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How I Saved My Friend From Drowning When I Was Having a Panic Attack

Michelle Tason

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At this point in my life I was having a panic attack almost everyday, or nearly everyday. If you suffer from panic disorder you know how debilitating they can make a person become. I was afraid to go fishing with my friend in fear I may have a panic attack away from home. My home was my “safe zone" it was the only place where I felt safe. Maybe your like me? its not at all uncommon to take refuge and become agoraphobic.

Anyway, this day I wanted to get out and take my mind off my stupid panic attack disorder I've been having for a number of years at this time in my life. Even if I could only get my mind to forget about them for just a few minutes or a few hours I was a happy camper.

So Roy and I headed out to some Bass ponds to go fishing. A guy he worked with said it was a hidden pond that nobody fished in but had monstrous fish in it ready to easily be taken.

We both brought our “float tubes" that were designed to sit in while floating around fishing. They were basically car/truck inner tubes that had a nylon wrapper shell around them like the same material that backpacks are made out of. When you sit in the “saddle" your legs dangle in the water and you use flippers to get around the water. (except I did not bring my flippers that day)

While we were sitting in our float tubes fishing around some shaded tree areas we started a conversation. I was ahead of him about 10 feet, so he was behind me.

While we were talking I noticed that he wasn't replying to me anymore. So I turned around and saw him sitting in his float tube with his head face down in the water. His arms were stretched perfectly out to his sides floating in the water too.

I chuckled and said, “what are you doing"?, “Quit messing around Roy".

He never raised his head and so I began to call his name out telling him to quit messing with me because it wasn't funny anymore.

After about 30 seconds he still did not raise his head up and his arms were beginning to quiver in the water. I became instantly alarmed and A bolt of lightning shot right through me as my adrenaline went through my veins.

I had no swim fins on and all I could do was kick my feat in the water and try to reach him to lift his head out of the water but he was about 10 feet away. No not very far away, but when a person is face down in the water and you can't reach them, its miles away.

Fear started to set in to me but it wasn't my typically induced panic attack.

As I struggled and kicked to reach him I finally got close enough to reach my arm out and I grabbed the top of his head by the hair and lifted his head out of the water and saw that his eyes were rolled back into his head. Its ironic how heavy a limp head is. . .

I managed to position him so that he was leaning back against the side of his tube with head out of water. I feverishly kicked my feet as I pulled him and his float tube along side of me.

Finally after what seemed like hours we made it to shore and I drug him out of his float tube and lay him on his back to see if he was breathing.

I was completely freaked out and was screaming for help. I have no Idea why I was screaming for help when we were alone and miles away from anybody. My heart was racing and skipping beats and I was shaking uncontrollably. I thought I was having a heart attack but I was only 17 years old.

I saw that he was breathing and I could feel his heart beating fast and strong so I turned him on his side so he could breath better and he wouldn't choke.

I had no idea what happened to him and my mind began to race. What could it have been that caused this? Was it heat stroke? No I thought, we were in the water where it was cool. Was it something he ate? then I remember we both ate the same home made sandwiches. My mind started racing again and I became increasingly panicky because I thought I would be next and pass out. So I started to try to make myself throw up thinking it was something we ate.

Right about this time I noticed Roy started to move. He started to choke and throw up but he somehow got to his knees and was really disoriented and asked me what happened and what was he doing there.

I asked him if he as epileptic and he said no why? My heart was still beating extremely fast and I was shaking uncontrollably but I managed to put his arm around my shoulder and help him back to his truck.

I wasn't sure if I could drive because I was having a panic attack. Not the typically type that I normally have that are self induced without incidents like this happening, a real life and death experience before my very eyes.

About 30 minutes or so had gone by now and my body finally succumb to exhaustion to a level where I could sit without pacing back and forth and Roy was doing well but passed out from his body exhaustion in the passengers side of his own truck.

This 3rd life threatening situation I experienced ingrained in my head would later cause me to suffer even more self induced panic attacks for years to come until I learned how to control my panic attacks to where I virtually never have them anymore.

I've suffered from severe panic attacks for nearly 30 years. Stop living in fear. Get my free advice that can stop your panic attacks forever. Go to my blog “How To Stop Panic Attacks "


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