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This is what a panic attack feels like

First thought: It's all over, I've done everything wrong.

An area the size of a grapefruit is burning below my rib cage. I feel like a hot rag is shoved in my throat, and I'm struggling to get any air through it.  If I breathe too deeply my chest will burst.

Through shallow breaths, my mind starts to list my failings:


  • Not nice
  • Not pretty
  • Not good at cooking or cleaning
  • Not interesting
  • Not a good mother
  • Not necessary
Two vices tighten, one on my forehead, one on the back of my neck. I want to reassure myself: But I'm smart.

Panic answers, Smart doesn't count if you don't do anything with it.

Vices tighten. Hands shake to thwart any useful activity. Throat aches from constriction.

You know how to fix this. Take deep breaths, take a pill. Just act normal, don't be weird.

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