I’m doing this in hopes that people will understand better what can happen in panic attacks. I know that everyone is different, but maybe you will get an idea. I wrote as it happened. I don’t even know what is in there as I’m writing this introduction. This is the raw text of what I wrote. No spelling corrections, no touching anything. This is what is inside my head during a panic attack.
This is nice, I woke up tired, but I’m starting to get more energy. I feel like I could go all day, which is still a little rough. It’s nice to have some energy.
The energy continues to go up and up. I’m now on a long call, I start nodding off, whoops. Okay, long call is done, energy accelerating again.
Uh-oh, it’s still rising. Too much energy. I’m getting twitchy. The anxiety is coming in.
I’m hungry, my stomach is trying to kill me I think. Lunch break, Ramen.
I get back to my cubicle. Calls start again. My energy is too much. I stand up, I’m bouncing everywhere. Keep the smile, people can’t know I’m panicking. I wave at everyone. “Boy, you’re very bouncy today!”
“Yeah, I just have a lot of energy, that’s all.”
I started screaming in my head.
I feel like I could fucking explode with rainbows and running shoes right now.
I’m twitching hard enough to look like a seizure. I start seeing shadow figures in my periphial vision.
Things are starting to get confusing and scary. Breaths get shorter.
Just breath Ivy. Just keep breathing. Keep yourself calm.
There is no way I can let other people see me in a panic attack. I can’t. I can’t stay off the phones, I gotta get my time in. I have no more sick time, I’ve used it all up for now, mostly because my fucking stomach.
I can feel the lump in my throat right now. The energy, it’s too much, why is it all here? I can’t do this. I must do this.
This will pass Ivy. This will pass. Remember, this will pass. It always passes. I promise, this one will pass too. I know, they never feel like they’ll pass, but they always do. This will pass too.
It doesn’t matter if it will pass. It’s too much right now.
No, you can handle more than this, you just don’t think you can. Keep breathing, this will pass.
I can’t do this, I’m going to panic. I can’t do this. I’m scared, I have nowhere to go. I’m trapped by an invisible leash. I can’t do this, I’ve got to go somewhere. I’ve got to stay on the phones though. But I need some time, I’m fucking freaking out, I can’t do this. I’m scared.
I know you’re scared, you can do this. If you need time off the phones, that’s fgine. Just give yourself some space, take the back stall, nobody goes in there, it’s big. You won’t feel trapped.
But I can’t! What if I start crying? What if someone notices? What if they start pitying me? I don’t want that… What if… what if I lose my job becuase I”m unstable?
Do NOT do that to yourself, you know that won’t happen.
But what if it does? WHAT IF? I can’t think. I’m getting words wrong on the call. It almost sounds like a foreign language. Everything looks right, but wrong. The lights are too bright. The cameras… They’re all watching me. I can feel it, they are waiting for me to screw up… The shadows… I keep seeing someone right next to my cubicle, looking over, but when I look, it’s not there. Count. There’s two USB ports, there’s two USB ports with the new protocol.
Breathing. I can’t keep my breathing under control. My breathing, it’s too fast. My heart beat is too fast. I’m scared… I’m trapped. My voice, it’s cracking. I can’t do this. I’m so scared, please, help me, someone please help me. I just want to call out, I want help, I want someone to help, but I can’t. This is a home environment, no, work environment. The words are getting jumbled. Keep track. Keep typing, just focus. What are your thoughts? What are your words? Focus. I can’t do this. I can’t keep focusing things are too much. I’ve got to get out of here, I can’t get out of here. I’m trapped. I’m being trapped… Oh god someone is trapping me.
No. No, no, no, no, no, no. Listen. Stop, please, stop. You’re not trapped. It’s okay. The exit is right over there. You can see it.
But I can’t leave my cubicle. The tears. I can feel them, hot under my eyes. Why is this happening? Why has this been happening more recently? What is going on? My chest feels heavy. I can’t breath. I feel… restricted, it feels like something is pushing on my chest really hard. It feels difficult to draw breath.
I’m dizzy. So dizzy. Things are floating. The shadows, they are there, watching, just sitting and watching. Never moving, always watching. Are they dangerous? Are they real?
Words. Words English, words. Know them, hear them. Familiar. Unfamiliar, becoming odd. Sentences… My mind isn’t running right. Everything, they aren’t joining. I can’t… The words. Can’t find the right words. I don’t know. Confused. Lights too bright. I feel the eyes. The shadow people, the shadow… things they watch.
Floating, in the air. Floating. Swtill in my chair, typing, but weightless. I can’t. I’m going to disappear into a little ball. NO one will ever know I was here. Just float, float away into the spinning, light filled void. Tiles, why does a void have tiles. Ceiling, not void. Calm. Must calm. Losing it. I can’t keep doing this. I can’t keep control. The tears, just behind my eyes. Welling, visible now. Breath shaky. Scared. Afraid. Please, help me. I can’t call out. I can’t do anything but caption what I must. I’m stuck, trapped. My mind. Stuck inside my mind. Afraid and alone, amongst everyone, and no one knows. They can not know. They can’t know. Something will happen. There will be recourse if they know. Sentences, sort of thinking in sentences, keep hold of it.
Stopping to caption, mind, blank for a second. Sort of. Fear crawling through captioning. Fear, taking over words. Confusion. Words, spoken, don’t sound right. They don’t sound real. Foreign, yet saying them anyway. They don’t sound right. How am I saying what they are? What is going on. Why? Why is this? What is this? Where did it come from? Wiill it go away? I can’t do this. I’m afraid. I’m so, so afraid. I’m so scared. Keeping at desk. Calls. Coming in, language… hard to grasp, hard to understand. Repetative. My thoughts, continue on loop. again. again. again. again. again. The same things over and over.
fear, scared, afraid, work, captioning, alone, isolated, escape, can’t, fear, scared, confused, spinning, floating, dizzy, ceiling, floating, void, scared, afraid, energy. So much energy. I have to do something. I have to go somewhere, I’m going to lose it. Must stay on phones. I don’t have to stay on phones. I have plenty of extra time, but what if my stomach. It’s always my stomach. So much time off phones. 4 weeks now, things are funky. Trouble, I’m going to get in trouble. Please don’t let me get in trouble. Trouble. Her. She got me in trouble a lot. I did lots of things she didn’t like. She kept me from running away. She took my exits. Get her out of my head. I can’t do this. I can’t. Not her. I can’t. Speaking… More difficult to caption. Can’t get the words out. They get stuck in my head, in my throat, in my mouth.
I’ve got to get off the phones. I can’t do this. S, stuck on my tongue. Numbers, look funny. Confusing markings. Still captioning words, speaking, but understanding is hard right now. Sound wrong. Confused, scared, afraid, alone, isolated, floating, dizzy, world is spinning, vision blurring in and out like eyes crossing. Still breathing short. Not solid bumpy, shaky. Can’t keep it under wraps. I’ve got to hide. I’ve got to hide, I’ve got to go somewhere. I’m going to lose my shit. I’m going to lose it, I know it. Tears, so close. Can’t hold them back. I’ve got to hide. I’m scared. They can’t see it. They can’t pity me. Oh the poor broken scared girl. Be nice, be careful with her. She’s weak. i can’t. Gone. Hiding. Must be gone. Must hide.