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