What panic disorder feels like

I have been feeling better lately. But I was still never able to write about what about panicking feels like. I was afraid that if I did, I’d remember it well enough to go back into that place.

Hopefully, I won’t.

Despair. That’s what it feels like. You feel desperate, like nothing will ever be right again. You worry about the things that could go wrong. Believe you me, everything could go wrong.

You know that remote chance you have of a meteor falling right over your house or you developing a rare disease doctors have never heard of? You worry about that.

Suddenly, everything feels so small. Meaningless. I mean, why is brushing your hair important if you are doomed?

Except, you are not. But you don’t realize that.

You are so desperate you can’t eat. Sleep. Play with your kids.

Your friends tell you you are depressed… you are not depressed. You are terrified of life and what could happen and that consumes you to the point where you don’t have any energy left.

I think that’s the main difference between depression and well, what I feel. I want to live and be happy. Depression makes you want to die. Well, I am just guessing.

So, how did I get better?

I am not 100% better yet. But first I went to the doctor and made sure the scary shit was all in my head. I took my kids there too. That made me feel a little better.

Second, I recreated the space that made me happy. My curtains have warm, cosy colours. No blues, no grays.

I put on the music I used to love when I was fine.

I danced to it in my head.

I sang.

I am not on medication.

I ordered my favorite food.

I realized going home was not the answer, for what I really wanted was to go back in time.

I read about how people with this disorder never get better. It comes and goes and it’ll probably be like this my whole life. Well, it HAS been this way for over 20 years.

I’ll just have to learn to control it, like I learned to control my panic attacks… and enjoy the ride in between.

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