Panic rises in me like a wave. What began as concern over being a little light headead leads to my heart racing as I imagine that I am dying. I try to breathe my way through it. I try to talk my way out of it. I move frantically through my small basement room and tell myself that it is all in my mind. I tell myself that I am not having a heart attack that I am not going to die. I tell myself to breathe but then a voice inside tells me that I cannot breathe and the panic becomes even worse. I race up the stairs into the kitchen and to the front door. I need air I tell myself. I throw open the front door and breathe in the cool air. I need to lie down. So I lie down on the couch and try to calm down. I count backwards from 10. I lay on the couch clutching my chest and trying to reassure myself that it is only panic and that I don’t need to go to the emergency room. It works finally. I feel my heartbeat returning to normal. But for the rest of the morning, I feel myself living in fear that I will have another attack and that it will be even worse.
I’m going to the hospital to seek emergency mental health care. Panic is the worse thing in the whole world. No one understands it.