One minute,

You’re fine.


The next,

Your hands feel tingly, buzzing.

You’re overheating.

Your heart is sprinting a marathon.

Your legs feel weak.

As though your youth has been zapped and

Replaced with the senility of a gelatinous pensioner.

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.


A.N. This poem is about my first panic attack. At the time, I had no idea what was going on. I wasn’t anxious about any particular thing, but all that had been stressing me to do with school, extra-curricular activities and my personal health must have been building up and up until it all got too much. I remember having to sit down at every chance as I struggled to make it home, then collapsing on the floor in tears in front of my family, who took me to A&E. It is written in second person in order to allow readers to imagine experiencing the changes for themselves, or to create empathy in those who have gone through something similar.


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