(1 of 10):
-Summer, 2009. Birthright Israel. Hadn’t eaten much in the morning. Hiked the Negev desert. Overheated. Rescued by Gd/Yahweh at a nearby waterfall with the help of the trip’s medic (we dated afterwards. le’chaim). Magnitude: 8/10.
(2 of 10):
-Fall, 2009: New York City. Claustrophobic on a subway. Tired from waking up at 5am to intern at The TODAY Show, followed by afternoons at The Colbert Report. Autumn in NYC is lovely with a slight dose of fear ;) Ate a bagel on a park bench and grounded myself using EFT tapping method and light prayers. Magnitude: 7/10.
(3 of 10):
-Winter, 2011: The 405/101 interchange during the expansion of the Sepulveda Pass. Ran out of water/gatorade in my car and started spiraling. Almost called 911, but instead listened to Pema Chodron’s The Places That Scare You audiobook on loop and chewed gum. Snapchatted it all. Felt better, but also worse. Magnitude: 7/10.
(4 of 10):
-Spring, 2012: The Suffocation of the Skinny Jeans. Thought my jeans were cutting off my circulation in 2012 at work; stripped naked (from the waist down) in my car at lunch, only to be searched by the secret service protecting a nearby President Obama. They laughed. It grounded me :) Magnitude: 6/10
(5 of 10):
-Sometime in 2013: The soyrizo episode of early 2013. Purchased and cooked overly seasoned soyrizo from Jon’s market, with (possibly) too much MSG. Triggered a panic like reaction, magnified by the Sativa joint I had just smoked (pre-Zoloft, peak anxiety disorder, only Indica now!!). Magnitude: 7/10.
(6 of 10):
-The Chicken Teriyaki Incident of 2014. Laid down in the lobby of a Wells Fargo building after eating a weird chicken teriyaki dish (what’s with the meat? Should I become vegan?) too fast after not eating all day. Learning to stabilize my blood sugar to avoid anxiety spells! People thought I was filming a YouTube “sketch.” Bitch maybe I was…. Magnitude: 6/10.
(7 of 10)
-The Infamous Eye-Twitch of 2015. Had an eye twitch for 5 months in 2015, just before deciding to get on Zoloft. Thought I had a magnesium deficiency. Dark times. Multiple eye-twitch related panic attacks on the 101 freeway. Started rapping/getting into voice-over as a way to cope. Gritty. Magnitude(s): 9/10.
(8 of 10)
-June, 2015. First week adjusting to Zoloft. Nibbled on Xanax to counteract the initial panic associated with increased energy. Luckily, my serotonin levels evened out. Watched all 9 seasons of the hit 1970s sitcom The Waltons about a Depression-era family based in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Damn… John Boy could get it ;) Magnitude(s): 5/10
(9 of 10)
-Went 3 years without a full blown panic attack!!! Minus a couple “isolated, pre-panic attack” incidents in 2018, which I’ll call the “Post-Zoloft Blues.” Anxious thoughts, but no more full-blown, body-based panic. Drugs are real, folks. Therapy (and a consistent spiritual practice, if you’re down) also work. Magnitude(s): 3/10.
(10 of 10)
-Literally 2 hours ago, after moving into my own apartment and living alone for the first time. Post-Zoloft Blues meets pre-panic symptoms, magnified by weed and a monumental turn of the decade. Oh, and we live in a Black Mirror episode. Choose your own adventure, baby. Magnitude: 2/10. We’re getting better ;)