Panic Attack

I'm jolted awake, my heart racing. Burglar? Ghost? No. Panic attack.

Chest tight, breathing rapid. I can feel my heart pounding in my chest, faster and faster.

Heart attack? No. Panic attack.

Fumble for heart monitor app on watch. Finger on the dial. Wait. No sign of atrial fibrillation . Or it seems my heart beat is so fast it cannot monitor it. Call an ambulance? No. Panic attack.

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Chest is tightening, I feel dizzy and sick and I try to do that exercise which is supposed to ground you. Think of how many things? Something you can feel. My heart pounding. Something you can hear. My heart pounding...this isn't going to work for me.

I tell myself sternly. This is a panic attack. This is a panic attack. This is a panic attack.

Over and over and over until my heart slows, my chest releases and I can breathe again.

Day or night sometimes with no obvious reason why, my life is counted in days hours minutes seconds and panic attacks.

Or as someone who has never had one might call it:

"Only" a panic attack.

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