Hi Meliss, sorry to hear about your panic attack while driving. I had probably the most embarrassing panic attack ever last month whilst walking through a park with a friend. For whatever reason something triggered me and the fast heart rate, dizziness, and unease started, including the weird chest sensations. It was the first time in ages I thought something was really wrong. You know, those dreaded "I need to go to emergency now" thoughts. To make matters worse, my (unprepared) friend literally thought I was having a heart attack, until I had to calm down enough to explain what was going on.
We went to buy some water and I couldn't even fumble in my pocket for change I was shaking so much, I must have looked really bizarre to the cashier. My friend bought me the water and all I could do was sit there on a park bench and chug it whilst I shook and she looked at me in bewilderment - she didn't know I even had anxiety so it at least opened up the conversation! She was amazed at the physical impact it had on me and had never seen someone have a full on panic attack. She sat there and held my hand as I dared my way through it. Probably took a good 30-40 minutes until I was able to get up and walk confidently again.
I tell you what though - when you get over the top of the panic attack wave and you start to calm down, it feels like a real achievement. Like you stared something in the face and won, again. We are very brave. Nobody can ever take that away from us. I went and had a meal later alone and sat there in a sort of daze, reflecting upon and not taking for granted my calm state. As I ate my food, I was just so grateful for it and feeling okay again. A simple meal, nourishment, and just feeling okay again. Sometimes it's the little things, like buying a sandwich from Subway the other day and just being thankful for the smile or someone doing their job in making something for you. I'm thankful for the people that think they do public-facing crappy jobs but give me moments of solace and socialisation, just a little bit, everyday. Anxiety puts things in perspective.