So this is something I wrote a while back when I was having panic attacks everyday. This was the worst one. Utterly terrifying. No joke.
When I opened my eyes, I couldn’t remember how I got there.
My jeans were wet. My face and hair were soaked. My arms were…
Wait, I couldn’t feel my arms. I tried to move a leg. Nope. No luck. I was paralyzed.
All over my body, I felt the sensation of pins and needles. I was completely numb.
What the heck?
I took a deep breath. But I choked. I was facedown in grass and had just sucked in some dirt.
Where am I?
Even though my head was spinning faster than the Tornado at the Fall Fair, I tired lifting it to see where I was.
It was completely dark, except for a dim yellow light coming from somewhere over my right shoulder.
But I didn’t try to turn to look for the source of the light, I felt nauseated. Bile began bubbling up the back of my throat, and I knew I was going to vomit.
I gagged and let the spit and bile fall out of my mouth onto the grass.
“I think she’s conscious!” Some unfamiliar voice shouted.
I tired to roll myself towards the voice, but my arms weren’t working. Neither was my mind, apparently.
A hand reached out for one of my arms, “Do you think you can sit up?” The voice, attached to the unfamiliar arm, asked.
“Should we just call 911?” Another unfamiliar voice asked. Only, this one was a woman’s. And she sounded suspicious.
“I don’t know.” The arm pulled me into a sitting position on the grass and my head spun even faster than before as I tried to process my surroundings.
I tried to lift my hand to my face, but my arm just lied in my lap. Dead weight.
The arm turned out to be a man’s. He looked like he was in is late twenties, but I squinted. I wasn’t quite sure. Why was my vision so blurry?
My glasses… Where are my glasses?
The man looked down at me, and I could see the faint yellow light was coming from a house, behind him. And there were three other people standing behind him. Almost like they were afraid of me… They all looked at me as though I had fallen from the sky…
What was I doing here?
“Are you okay?” The man asked, stooping a bit to look into my eyes.
My head was still spinning. Was I okay? I didn’t know. What was I doing there? How did I get there? Who were these people?
And that noise. Some strange humming noise in the background. I glanced over my shoulder and found the source of the noise.
My car. It was running, with the driver door open.
And then I remembered exactly how I got there. Well, maybe not quite why I was lying facedown in the middle of some strangers’ front yard… But the memory of the night hit me like a ton of bricks.
I’d been driving, on my way to my boyfriend’s house, which is out in the middle of no where.
And then, all of a sudden, a panic attack strikes me. Out of no where. And I’m in the middle of no where.
In my panic, I call my mother. “Mom! I’m having an attack. Talk to me!”
I hear my mother fumble for something to say. “Okay. Just calm down. Tell yourself you’re alright. Focus on breathing slow. You’re breathing too fast I can hear it.”
Right. Breathe. Breathe. Ugh! Not working! “I’m trying but it’s not working! Say something. Distract me!”
My mother fumbles again. “Okay, what time do you have to be at work in the morning?” She rushes through the question. I know she’s panicking now.
I can’t even remember. I can’t think straight. Trying to drive while fighting hyperventilation and paralyzing terror, all the while trying to keep from hitting on-coming cars and mailboxes, was just too much.
“Uh…” Panic. Panic. I’m suffocating. My chest is caving in. Can’t breathe. “Uh, I can’t remember.”
“Mandie, are you still driving?” She sounds really worried now.
“Yeah, yeah.” Panic. Panic. I’m going to lose control and crash!
My breathing becomes more erratic. And my heart feels like it’s going to beat its way out of my chest.
“Mandie, listen to me. Do you need to pull over? I can come get you. How far away from Freddy’s house are you?”
Way too many questions at once. Okay, so maybe only two. But I can’t process information very fast when I’m in this condition.
My fingers begin to go numb. “Pull over?! Pull over where? I’m in the middle of no where!”
“Are you able to safely drive the rest of the way to Freddy’s house?”
My throat gets tight. And then my face starts losing feeling.
Dammit! Why can’t I breathe?
“Mandie?!” My mother shouts into the phone.
Where’s my voice? I cough. “I don’t know!”
I feel the numbness shooting down my legs. My foot begins to feel heavy on the gas petal.
“Mandie, you’re going to have to pull over. I can hear your breathing. You’re going to hyperventilate!”
Too late. My legs were numb. My hands were numb. My face was numb. And my arms were going numb.
“I can’t, Mom!” The thought of stopping here, in the middle of no where, in the middle of the night, shot another shock of terror through my already erratic body.
My heavy foot, which I’d lost feeling in, pushed down too hard on the gas pedal, and the car lurched forward, too fast.
My reflexes were still working, and I immediately lifted a numb foot and slammed the brake.
Thank God, I was wearing my seatbelt. It was the only thing that prevented me from face planting into my steering wheel.
By this time, the numbness working its way down my arms begins to intensify. My fingers begin to draw up. I can barely grip the steering wheel.
And that’s when I dropped the phone. I remember still yelling in my car, to my mom on my phone that was somewhere in my floor board.
I begin frantically looking for somewhere to pullover. I was going to kill myself. Because my vision was beginning to go black and I was about to pass out.
I had to pull over somewhere. Anywhere.
The last thing I remember was trying to claw my out of my car. My freaking fingers had drawn up so bad that I couldn’t grip anything! I couldn’t even put my car in park.
I couldn’t grip my door handle. I screamed.
I was parked halfway in some stranger's yard at midnight. Screaming. Trapped inside my own vehicle. Irrationally, believing I was dying. My body was numb. My ears hurt. My brain wouldn’t shut up. My heart was skipping beats. My breathing wouldn’t slow down. And I couldn’t stop screaming.
And then I thought about my horn. And I laid on it.
Someone would hear me and get me out of here.
But then I felt my door give way. My paralyzed hand had finally pulled the handle up enough to open the door.
I felt the cold air, the wet grass, and then nothing.
I was out.
(To have a panic attack is my biggest fear. It’s like being trapped inside your body, when your body is completely out of your control. They royally suck.)
Lived Through by Mandie Described at 8:40 PM