My dog Molly doesn’t know it, but I’m dying.
The last three steps of our walk didn’t feel right. My heart is thumping out of my chest. It’s as if someone adjusted my settings to ‘vibrate.’
My left arm is numb. My toes are tingling. Are they supposed to do that? Why is my neighbor staring at me? Should he call 9-1-1? I have to get inside.
Molly whimpers, but because she wants a treat. She’s oblivious to the war going on inside me.
A splash of cold water to my face does nothing but remind me that I have adult acne. Great. A quick glance in the mirror brings more questions … Why are my pupils so big? Why can’t I feel my ears? Can you ever feel your ears?
I’m dizzy. My head feels heavy. I want to throw myself out of this goddamn window!
What would Leanna say if she were here? Deep breaths. Mindfulness. Focus on your feet touching the floor.
A blink. A breath. A thought. Okay …
I’m not dead. My shirt is saturated with sweat, my cheeks are super-red and my mind is still racing … but I’m not dead.
Hello there. My name is Adam. I have a panic disorder. And I hate panic meds.
This isn’t the first panic attack I’ve had this week, btw, but it is the worst.
The waves keep coming, but the whitecaps are under control. My mind isn’t a total fucking mess the way it was 45 seconds ago, but it’ll be touch-and-go the rest of the day. Any oddity or perceived irregularity can send me spiraling again. A relapse.
Funny story — I’m a rational person! I know I’m not dying. (Well, no more than anybody else. We’re all dying, when you get down to it). But 60 seconds ago, you couldn’t convince me I’d be conscious and able to journal this right now.
Alas, here I am.
There’s much to be done today. My wife and I have had one-ply toilet paper in the house for the last three weeks. My emotions aren’t the only things that are a bit raw right now.
Here’s the question: Leave the house to go to the store and risk a sweaty, heinous, obvious panic attack in public; or, do I stay home and ride out the rest of the day on my couch?
Move over Molly, I’m putting my feet up.
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