There is no explanation and there is no rhyme or reason – it leaves as suddenly as it appears. Moments before all is calm and like the monsoon, it comes suddenly, absolutely relentless.
For me, they begin as tremors on my left leg and moves its way up my body. Before I can catch my breath, I find myself on the trembling uncontrollably. The pain is immense. It’s like an out-of-body experience. Everything feels surreal and out of control. Somehow my entire being, for what seems like an eternity, doesn’t feel like it’s mine. The entire time, tears are streaming down my face uncontrollably and the thoughts in my head start racing, spinning around in circles. Soon the choking starts and like a fish out of water, I start gasping for air. It’s strange because I have never experienced what it’s like to be drowning. But why won’t my lungs fill up?
He rushes over and thankfully he has a set of my apartment keys to let himself in. I would never be able to make it to the door because I’m writhing in pain on my living room floor. Nothing can be done to help me calm down, and I’ve forgotten how to breathe. He cradles me in his arms and all I see is panic in his eyes. My heart aches but there is nothing I can do to ease the pain – for him, for me, for us. After an hour and a half, my heart rate steadies and my muscles start to ache from all the shaking. My legs are jelly and I can barely walk. Exhaustion kicks in and for the first time in my life, I need help getting into the shower. During those 10 silent minutes, I knew that my trauma had resurfaced with a vengeance and as much as I hated to admit it, I had to see someone. He was waiting for me when I was done and all words were lost. He hugged me tight and put me to bed. The worst part is knowing that I need him in these battles but feeling extremely guilty at the same time. The cycle is exhausting.
The journey is lonely and nobody quite understands – but neither do you. It’s a struggle to stay afloat, while the currents keep pulling you down. The battle is within yourself. So you swim and you fight and you find the strength within yourself to keep pushing past the fear, the anxiety, the depression, the trauma and the demons.
Don’t give up just yet.
Because at some point, you will reach the shore.
Since starting therapy I don’t get them anymore and hope to never get them again. But if you’ve ever had a panic attack, I see you and I get you. Let’s chat. Please don’t ever feel like you have to go through this alone.