At various stages during the past year, I have had almost continuous panic attacks throughout a twenty-four-hour period of time. I know, therefore, whereof I speak. It has kicked off again today.
Metallic, coppery taste –
As if all arteries and veins have burst –
Unable to settle:
Limbs wooden with freight of fear;
Muscles clacking their own Danse Macabre;
Bowels twisting in pain –
And the terror of over-turned potty-training;
Sight zooming in and out –
A camera gone mad:
Lens scarred by too many thorns;
Ears cloth-filled –
Sound a nightmare of whisper and threat:
Death imminent in every caught breath,
Every palpitation of petrified heart;
Sickness and sweating and crawling ants of pain:
Nowhere is safe.
Nothing can distract.
Paper bags – offered by kind hands –
Tear from wetting by brine and mucus;
Breaths out bring spasms;
Breaths in stir panic’s maracas.
A worse rattling noise than ever.
Panic is not slight worry;
Panic is not being late;
Panic is physical HELL.
Panic mimics –
Our worst death-dreads,
Leaves us drained,
Shaky, weeping, desolate.
Once felt, never forgotten:
An endless Hades of bodily torment…