One minute,

you’re fine.


The next,

your hands are buzzing like bees in false defence.

You’re overheating.

Your heart is sprinting a marathon.

Your legs threaten to vanish from under you.

In a sudden spurt of energy you have outdistanced Time.

And as you near the finish line your body is failing.

You can’t breathe

you can’t talk

your calves give way

you collapse in hysterics

but lack the oxygen

to even express your pain.



At the time of my first panic attack, I had no idea what was going on. I wasn’t anxious about any particular thing, but all the stress relating to school, extra-curricular activities and my personal health had accumulated until it became overwhelming. I remember having to sit down at every chance as I struggled to make it home, then collapsing to the floor in tears. It is written in second person to allow readers to imagine experiencing the changes for themselves or to create empathy in those who have gone through something similar.