The Anatomy Of An Anxiety Attack

Something goes wrong.

One small thing.

Shit. What do I do? Shit. Shit shit shit shit. How do I fix it?

Why does stuff like this always happen here? Shit.

There are so many things that I need to fix.

I don’t know how to fix them.

I keep putting these things off and I don’t know how to fix them.

Shit shit shit.

Feels like an elephant is on my chest.

And I’m going to throw up on my shoes.


Count to five and count. One, two, three, four, five.

I can’t get enough air.

I feel like everyone is looking at me. Can they hear my heart pounding?

It seems like it’s beating so loud, the noise is pounding in my ears,
in my brain.

I’d forgotten about that first thing that went wrong.

Shit. I still don’t know what I’m going to do about that.

I’m going to lose my job.

Or worse, I won’t lose my job and I’ll have to stay here and deal with
the fallout

of this small thing that went wrong.

And everyone will know it’s my fault

And they’ll talk about me.

I’m so fucking incompetent.

It’s always something here.

Something’s always going wrong.

Count to five and breathe.

One, two, three, four, five.

I’m definitely breathing loudly. I know they can hear it.

Run to the bathroom, slam the stall door.

Breathe. One at a time, in and out.

In, out, in, out.

I start sobbing silently on the toilet, trying not to make any sounds.

All I can think about is my mom. I’m a grown woman and I just want my mom.

I just want to go home and sit on her couch and watch daytime tv.

I consider walking out of the building, going home,

never coming back. That sounds so appealing.

In, out, in, out. One, two, three, four.

The elephant feeling won’t go away.

The idea of leaving this bathroom stall and going back to my desk
seems more daunting than climbing a mountain.

Slowly drag myself back.

Count to five breathing slowly.

Count to ten. Breathe.

One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.

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