You know I’ve had panic attacks in my life. It’s not fun and people who’ve never had them don’t quite understand the feeling of absolute desperation. You are to be commended for going back in after that. It’s nothing short of Herculean.
    Kathy´s last blog post ..Catholic Veil Fashionista

  18. 18 Bitter Lynne

    It made my day to see you back posting. It made my day less cheery to hear you’re having a tough time. Then my day turned up again that you seem to be getting through. As a result, my day has been up and down and it’s only 8 a.m.

    Seriously, your panic attacks sound very similar to the newly experienced hot flashes I’m enduring. It may keep me out of the hot yoga room. The indiginities of aging never end.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    The real take-away here is “tee-freaking hee.”
    Bitter Lynne´s last blog post ..Random Stuff From This Week….And It’s Only Wednesday

  19. 19 JD

    Lauralee (flit): Coming up next on I Do Things: My grandma’s recipe for popcorn! Seriously, thanks for the suggestion. I need ‘em. Yeah, I wouldn’t describe Bikram as “fun,” but there is a tremendous sense of accomplishment that I find rather addictive. The breathing thing is tough, tho. I’ll consider this the last panic attack I do for anyone!

    Florida Girl in Sydney: Thank you. I’m sure this probably scared you permanently into not going to the Bikram class with your friend! I hope not, tho. It can be amazing. I have tried some acupuncture, with mixed results. In addition to the yoga, I’m also seeing a Rolfer, and that has provided the most help of any modality I’ve tried. Like Bikram, tho, it’s not that fun. Aaaand . . . “phoney baloney dance off” is my new favorite phrase. Thank you.

    Jaffer: HA! Yeah, sorry for the lame foreplay. I can’t even promise the follow-up will be worth it, but I’ll give it a try. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    meleah rebeccah: I’m happy too! Yes, I’m sure you can sympathize. It ain’t fun, but I’d rather suffer in a hot room than cower in my bedroom. Smooch!

    Shieldmaiden1196: I very much appreciated your protectiveness, but yeah, the yoga is definitely not all torture. The benefits are huge. I love “the darkness is part of the ride.” Love it. Thank you.

    Stephanie Barr: Thanks, Stephanie. I know you are, and I appreciate it so much. Turns out this post was the best way for me to express myself. Thank goodness for blogs, right?

    MomZombie: I don’t want to disappear! I’m trying hard not to. I totally understand your sensitivity to climate/yoga. It can be tough, all right. But, yup! One day at a time. Or sometimes, one breath at a time.

    absepa: Heh. I’m getting to be more of a hugger in my old age, so I happily accept your cyber-hug. And prayers. Very much appreciated. I’m so sorry you are familiar with panic attacks. I don’t wish that on my worst enemy. Thanks for the kind words, my good friend.

    Ron: HI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just KNEW you were thinking about me. I felt it. I’ve missed you and all my blog friends. Thank you so much for hanging in and stopping by when I finally decided to blog. I’m so glad you are getting such good results from your yoga practice. Man, I used to hate yoga. Well, I kinda still do! But at least it’s helping me. Hugs back to you. YEE-HAW!

    Katherine: Oh, I love that! Yes, the attack didn’t really win, did it? I guess it’s fair to say it scored a minor victory, but I won the battle. And I live to fight on!

    Christa: Thank you so much, my beautiful friend. No, you’re right about the destination. My experience on Sunday was all part of the journey, and I’m trying to use it and learn from it as much as possible. For so long, I’ve focused only on the physical aspect; now it’s time for me to start noticing the other effects. And I get what you’re saying about Bikram. It shocks me that I actually like the disciplinary aspect, but I do. And there’s nothing stopping me from trying other types of yoga too. I think your suggestion is excellent. I actually have a decent yoga DVD that includes a lot of the poses you mention, so I think I may dust it off. Thanks so much for the gentle advice. It’s much appreciated.

    Babs: HI BABS! I’m just sorry you had to wait so long. But I’m so happy you’re still here. Brave? I dunno. Determined? Yes, only because I know the rewards are great. I know your familiarity with panic attacks, and I’m so sorry. I hate that anyone has to go through that. I’m glad it’s been such a long time for you. It’s good to be back!

    Daisy the Curly Cat: Oh, no! Daisy, please don’t feel nervous. You are perfectly safe. That’s so kind of you to offer to share your heated pad. Maybe I can just do yoga on that instead of going into the hot room. However, I do sweat a lot, so maybe it’s not such a great idea. Thanks for stopping by!

