Panic Attack

This fear came out of nowhere and a hummingbird has taken the place of my heart. My palms are sweaty and someone turned down the volume of this room that suddenly doesn’t have enough air in it. Full-blown panic attack. Every dark thought I’ve ever had shows up for a party in my brain that I don’t remember sending out invitations to.

I’m choking on all the words I’ve not had the courage to say while simultaneously worrying that I’ve already said too much. Nothing makes sense. It’s too hot in here. I wonder why the hell I ever decided to deal with this illness without medication, because it seems so much easier to just pop a few pills and forget that there are things in this life that are just too difficult for people like me. Breathe, Wendy, breathe.

In this moment I want nothing more than to blink out of existence so that maybe when these feelings go away, I can come back as a whole person. My head pounds and my hands shake. I put down my glass of water while I clutch for anything to stabilize myself as all the strength drains from my arms and legs and I fall to the floor.

I feel like nothing. I feel like less than nothing. I mean nothing to nobody. Would even a single person care if I dropped dead right now? It feels like I might. Deep down I know these things aren’t true, but they’ve stained themselves on the surface of this moment, in this room, and they all look so ugly in this light.

Heart pumping hard in my temples and my throat. Eyes wide and raining salt water down my face. Constriction in my chest. I can’t catch my breath. I want to scream at every person who ever told me to just “get over it” because in these desperate minutes I’m barely surviving just living an average life. The ringing in my ears grows louder as my breathing becomes faster and I just hope that somebody calls me or shows up to shake me out of this tear-soaked nightmare. But they don’t. And, even if they did, would I have the guts to answer? Would I let someone see me at my weakest and most frail, with all my walls in rubble at my feet?

I don’t know. But it seems the popular theory is that those of us with mental diseases are meant to suffer in silence rather than make others uncomfortable by holding our little weirdnesses. And so I do just that, waiting for the storm to pass; for the colour to return to this world so I can breathe again.

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