Panic Attack

Heart beats.
Shallow breaths.
Beats increase.
Breaths decrease.
Heart races.
Can’t breathe.
Chest hurts – something is pushing on it, or sitting on it.
Mind races.
Am I crazy? Am I having a heart attack? No, I’m crazy.
Should I tell someone?
No.
I don’t tell anyone.
Why?
It’s all in my head. It will go away. Just breathe. Deep breath in.
But I can’t breathe.
Gulping for breaths.
I have to be okay.
Focus on something, anything.
A point in the distance.
A sound in my memory.
Close my eyes.
I can see the heart beats, staccato beats.
Focus on the breath.
Short, in – short, out.
Don’t think about the pain in the chest.
Just breathe.
In. Out. In. Out. In. Out.
Rhythm.
Heart rate slows.
Notice my fists are clenched at my side.
Open my eyes.
Breathe in and out. In and out.
I made it through another one.

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