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Friday, March 08, 2013

[trigger alert] what a panic attack feels like

You start to not breathe anymore. Well, you still are, surely, but it is like you are merely able to make air enter your throat area and then, it goes not further, does not saturate your lungs. And if you forget to tell yourself to breathe, you realise you are holding your breath. Breathe, damn it!

Then that throat closes up. It is a combination of a swollen throat you get when you are sick, and that choking feeling you get when you cry. It feels like a lump right there blocking your breathing. Talking, aloud, quite difficult now.

Dizziness. Not like that that you get when on a boat on water, but like your brain is floating in water but your body isn't. You feel light headed. Gazing at whatever is in front of you helps, but it means you don't quite register what is around you anymore.

You are still not breathing in the correct way.

Brain continues bobbing on water.

Fingers feel cold and tingly, you tremble.

Chest hurts like hell. Right in the middle. It feels like it is closing in on your heart, right? It is a heart attack, and immediately your entire nervous system tells you for certain that you are going to die, you are going to die. All the muscles around your heart tightens and tightens, it makes your shoulders and neck ache, maybe even your upper arms.

Let's cry, involuntarily.

Legs go weak, cannot... walk...

You cannot move. Or stand. Or get away. Mobility is no longer an option.

So: not breathing, chest constricted, throat closing up, heart in pain, and everything has shut down.

It will be over eventually. You might pass out, and find yourself later curled in a foetal position. Or you might be conscious throughout, if you can call it that. It will end, of course, but until then, this is as close to the shadow of death as it can get.