Leftist commentary from a mouthy bitch

Panic Attacks

So, this is something that started on Twitter and I wound up rehashing it on G+, and I’m just gonna cheat and give this to you here as it appeared on G+ more or less.

So, I was talking panic attacks on my twitter this morning. (This may be triggery for some folks, so warning…)

About how not all panic attacks look like someone sobbing in a corner. Sometimes they look like someone smiling and carrying on a perfectly normal conversation, albeit maybe smiling a bit too widely, while their pulse races and sweat drips down their back and sides.

I started having panic attacks when I was very young. We’re talking 6 or 7, maybe 8 years old. The one I concretely recognize as a panic attack, and that my mother told me was “just a panic attack” happened at 9. I remember very clearly being curled up on the floor sobbing next to this hideous flowered recliner we’d gotten from a deceased aunt. It smelled like cigarette smoke. This coincided with the realization of my own mortality. A lot of people talk about how you don’t really recognize your mortality until you’re older.

I’ve always been precocious.

I used to get punished for panic attacks. Granted, I’m sure that’s not how my mom saw what she was doing. It’s entirely possible that my panic attacks triggered her own. But I remember being yelled at and shaken for having them.

I got real good at hiding them.

I’m still mostly good at hiding them. At smiling and talking until I can make my exit, and then finding a restroom to stand in a stall and breathe deeply until my pulse rate slows and I can quit shaking and sweating. Honestly, the crash that inevitably follows is harder to hide. Especially since I get really chatty when I’m hiding the panic attack. It’s very much a case of “What? Oh, no, perfectly normal, perfectly fine, everything’s fine… How have YOU been?” I get quiet afterward, and withdrawn and all I want is to take a shower, because yay, fear sweat, and sleep.

I have rescue meds now, when I feel one coming on. My girlfriend has gotten really good at recognizing the speech patterns that mean I’m spinning up and Ogre’s getting better at it, because I often can’t see it until I am well and truly fucked.

I’m hoping therapy will mitigate these again. It did before.

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This entry was posted on June 1, 2016 by in Uncategorized.

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