    Surfie: HUGS to you! Yay! It’s good to be back! Thank you for the kind words. Yes, I am kicking butt left and right. Or trying to. I’ve got my eye on that championship trophy.

    cardiogirl: Thank you! Yeah . . . people say comedy is hard, but sometimes it’s easier to be funny. I’d love to read a serious post from you. I’m sure you’ve got a lot to say, even when you’re not being side-splittingly hilarious and clever and witty. Believe me, I’ve wanted to deliver a sharp knee to that instructor’s groinal region a time or two. But he really only wants what is best for his students. And yeah, I’m pretty damn proud of 88 — wait, no, now it’s 90! — classes!

    The Accidental Somebody: Welcome! The Glass Poo award usually lures ‘em in, I find. I appreciate the comment very much. Thanks for stopping by, and please come back. I might actually post again before the year is up!

    Kathy: Oh, Kathy. I don’t even have to say it — you know. But thank you. Yes, we’ve talked about panic attacks, and it sucks. But we’re both strong and tough and awesome, right? Thanks for the lovely comment. Now get on the horn to CNN and get that headline fixed.

    Bitter Lynne: Heh. Loved your comment. Sorry to give you so many ups and downs in such a short period. Also sorry about the hot flashes. I’m sure you’d be right at home in a hot yoga room. Thanks for stopping by!

  20. 20 Pricilla

    Daisy is so nice. All I can offer is Abby to butt the mean instructor but the instructor wants to help so he really is not mean. So maybe just a big goat hug instead.

    Glad you are back
    Pricilla´s last blog post ..Wordless Wednesday – In Profile

  21. 21 GoKart

    I think you left something out when you explained why you were doing it- not just for your back but maybe to prove that heat doesn’t have to mean panic attacks! Well done. I love yoga and do ashtanga religiously but even I would be put off by the heat at Bikram! Here’s hoping it gets easier and thanks for the great post :)
    GoKart´s last blog post ..Darren dusts himself off. Martin Vousden on The Open

  22. 22 Laura

    Yeah that was an accurate description of a panic attack. They are my main thyroid symptom and I went through a really bad patch of them before I finally got diagnosed.
    I think more of us empathize than you could possibly realize. And yes, I hate hate hate the feeling of ‘yeah I’m terrified…of…NOTHING…aaaarrrrggghhh’. Sooo frustrating because you KNOW all the right answers but it just doesn’t help because it’s not logical.
    Anyway, stay strong and keep on fighting. Walking back in that room just won you a MAJOR battle.

  23. 23 Susan

    So happy that you are back, you’ve been missed! And I agree with everyone else–we DO love your humor, but I think anything that you write about will be compelling. And even if I wasn’t really supposed to, this post DID make me laugh…

  24. 24 Lisa Lisa

    Loved your post! I’ve can relate to your post in more than one way. I thinks that’s awesome that you are trying to take control of this and move forward. Really, that’s all we can do. We can’t hide from problems, issues, road blocks, etc. forever. Good Job!!

  25. 25 Marie

    I don’t know where to start.

    My first impulse is to drive to where you are, scoop you up and bring you to my house where we can have fun and eat lots of ice cream and stalk Bruce Springsteen and Jon Stewart (they live nearby) and totally get the chronic pain thing and therefore be super kind to each other.

    But Dave might have an issue with that. And maybe you too.

    Other random thoughts:

    * You are brave. And generous to share your pain. You have no idea who might read this and find comfort.

    * Anxiety sucks. Ditto pain. Ditto the fact we need medication to function and that medication can turn on us.

    * The yoga instructor was an asshat. The panic attack won? FUCK HIM. It was you having the attack. It didn’t ‘win’, it just was. Pressuring you to return? What if you were having a cardiac issue? Does he want to be responsible for killing someone? They need to re-look at their policies when someone says they are not well enough to continue. Only the individual knows if they are up to it and they should not feel coerced in any way, shape or form.

    I am so glad you posted this. And if you aren’t up to another post for another six months, then so be it. You are always worth the wait.

    Be good to yourself. xo
    Marie´s last blog post ..Twenty Years On, Still Sorely Missed

  26. 26 dcr

    How many times has someone gone off and beat the daylights out of the yoga instructor?

    And, after being beat up, do you think he looked up at his attacker and said, “Well, your anger won today.”?

