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What the Worst Panic Attack of My Life Felt Like

There comes a point in my life when I just lie in bed and think about my life. It happens randomly. It happens when I’m feeling low about my life, and the feeling comes on so suddenly that sometimes it frightens me.

And then it happened. The worst panic attack happened. It hit all of a sudden, and I didn’t know what to do.

It first started out with heavy breathing. I didn’t think anything of it at first until my heart started to race. My hands started to shake uncontrollably, and I began to sweat. I was with a group of friends and tried my best to keep my composure. When I realized I couldn’t be in control, I quickly darted away from everyone and went to be alone. I tried to eat a snack, and when I swallowed it, I felt like I was about to choke. I quickly went into another room, and ran towards a bed. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t swallow. I couldn’t even talk.

I really felt like I was about to die. Was I dying?

No, I wasn’t. I was having the worst panic attack I’ve ever experienced in my 21 years of existence.

I started to cry. I couldn’t scream for help because no one would understand what was going on. No one would understand why I was panicking for no reason. No one would understand why I felt like I was dying, and they would probably think I was being dramatic. It hurt. My heart was hurting, my head was hurting, my body was hurting. I wanted it to end so bad, but it didn’t. I tried breathing exercises and tried to stay grounded like my therapist taught me — and nothing changed.

I literally felt like my heart was going to beat its way out of my chest. I literally felt like I was losing oxygen. I couldn’t stop sweating. All I could do was cry. I got under the covers, and I slowly drifted to sleep. When I awoke the next day, I felt so physically drained. I had to go to work the following day and could barely keep my eyes open because I was so exhausted. When I tried to explain to my co-workers why I felt so sluggish, but they just couldn’t understand. All I could do was just stand there with my legs feeling numb.

I was slowly getting more depressed after the panic attack. I was petrified to have another one because of the pain it put my body through. I felt “crazy,” and all I could do was sit on the bathroom floor and stare at the wall. I felt numb and empty. I felt worthless and out of place. I felt so alone, and I couldn’t get rid of this terrible, exhausting feeling.

Day by day and night by night, I tried my best to pretend like I was fine. I thought maybe if I pretended long enough I would feel better, but I didn’t. Maybe one day I will be able to fight it, but for now all I can do is try to ride it out, and hope for the best.

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Thinkstock photo via cienpies.