Don't Panic

I want you to do something for a minute. Try to picture me having a panic attack. Go ahead, I'll wait. Can't do it, can you? You know why? I don't get panic attacks. I'm so mellow all of the time. I mean, I'm so mellow, weed has no effect on me. So when, on Tuesday, I had a panic attack at work, I thought, 'Hey, this is odd.." and "Is there a way to crawl out of skin?" No answer yet, but I'm still looking into it.

I'm going to walk you through how a panic attack hits me, or atleast the way this one did, cause it's very personal, embarrassing, and probably funny. It reminded me of tenth grade. Tenth grade is when my psychological problems really took off. I'm me because of them, but they really got-to-steppin' around that time.

In tenth grade, I took chemistry. Pretty innocuous start, right? I learned the word 'innocuous.' Everything was great. But every so often, I'd be terrified to speak in class. This is because I was convinced that when I would open my mouth, I would say the c-word. Not cancer, I was a long way from that. The other c-word. Cunt. That word. (I've written it, not said it. Don't ground me, Mom!) Now, as you can well imagine, for the teacher's pet to be unable to speak in class, well, that is a level of Hell even Dante missed. I couldn't talk. Every answer was the c-word. It was as if the classroom was transported to Britain, Dr. Who style. It terrified me. 

Cut to Tuesday. Valentine's Day.  I had to go to a meeting that I didn't know was happening. It was in front of the guy in charge of everything at work. I was presenting. I hadn't felt that kind of pressure since tenth grade, when I did that chemistry experiment where the thing built up pressure. Anyway, I got nervous in the meeting, and a word took over my head. It wasn't the c-word, though. It was... the n-word. Now, please understand that I had no intention of using or being disrespectful with that word. I'm not even allowed to use it. My friends at work said I could say 'ninja,' but I don't even want to do that. Anyway, there I was, desperately trying to not make it sound like Richard Pryor came in and edited our presentation. My coworker was presenting before me, and at one point, I couldn't even talk. I tried to form words in my head and nothing happened. I took my pulse multiple times, and it was definitely high, unlike me, because as I've said, weed has no effect on me. I managed to make it through the presentation, speaking slowly, and that's slowly for me, because I'm already a slow speaker. I was sweaty, scared, and acutely aware of how many African American coworkers were in the room. Again, similar to tenth grade, I was terrified. 

The rest of the day was a struggle, cause the world didn't feel right, and I was alert from the aftermath of my panic attack. It's impossible to describe that feeling, so I'll just say that it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders. I couldn't focus, eat, sleep. Everything hurt, but in the weirdest way. I fell asleep in my clothes, after running from dinner to bed and hiding under the covers. I was peering out at my girlfriend with one eye asking "What's happening?"  Or my finest moment. 

I'm ok now. What caused it? I think it was the hormones, as it was the first day that I took thyroid hormones since my body doesn't have one of those anymore. So basically, I was raging with hormones, like the teenage girl that I'm slowly becoming. I seem to be adjusted now. It caught me off guard though, and ruined Valentine's Day. So there. Something personal. I opened up. Cause life's  short. Here's to a better Tuesday tomorrow than the last one!