    Anyway, glad you’re back, but keep the priority on taking care of yourself.
    dcr´s last blog post ..Twice More with Feeling

  27. 27 hogsatemysister

    Panic attacks can be God’s way of telling you to lighten up, have a beer, put on some blues, read some humor and kick back. They can also mean you are totally deranged, but I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt…
    hogsatemysister´s last blog post ..Trying to bulk up? Buy a used treadmill…

  28. 28 JD

    Pricilla: Aw. Thanks for the goat hug. The head butt might come in handy sometime in the future. You just never know.

    GoKart: YES! Thank you! I do want to triumph over this stupid heat thing. I suppose I prove that every time I take a class. I’d like to try other kinds of yoga eventually. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to do the postures and not sweat like a pig.

    Laura: I’m a little sad to see how many people are relating to the panic attack situation. I have thyroid disease too, but I’m hypo and have been on medication for a while. There may have been a connection at some point tho. You’re so right about panic not being logical. If it were, no one would have panic attacks, because everyone would be like, “Well, this is stupid and makes no sense!” Thanks so much for the great comment.

    Susan: I’m glad you laughed! I laughed while writing it, because what else can you do? Thanks so much for the kind words. It feels good to be back, writing . . . anything. But I do hope to lighten things up with my next post.

    Lisa Lisa: Thanks for the encouraging words! Yeah, I have had a tendency in my life to swerve out of the way of roadblocks, but at the tender young age of 50, it’s time to start facing them head-on.

    Marie! You are such a sweetheart. Neither Dave nor I would have a problem with you kidnapping me. I know we’d have a blast (Jon Stewart? Bruce Springsteen???!). I also know of your struggles (a little bit anyway) and I know you know what it’s all about. Thank you for calling me brave. I don’t really feel that brave, but if I keep doing brave things, maybe I’ll believe it. Nothing would make me happier than even one person reading this and feeling like they’re not alone. As for the yoga instructor, well . . . I see where you’re coming from. I guess you’d have to know him. He did ask me repeatedly if I was OK, and I told him I was. Because really, I was. If I’d thought for a second there was anything physically wrong, I would’ve spoken up, and I know he would’ve reacted accordingly. And if I really hadn’t been up for getting back in the room, I would’ve said so. But I knew he was right to get me back in there. Anyway, thanks for the wonderful comment and kind words. They mean a lot to me.

    dcr: BWAH! I wouldn’t be surprised. Not one bit. Thanks for stopping by and not giving up on me.

    hogsatemysister: You are definitely on to something. Except I think I’ll have a Klonopin, put on some Zeppelin, read some gossip mags, and kick back. Deranged? Yeah, probably.

  29. 29 Lauren

    Great to see you posting again. I love your honesty and humorous take on the discomfort creatures that lurk in our lives. My discomfort creature is a petulant ten year old that is a bit of a drama queen.

    My husband has described a panic attack as “holding onto a cliff by his fingernails.” He used to get them but takes Paxil, which has prevented other attacks. I can’t see my husband doing Yoga. I don’t even think he can cross his legs while seated on the floor. Hell, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him on the floor, just parts of him: his feet and dirty clothes.
    Lauren´s last blog post ..Granny Samaritan and the Frozen Steak Stir-Fry

  30. 30 meleah rebeccah

    “but I’d rather suffer in a hot room than cower in my bedroom. ”

    Amen, sista! Amen!
    meleah rebeccah´s last blog post ..Waiting…

  31. 31 Susan

    My sister used to get panic attracts in crowded places, after trying all sorts of drugs, she then when to a hypnotist who thankly managed to sort her out.
    Also can;t wait till the next article with all the nudity, sex, and juvenile humor!

  32. 32 Kathleen Kaufman

    I am so very glad to see you back!

    As I wrote on your facebook – you don’t need to be funny, you just need to be here. We miss you when you’re gone. I have known a good number of people who had panic attacks, but it doesn’t sound like you even need a pre-existing condition to have one in a closed 104 degree room. I have never had one, and I don’t think I would last in that for 2 minutes.

  33. 33 JD

    Lauren: HI! It’s good to be back. Yup, we’ve all got discomfort creatures (I like that term) that we have to deal with. Humor helps, tho it can be hard to laugh sometimes. I’m sorry your husband knows too well the grossness of panic attacks. That’s a good description. I take Lexapro, which has kept me attack-free for years. I suspect the onset of menopause (YAY!) has probably got me out of whack, and that’s why I’m feeling it more these days.

    meleah rebeccah: I thought that would resonate with you!

