When Anxiety’s Ugly Head Re-Emerges, Don’t Give Up


It’s been a year. An entire year since you’ve felt that feeling.

You haven’t started to feel your heart pounding, your mind racing, your hands tingling… you haven’t felt panicked. You haven’t panicked once… in an entire year.

Until today.

You’re sitting at a table. You read your email. You start to silently hyperventilate. You can’t breathe. Your mind starts to flash with things you haven’t felt in a year.

Your hands go numb. You shake them about a bit, to see if they’ll come back to life, but you fail. You sit there, numb, unable to move… paralyzed.

You start to panic. Can they tell? Can they see my reaction? Can they tell I’m beginning to lose control?

You finally get out to your car, you turn the music up loud, and you’re still breathing heavy. Your vision gets fuzzy. You can’t stop it. You can’t.

You sit there. Frozen. Your phone vibrates, again and again, and you have no desire to check it. You want to clutch your chest in hopes it will help. You’re scared, really scared.

The clock ticks by…fifteen minutes, twenty minutes, twenty-five minutes…

Then suddenly… you can breathe. You can feel your finger-tips. You can think a little more clearly. You take several deep breaths. In… Out… In… Out…

You start to wonder what just happened. Was it a panic attack? Again? It’s been a year! Why now? Why did this JUST happen to me AGAIN?

You get angry. Frustrated. Confused.

Why me? Why now? Why at work?!

The anger grows, the confusion grows. Then you realize, there’s really nothing you can do. You have a panic disorder. It happens… even after a year symptom free. Even after all this time, where you felt in control every second. Where you felt like nothing could stop you, where you felt like the words “panic disorder” no longer existed, where you felt safe…

You change your “days since symptoms showed themselves” calendar back to 0.

Then you make plans. If it were to happen again, what can you do? Can you remember everything from a year ago? Can you help it at all?

Then you wonder…

Why did it happen again? Why does this happen to me?