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How A Panic Attack Helped Me Learn To Thrive

My recent posts have been filled with beautiful pictures 
and events
and outfits.
And they were all true.

But what was missing
is that recently I have been battling some anxiety issues
that don't translate into pretty pictures as easily.

I never want my blog to show only a partial of my life
I think everybody is so much more interesting
when the layers are peeled back to reveal
how we all get through the trying times.
Because like it or not
at one time or another we all have them.

Two weeks ago
I had a panic attack so bad
it had me doubting my sanity
until I researched  and found out
it was just a full blown panic attack.

I had been feeling increasingly anxious
especially while away with my husband
it hit me
we are definitely in empty nest zone.
I had known that cognitively
but while away I realized there really was no one at home
who needed us.
It was such an odd dizzying realization
after 23 years of parenting.
I really and truly am in a new phase of life.

Although the panic attack definitely scared me
it was also a gift.
A gift in that it made me stop and realize
I have my limits.
I had been pushing myself to take on more and more work
live way outside my comfort zone.
I had also decided I was not going to spend anymore time
feeling bad about things I couldn't control.
Which sounds fine enough
but it really meant I would just bury all emotions.

After all of the peeling back of 
how I ended up with a full blown panic attack
besides the obvious
I realized how much 
I had stopped doing things that 
made my heart thrive.

In my attempt to out run my sadness
 bury myself in work
I had dropped by the wayside
most of  the things that make my heart thrive.

My gardens were/are over grown and unkept.

My poor little house has not had the love I usually show it.

My closet until last week had deep piles of clothes on the floor.

I could go on and on.

So I have spent the last couple of weeks
putting my pieces back in order once again
I have realized along this part of my life journey
how important it is to have daily choices
that make my heart thrive! 
It's not just about checking off to do lists any more.

I want to thrive!

I want to see experiencing  some joy as a daily requirement
just like great workouts, work schedule and chores.
I am adding joy to my daily schedule!

So yesterday I loaded up my bike
 went for a mountain bike ride in nature
by myself.
I rode down hills that used to scare me
they didn't.
Instead they were exhilarating.
It was pure joy and fun.
I can still feel the memory in my heart.
it gives me  real hope
that this next chapter can be pretty darn great.

I will remind myself to let go of 
that which is gone.

I will be grateful for what is  here today.

I will have hope for joyful tomorrows. 

This year I can make my very own summer fun list
like the kids and I used to do
but this time it will be about me!

I will hold my head up
with the knowledge I did the child rearing well with all I had
now I will make my own lists of new summer fun!

I will choose to thrive! 

As always my friends

I wish you love and joy
as you style your life


  1. Beautiful reflection and a great deal of complicity with your followers, thanks! Many of the bloggers who are dedicated to the mature fashion have suffered the empty nest syndrome. But these crises help make a leap forward, and discover that we can live for ourselves. The great work, raise children, you're done. Now, to enjoy life ... and from thy wardrobe. Beautiful pictures and wonderful look all white.

  2. It's such a huge transition that I was not prepared for. No explained that it would be like this! I felt guilty for being so unsettled in the empty nest. I'm settling back in and starting to enjoy my freedom that I had before children. xo Jana

  3. Dear Tamara

    Believe me.This too shall pass, I have been there and at the time it can be very frightening making you feel like you are loosing control, you are not... You are just facing a new challenge with your life : an empty nest. My husband have had 6 children!!! But there are many other avenues offered to you and you are very talented so it will be a great help. As long as you are healthy, this is the most important thing to remember, I can say that as I have had to face breast cancer and a major hear attack. So dear girl you will be fine.

    Wishing you all the best

    Annie v.

  4. Dear Tamara,
    I hope this finds you feeling much better. You are so much stronger than you realize and with Jeff always there with you, I can see the next chapter being filled with joy beyond!

    The Arts by Karena
    Coco Chanel: Three Weeks

  5. I hope you are feeling better, and I know many people will benefit form this post.

    I miss your garden and house posts so much. I htink a garden is a good barometre of how I am feeling- caring for it is often cathartic.

    Your life does look kind of perfect and I know how much work would go into that. Wishing you much peace and happiness x

  6. Thank you for sharing your story. I've suffered from panic attacks off and on for most of my life. I find that they come out when I'm tired, not taking care of myself, and when I don't listen to that little inside voice that says "this isn't really what you want to be doing". Life transitions can be a time that brings them on. Keep going and inspiring! Rosemond

    1. I am just going to write the same but started to read the other responses before. I agree with you ,Rosemond C, that panic attacks come out when you are tired and it should be a ritual to ask yourself "isn't this really......" But life transition can also be for the good and it depends
      what you are doing with your new life. To take care of yourself, have some interesting hobbies and just right what you, Tamera,
      are doing now, will improve your life as time goes by.

  7. Dear Tamera, I hope you are feeling more at peace today, the empty nest is a very real and confronting time for so many of us. A great time of change that we all know will happen but the complexity of letting go is never easy. Be kind to yourself , continue to enjoy those things that give you the greatest pleasure and follow along with your new life path . Take care. xx

  8. Dear Tamera. How I can understand you as myself has no nest and leave very close to my husband, without family at all. So getting older,
    This kind of panic attack arises very very often and brings me to depression.... But you are BEAUTIFUL, talentuous and have your children all around. Little by little you will find you way of living with all what you like.

  9. I love your summer fun list idea. You are well on the way!
    We just need to redefine our role, and one that we had for 23 yrs is not easily discarded in the moment.
    Programming joy is a wonderful idea...I'm stealing it ;-) xo Jazzy Jack

  10. I have panic attacks quite often so I can relate to them. Hang in there.

  11. Tamera - you are such a lovely woman. And a woman of great strength as you have demonstrated by your words here. I am glad that you are "coming through" this attack. You, as I know that you know, are not alone. This is a wonderful share that will inspire other women, like myself. Bless you!

  12. Dear Tamera, I want to say something inspiring and wise back to you--but others have already really said what I was thinking in their comments. Still, I cannot resist adding a virtual {{{{hug}}}} and saying: it is being surrounded by love and beauty that is the biggest healer. I think you are well on your way. And--hurray for bike rides! They can be powerful medicine. (Although for me, when I am overtired and stressed, they have at times been occasions for my own panic attacks.)

    Blessings to you,

  13. You write so beautifully, and I appreciate your honesty. Sometimes life just seems to careen out of control, and too many days go by when there is no joy. So, I especially love that you wrote this: "I want to see experiencing some joy as a daily requirement
    just like great workouts, work schedule and chores.I am adding joy to my daily schedule!" Such a wise realization, and one that I am going to act upon. Thank you!