    Susan: I always wondered about hypnosis. I’m glad your sister got help that way. I’m not planning on this whole panic thing becoming a norm for me again, but if it does, I may look into that. Until then: NUDITY!

    Kathleen Kaufman: It’s good to be back! I’ve missed all of you — and I’ve missed being here, in whatever state I’m in, which lately, hasn’t been all that funny. Yeah, I would think the yoga room could induce a panic attack in many “normal” people. But I’ve been back 3 times since Sunday and have done pretty well. Go, me!

  34. 34 Margaret Andrews

    Jesus, you’re a brave woman. For so many reasons, not the least of which is walking into the mouth of the dragon of a Yoga Class. I admire you so much and am so glad to hear what it’s doing for you. Bikram yoga has no appeal for me, Because it’s hot. And while I don’t have panic attacks, I pass out when it’s too hot. I suppose maybe it might be something I would get used to after a while, but …. but it’s hot.

  35. 35 Rob

    I had to double take there – it looks like the guy in the photo is wearing a snorkell!!

    which would only be marginally more disconcerting than the sweating bodies that make up a Bikram workout.
    Rob´s last blog post ..X Pole Sport

  36. 36 JD

    Margaret Andrews: I dunno how brave I am. Forcing myself to do these things seems better than the alternative . . . sometimes. I know of people with anxiety disorder whose lives have become so small. I don’t want that to happen to me. Yeah. It’s hot. Today I was having trouble, and when the instructor (a different one than I describe in the post) asked me what was going on, all I could say was, “IT’S HOT!” Duh.

    Rob: A snorkel would almost be appropriate, given the humidity and sweat droplets hanging in the air.

  37. 37 LJ

    Have I told you recently that you ROCK!
    LJ´s last blog post ..Needing Gumption

  38. 38 JD

    LJ: No. No, you haven’t. But this totally counts. Thank you!

  39. 39 in bed with married women

    I just found you and I might be kind of in love but I am too elderly too figure out how to follow you. Not as elderly as you, however.

    Uh, that was kind of mean. I’ll be going now.
    in bed with married women´s last blog post ..Ooooh, Sears, You Naughty Little Store, You

  40. 40 Labelle

    I’ve never been a fan of the hot yoga. For one, it’s too hot. At my first hot yoga experience in Vancouver, there was a guy in a skin tight green and white striped “banana-hammock” that was so bendy I could see Nebraska the whole class. TMI.
    Anyways. Yoga is great for chronic pain (i’m sorry you have to experience that) and pushing yourself through things like panic attacks is admirable..but healing may come from a different style of yoga.

  41. 41 JD

    in bed with married women: I think I’m a little in love with you after checking out your blog. Anyone who writes posts with the tag “ball sack aroma” is OK in my book, even if they are a whippersnapper.

    Labelle: OMG. “Nebraska”? I do not even want to know. But yeah, there are a few guys whose choice of shorts leaves very little to the imagination. It’s not always a bad thing . . .

  42. 42 Jen

    I used to have panic attacks in the grocery store. Usually when shopping for Thanksgiving or other big holiday and everyone and their brother was there getting the last minute stuff. Panic attacks suck and your instructor is either a great person or a wienie who has no idea what a panic attack is like. I’m not really sure which one yet. Good for you for sticking with it, you have one hell of a sense of commitment.
    Jen´s last blog post ..Concrete Poetry

  43. 43 Sigrid W.

    You aren’t the only person to have a panic attack at a yoga class. Whenever I’ve tried yoga or meditation I freak out. There is something about minding my breathing that takes my breath away, literally. I’m glad to hear it’s helping your back. Your readers are looking forward to your journey back to health.

  44. 44 LJ

    Girlie – what’s wrong with us? Why don’t we write anymore? (I ask this for both of us)

  45. 45 Penny

    Congratulations for even trying. I love yoga, but still consider myself a beginner. You’ve got yoga pegged correctly. It is the wonder drug that has taken away all my aches and pains.
    Penny´s last blog post ..A funny thing happened to me on the way to…

  46. 46 JD

    Jen: Ugh. Sorry to hear you used to suffer from panic attacks. I hope they are a thing of the past for you. The instructor really is a great guy. Perhaps he doesn’t understand panic attacks, but I think he handled the situation just right. Anyway, thanks very much for the comment.

