panic switch.

I was sixteen when I first lost control.

Alone. Heart palpitations, walls closing in, growing numb, gasping for air, mind racing, sobbing uncontrollably. A sudden, irrational fear that I was about to simultaneously explode and shut off. Losing my mind and losing control of my body. My sanity was stolen. Extreme depersonalization. Succumbing to the anxiety.

Panic.

That’s how it was with the first attack. I had just gotten into a fight with my parents before they left for a party that night. My boyfriend lived 835 miles away in Fairfax, Virginia. I’d failed a test earlier that week. I was sluggish during cross country practice. I was grounded and angry and upset. I has just gotten back home a weekend in Miami that I would prefer to forget.

I was lounging on my bedroom floor reading an Ellen Hopkins book, and my eyes passed over a particular passage that sent me into hysterics:

Act on your impulse, swallow the bottle, cut a little deeper, put the gun to your chest.

At home. On my own. Crawling on the ground, trying to find a phone, my mouth gaping at the empty air around me. Trying to swallow but it refused to go down into my lungs.

Sometimes, he just comes out of nowhere.

Surprise, surprise.

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Originally published at anacristinacuello.wordpress.com on July 16, 2014.

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