If we got down to the nitty gritty, dirty details of anxiety and panic attacks, I would be told that I experienced neither on the soccer field last night; but I definitely panicked. So if it’s not a panic attack, what is it? I’d like to call it a heart attack, but that name has already been associated with something far from what happened to me. I was not dying. My heart was speaking.
My HEART panicked. My HEART had extreme anxiety. My HEART took over for a brief moment and made it’s fear known.
For anyone who knows me, you know that I function logically and 99% with my brain – not heart. My heart needs protecting, care and love.
So I slap a concrete wall around it with watch dogs and flood lights. Seems logical, right? 🤦🏼♀️
Well, my heart made a stupid appearance last night. Or at least that’s what my brain says…
Before I get into what happened, you need just a LITTLE backstory: I play soccer twice a week on two different leagues at the same facility. Soccer makes my heart happy and thus, my brain is happy. Again with the logic.
I played with my C League on Tuesday this past week and took a shot on our goal to the face. I mean a direct hit with a hard soccer ball. My lips and nose were bleeding and I couldn’t open my jaw without popping and pain. Yikes, right?
The NORMAL part was that I didn’t really let myself react. I had a brief, internal, two-second “AHHHH!” on the field and then choked it down. I was fine. I wasn’t dying. The pain was already subsiding. No big deal, heart. Calm down.
As I got off the field, a lovely human being from the opposing team brought me paper towels for the blood 🙂 and I continued the game with only minor pain and irritation.
Turns out that I maybe, possibly, probably dislocated my jaw! I could barely open it enough to fit a spoon in it the next day (Wednesday), so I stuck to mostly a liquid diet (or really thin foods like gluten-free pancakes!).
My brain wasn’t worried, but my heart was scared. What if it’s broken?! What if I’m stuck like this!? What if I have to get my mouth sown shut!!!? My brain listened and told my heart that those thoughts were silly, but whatever happens, happens and we’ll handle it! This seemed to settle my heart down.
The Real Problem
On Thursday, I could open my mouth all the way again with only a little tenderness and pulling! WOO!
My heart didn’t want to play soccer with my A league that night, though, because “What if someone elbows me in the jaw and it REALLY breaks this time??!” 🤦🏼♀️
I decided to ignore that fear rather than address it, because my brain was back in logic mode and “It won’t break. Stop it.” was the main thought processes being sent back to heart.
Oops. Do you remember how I said my heart needs tender love and care? I didn’t do a very good job of that. I just put it in it’s box again for safe keeping.
To soothe any worries you may be having, I did NOT break or dislocate my jaw again during my game; but I DID, however, take a ball to the face. Hard. Again. It was my husband’s shot, too!
How many times can I face palm in this post? 🤦🏼♀️
Bradley, my love, was desperate to get the ball across the box to his “other wife” (his best guy friend) and instead rocketed it at my head. His words were, “I didn’t even know you were there.”
So I took the ball to my left temple, which is nowhere near my jaw and I barely even registered pain. My brain was okay; but my HEART. Was. Not. Happy.
WHAT JUST HAPPENED!? I’M DYING! MY JAW FELL OFF! THAT WAS SO CLOSE! AHHHHHHHHHHHH!
I’d like to say that I was internally screaming, but all of this poured OUT of me right on the dang soccer field in front of all my teammates and the opposing team I’m trying to crush… I’m hyperventilating on the ground, letting out obnoxious squeaky, crying noises and attempting (and failing) to get my heart to STOP FREAKING OUT!
My heart and brain have never been so at war in such a short time frame. While my brain is screaming, “YOU’RE FINE! STOP”, my heart is just WAILING!
I stand up after who knows how long (maybe 10 seconds?) and continue to hyperventilate and shake (the shaking was the WORST). My husband attempts to walk me off the field and I make a joke of the situation (that’s a good sign – brain is taking control again) and tell him I’ll play through it. I’m not hurt. I was just scared.
More happened during the game, but this story is all about my heart and brain communication.
Let Your Heart Speak
I think so many people think that following your heart is “being emotional” (guilty), while following your brain is smart. There needs to be BALANCE in those areas. There should be constant communication and checking in.
Think about all those times you randomly felt sad. There was no reason for it. You’re just working on a project, painting a picture, watching TV, playing on your phone and then suddenly BAM, you’re sad; your heart gives a squeeze.
My guess is your brain tried to logic its way through the sadness, but it’s not your brain that needed addressing. It’s your heart.
Why is your heart sad? It could be something you just thought or it could be something else entirely.
I’m serious. Ask your heart next time you’re feeling something abnormal. This could be extreme happiness, too! Even the good emotions are great things to “talk” to your heart about. Why are you so happy today? What’s got you excited?
The most important thing is giving your heart time to respond. It’s so used to be boxed up and put away that it’s going to think this is a trap. Continue encouraging your heart to open up, take time to listen and you’ll be surprised how easily this communication will become your norm.
Let your heart speak. What does it have to say today?