    Sigrid: Aw, thank you. Yeah, I feel exactly the same about breathing. It’s why I can’t meditate. All that focus on my breathing . . . ugh. Makes me want to start hyperventilating.

    LJ:I don’t know! For me, it’s been a combination of busy-ness and not having much to say. I hope the situation changes for both of us.

    Penny: Thank you! I’m still sticking with it (as I write this response 5 months later!) and haven’t had any more panicky feelings.

  47. 47 The Hawg!

    What’s this? No update since August? Come on, now — we’ve come to expect better of you!

  48. 48 Haleigh

    I found your blog through BlogCatalog while searching for new blogs to follow. This post is the reason I am following you, I love how honest you are and how you just tell it like it is! It takes a lot of gumption to concur your fears! :) I can’t wait to read more!

  49. 49 Jen

    LOL I love this!! Only found you’re blog today so made up that I came just in time for you to be back posting!! Can’t wait to read the next part! xx

  50. 50 Roe

    Just found your blog and I love it. I can relate to this post in so many ways, I have suffered with anxiety and panic attacks for years. I am doing a hell of a lot better lately, but I know they are still somewhere lurking, waiting to attack..

    Have a great day, and nice to meet you!

  51. 51 Rhianna Clarke

    I just want to say you’re amazing for trying yoga with a bad back! I know how difficult that can be. I fractured my spine competing and stretching, bends and poses was too much. How is it going today? Still doing it? Helping? I’d love to hear more.

  52. 52 Sally Thompson

    Very interesting post, i also have a panic attacks, but never thought yoga can help.. I thought yoga is for someone who likes peace, nature, not in closed area with lots of people who sits near you… But hey, this puts some light to my understandings so i am very thankful about that.

  53. 53 Danny

    Credit where its due, you’ve covered a serious issue of your panic attacks in a brilliant way in your post. Hope the yoga is till helping out with your back pain and please keep posting to your blog I’ve been trawling through some of the nude stuff and its very funny, especially old Kanye popping his head in

  54. 54 Tina

    Kind of a funny story. I didn’t know panic attacks are that serious where you have to take some pills to control it. I encountered some panic attacks and I actually thought it was a bit exaggerated.

  55. 55 Daniel McBane

    That picture is insane. It’s like the McDonald’s of yoga classes. Other than that, just killing time waiting for the promised nudity and juvenile humor.

  56. 56 DHgate

    What’s this? No update since August? Come on, now — we’ve come to expect better of you!

  57. 57 Bohemiologist (aka Musingwoman)

    Still waiting for the next post filled with nudity, sex, and juvenile humor! (and hope all is well–thinking of you)

  58. 58 Nupur

    Hi JD,
    I was laughing so hard that my eyes were tearing up. I almost had a panic attack myself reading your exceptionally honest, vivid and funny post. I will desperately look forward to your posts from now on…I came across your blog through a recommendation…and boy I’m glad I did!

  59. 59 kathcom

    Hey JD,
    I hope you’re doing well. I hope you’ll post an update soon. It sounds like, whether you feel it or not, you’ve got things well in hand. I know that end of the rope so well. I’m surprised we haven’t run into each other! I just want to say brava for not slapping that guy in the mouth for telling you the panic attack won. Yeah, maybe it was true but I would’ve wanted to do some bodily harm especially with the adrenaline surge one gets from feeling one’s heart is about to explode. Please write soon if only to give a quick update on how you’re feeling. I don’t want to start having to do things myself….

  60. 60 TinaGreece

    I’m so sorry you had to go through that. ((Hugs)) However, I loved the way you worded it! :D
    I actually stumbled upon your blog when googling “happy blogs” as I need a laugh seeing I am currently suffering from panic attacks again and have been on my couch 4 days in a row in pj’s sometimes feeling okay, other times fear gripping me.

  61. 61 JD

    Hi! Thanks so much for commenting. I’m really sorry you have to deal with this panic awfulness. I hope you’re feeling better now. I know those days of being confined to the house, terrified to go “too far.” It sucks. Your comment really brightened my day. I hope this is a happy blog!

  62. 62 Diane Holcomb

    Why aren’t you published??? You have a great sense of humor, good writing style. Hope you get back to blogging again!

  1. 1 The Bikram Post | ollie in america
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