Well, it gets closer to 20/20 the further you go, at least. Because it's weird like that.
At the beginning of last year, I did this post. Go and read it, because without it this one isn't going to make much sense. Done? Good.
There was a couple of times later in that year that I had similar panic attacks, or whatever they were, but not as bad, and in different situations. One time it was in a young adults social skills group. The other when I was doing some research participation. At the time, I related each of them back to what was happening right there - each different fears that I struggled with.
But looking back, I think I can see an answer that's a bit more clear, and makes a bit more sense.
I'm the sort of person that naturally retreats from situations, when I feel unsafe. I remove myself, often physically, and go to where I do feel safe. Now, over time, I've expanded what that idea of 'safe' includes, and been able to be more comfortable in places where I previously would really not have been. But there are still things which feel unsafe, or uncomfortable for me.
In each of these three times when I had this panic attack, the commonality was this: I felt unsafe, and I couldn't retreat. I couldn't remove myself from the situation. In the one I talked about in that post, I was quite literally under fire (admittedly, from paintball guns, but still). In the second, I was in a closed room. There wasn't anywhere to go - I probably would have felt embarrassed if I just left. The third time, similarly, I was in an enclosed space. That time, thankfully, I was able to sidestep it and come up with a different solution. I might have posted about it at some point, can't remember.
But yeah. I've realised that this is something that I'm going to need to do some work on. Not exactly sure what that's going to look like - and it's probably going to be really really hard and not fun - but I know God's going to help me with it. Because he's awesome like that.