the attack

it starts in my hands 
they tingle as if
they’re waking up from the
longest nap, unsure of where
they are or how they got there
but they never fell asleep

then i feel it in my forearms
as they fight the urge to 
wake up every inch of the 
muscles they’re made of

my biceps start to
tighten as if i am
shivering from the cold

as it rushes to my shoulders
i feel them tense and tighten
my throat begins to shut as
i feel it rush towards my 
chest like a poison 

my chest tightens and my 
lungs start gasping for air

my heart starts to race
my mind, both searching
for the finish line 
an ending point
a breath of fresh air

sometimes my legs buckle and 
i fall to the floor
sometimes i call my pup
over and hold him tight

sometimes i just need to take 
five minutes to breathe
sometimes i am actually suffocating 
as my lungs close inside my chest

it isn’t the end of the world 
i’m not gonna die
but some days it feels
like i might

and having your throat
close in panic is nothing 
compared to the shame
you feel after realizing 
that every day tasks can
change the way you breathe

that getting my oil changed 
can bring me to tears in the
parking lot, that doing the
dishes can have me
struggling for air while
sitting on my kitchen floor

hearing stories about dogs
dying has had me in a
literal panic thinking about
losing my own

he told me that he
hears people talking about it
but he wasn’t quite sure
anxiety was real

i told him it was just
something he hadn’t experienced

it isn’t always something that is
felt emotionally
sometimes it is felt physically

sometimes i feel like
anxiety attacks are trauma’s
way of releasing itself from my body

it’s suffocating
and you feel like you’re drowning

you never fully realize how
valuable fresh air can be until
you are no longer able to breathe

it isn’t the end of the world
i’m not gonna die 
but some days it feels 
like i might 

and i wouldn’t wish that upon anyone 

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