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On the Cusp of a Sober Blackout

What to do if your loved one is having a panic attack.

Photo from Unsplash

In an attempt to wipe the tears away, I swept my sleeve across my right cheek.


I tried to keep my head down as I entered the kitchen, but I knew my eyes were puffy. I lazily through my lunch into the microwave, thinking I could make it back to my room without crying more. Instead, my housemate entered:

She asked, “what happened Izzy??”
I didn’t have to look at her to hear the sadness in her voice.

I just shook my head. I didn't want to speak as I felt the corners of my eyes dampen again.


She asked again, with more desperation this time.


When we made eye contact, I continuously shook my head because I knew once I uttered a word I would break down.

In the next moment, I knew I was about to lose control.

I clenched my body and started sobbing uncontrollably as I fell into her arms.

I couldn’t speak.


I could hardly even breathe.

With one look, dried tears turned into soft sobs, which turned into a full-blown panic attack.

I could almost see slivers of light when I tried to force my eyes open. Even when I was able to, tears clouded my vision so badly that the entire room was blurry.


After each wheeze, I got more and more lightheaded. Eventually, my eyes remained shut. For so long I only saw one thing: black; I got consumed into this abyss that I created.


With one hand over my mouth, the other was desperately trying to feel my heartbeat, like I’d been taught to do in the past. But no matter how much I wanted to, I couldn’t regulate my breathing.


Then my sweatshirt, my attempt to feel safe, became weighed down by my sweat. It only added to the feeling of suffocation I couldn’t escape.