Panic

At the grocery store
checking out
stomach dropped
the room spun
“I need to go to the car.”

Driver’s seat
air blowing fast
dripping cold sweat.

Eyes begin to freeze.
the world tips like a water bottle.
Blink
The weight in my stomach threatens to escape
through the mouth that can’t breathe.

He returns with a cart, loads the groceries in the back seat
Like waves the car sways
my body begins to shake, I can’t connect to it.

“I feel like I’m going to be sick. I know I won’t so I need to talk through it.”
“Ok, I’m listening.”
My irrational thoughts slither out my mouth.
I feel them. Each letter, each word.
Once they are said they poof into thin air.

“Keep talking. Do you want me to drive? Or do you want me to wait a little
bit longer?”
“We need to go now.”
Much like the engine, the vibrations ignite my adrenaline.
Each muscle spasms, electricity playing puppeteer.
From my heart to my toes
it won’t stop.

I breathe
it all comes again,
ebb and flow.

“We’re home.”

I push myself up the stairs.
Five bags of groceries pierce my forearm.


“Do you want help?”
“If I have real pain, my brain will focus on that.”

My body is exhausted.
My brain is relieved.

Both battlegrounds, quiet.
A standstill.
Laying small landmines waiting for the next one to explode.

Find a person that will listen,
a person that will ask you what you need.

Find a person that, although they may not understand,
they’ll stand with you.

Find someone who will help you fight your demons, give them a name and bring you back home.

Find your person, the one you would go to war for,
the one who sharpens your sword and offers a shield when you’re too tired to fight anymore.

A person that will help you get through the panic.

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