panic poetry

Over the weekend, I had my first “real” panic attack. Nothing like the summer shocks I’d felt years before, when mortality would come to me in the night and strike me with a metal bat. No, this was a slow build, weeks of disgust and anger and fear snowballing into a full-body choke, numbness draped over and into me. I felt phantom pains across my hip, ghosts pummeling the soft skin there while the rest of my body buzzed, falling “asleep” even though I was fully awake, eyelids stretched out to their fullest height and fingers and toes curled and clawed. It was the ugliest I have ever felt, and I cried out in pain over and over again as the feeling was ripped out of my body.

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The Silvered Spoon

The day of my flight back to Los Angeles, my mother did one final load of laundry, in which I tossed an oft-worn pair of high-waisted black jeans. These jeans are, on a good day, verrry snug on me, so when I unfurled them the next morning, I was distressed to remember why I almost never washed and certainly never dried these jeans — they’d shrunk just enough to go from wearable-tight to “oh god why does my stomach look like that when I fasten the button.”

Another case of my mother not understanding my needs. (A joke, but one that holds a kernel of truth.) Continue reading