Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 292: back to black

Panic.
It can and will attack.
It attacked me this morning when I had no reason for it.
It attacked me while I was driving alone in the mountains at 120 km an hour.
I was happily singing a tune and enjoying the scenery when I suddenly felt funny.
My left hand got slower, sleepier, with less of a grip on the steering wheel.
My left leg followed suite as did my jaw.
Everything began to tingle and then went quite heavy.
My vision and breathing changed.
What’s happening to me? I thought.
I tried to remain calm.
I tried to tell myself that the a/c in the car messed with my circulation.
Amy Winehouse came onto the iTunes, I tried to sing along but it was no use.
I was scared.
I’ve had these weird spasms before and having them again filled me with a greater panic.
I took deep breaths but they started to choke me.
My driving became erratic, and cars honked at me.
I managed to pull over safely but by then I was overwhelmed with fear.
I got clammy and jittery.

What do I do? Do I call someone?
I can’t just stay on the side of the highway!

It’s mind over matter in these moments, and I’d be damned if the panic would win.
I managed to talk myself into driving some more.
When it felt like too much, I’d stop again.
I drove the entire hour like this at a very slow speed.
I kept telling myself to concentrate on the music and used Amy Winehouse as a distraction to not think about how weird I was feeling.
When I finally got to the cottage parking lot, I cried, from sheer relief and gratefulness.
I was safe and sound.
I don’t know why the panic attack happened.
I don’t understand it.
But I had made it through.
I survived it.
When I turned on my phone, I found out that Amy Winehouse died this morning.

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