Panic Attack: Dinner Edition

I had a panic attack while making dinner tonight. 

I had forgotten to take my meds the night before and my anxiety was quite high throughout the day. I tried to hide within myself by curling up under a blanket and sitting with the anxious knots. Feeling it bubble up from beneath the surface, I made the decision to do something. Perhaps moving around and preforming a task would help quiet my buzzing head. My boyfriend mentioned wanting ravioli, so I made it my mission to make dinner.

Fast forward to once the food was nearly finished. Only the garlic bread needed to be heated in the oven.

I felt the walls around me begin to cave in. I started to wash the dishes that no longer had food in them to try and calm the sense of impending doom and nervous energy.

It radiated faster and deeper. Like an alien was beginning to invade my body. I finished the last dish and jumped out of the small space in the kitchen that held the stove and sink. My hands began to shake. My head was spinning and the air I breathed felt like lead. My skin was hot. It was as if I was suffocating under the pressure of the heat. I pulled my sleeves up and took a slow sip of ice cold water before sitting down. My dog jumped in my lap and allowed me to bury my face in her fur, blacking out the world around me and focus only on my breathing. Still, I felt weighed down. My hands shaking and each breath felt like poison. I contorted my hands into intertwined balls of nervous fists, trying to calm them.

My dog remained relaxed, sitting still and not moving. My boyfriend stood before me and asked a simple question. “Are you ok?” His voice was gentle, but knowing. He’s seen this before.

I shrugged at first, then shook my head. “Not really. No. Not at all. It’s bad.” I hung my head and twisted my shaking fingers even more. It’s not that I was ashamed. I felt my anxiety and panic ebbing from me like a beacon of lost hope. The sense of impending doom continued to flow through me like acid. I left the room completely and opened up my mindfulness journal to try and calm my mind.

How was this supposed to help if I couldn’t even make out the words? I sat on the floor, paging through the book with a pen in hand. I felt like I was trying to read something in a foreign language, my mind jumping too quickly to focus. The words were jumbled and mixed together. None of it made sense! My dog had followed me and sat before me, placing a toy in my lap, tugging on it lightly and growling.

This was hours ago.

I still feel it.

The worst of it has passed for now.

My hands aren’t shaking as much.

But, my chest is pounding. My heart won’t stop racing, and the lurching knot remains deep in my stomach.

Update: I took my meds, but I still feel a bit off.

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