It was sudden. I could feel the panic creeping as I gasped for air but couldn't catch my breath. I lost control as I started to hyperventilate, tears flowing down my face. I don't know who was more scared, me or my dog who wouldn’t stop barking. I thought I would die.
When the ambulance arrived they could find nothing wrong and said that I may have suffered a panic attack. I once suffered from a heart condition known as WPW that almost killed me but that wasn't as scary as what I went through, so I wasn't sold that I was suffering from anxiety. Until it happened again, when I didn’t hear back from my brother about our plans for only a few hours, I started to break down and lose control of my breath thinking the worst has happened to him until I hopped in a cab and saw for myself he had just fallen asleep and nothing was actually wrong.
To relieve stress, I called one of my producer friends Keaze to my home studio and we banged out a number of songs that ultimately ended up on my album TYRXNE. Most notably a song called Panic Room. After Keaze made the beat, I locked myself in the studio rapped the first thing that came to my head. The stresses of being an independent artist. The stresses of trying to be a good boyfriend and son but failing. All these things poured out of me like good therapy.
In talking with close friends about what was going on, I discovered that I wasn't the only one dealing with panic attacks/anxiety and it was relieving to know I was not alone. I did more research and found that meditation is the number one stress reliever, so I thought I'd give it a test run. It's easy to feel like you are meditating wrong, but as the week went on I started to feel better and more focused. Developing the skill of meditation has helped me stay in the driver's seat when my brain starts to run a mile a minute and anxiety creeps in. I take note of how I am feeling take a deep breath in and a deep breath out, following the sensation of breathing closely. Repeating this over and over, allowing the stress to melt away.
I’m sharing my struggles with anxiety and panic attacks in hopes of educating people on meditation. It’s a simple but POWERFUL practice.