postheadericon Inside a Panic Attack

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It’s almost instantaneous as I push the ignition button. The tears well up in my eyes and start to pour over my eyelids and race down my cheeks. I back out of the parking spot anyway and start to drive. I’m on autopilot as I steer my car toward the exit of the school parking lot.

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<span style="font-size: 10pt; font-family: " sans="sans" ms",="ms"," sans-serif;"="sans-serif;"">My heart starts pounding and feels like it might explode right out of my chest. Breathe, I tell myself, just breathe. But the more I try to do that, the less I feel like I can. No air is getting in, or at least that’s what I think. What is it that my therapist told me? Focus on what I can see. I look down at the steering wheel. I see the Mazda logo. It’s shiny…silver…pretty. I begin to trace my finger over it slowly. 10…9…8…but before I get to 7, the voice is back.
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“She’s mad at you. Surely you screwed everything up again.”
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Ugh. I bang my head against the steering wheel. I hate myself. Ouch. I deserved that.
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No, focus on the facts. Not the lies.
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I see the Mazda logo. I start tracing again. 7…6…
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“She didn’t say she loves you. So clearly, she doesn’t. There’s a fact for you.”
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God dammit. Why?! The tears are pouring so hard now. I can’t control the sobbing. I should probably pull over. I can’t see the road anymore. It’s like driving through a monsoon with the rain so close to my face that I have no prayer of seeing through it.
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Snap out of it! I slam my head into the steering wheel again out of pure frustration and in hopes that I can knock this lying son of a bitch out of my freaking head. I just want to scream!
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Breathe.
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Think.
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5…4…3…
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What…breathe…are…breathe…the…breathe…facts…breathe…
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I pull off at the next exit and let myself cry. My therapist told me that it’s okay to let myself cry. I scroll back through my phone to find some supportive texts. Focus on the facts. My safe people. The ones who know everything. She didn’t tell me she loves me today, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t. The facts.
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1 – It’s summer.
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2 – We’re all busy.
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3 – It’s not as easy for some people to express their feelings in words as it is for me.
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4 – Actions speak louder than words anyway, let them.
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5 – No matter what, God loves me and that is where my identity is found.
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Breathe…2…1…
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“There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear.”
<span style="font-family: " sans="sans" ms",="ms"," sans-serif;"="sans-serif;"">- 1 John 4:18a

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