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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Poetry  |  House: Booksie Classic

What the mind, body and heart feel during a panic attack. At least mine.

September 5, 2017





I can feel it coming.

It’s coming quickly.


I feel it in my mind.

It tingles in the wrinkles of my brain and dances to the edge of my skull.

My thoughts are afraid.

It plagues an innocent thought and wrings it to evil.

It takes a single thread of sanity and pulls it to make my fabric unravel.

I start to wonder.

But my wonder is not painted blue,

This time it’s painted gray.

My stream of consciousness is flooded with fear

as it starts to drip down my throat.

I can’t bear to open my eyes again,

It’s just too much.


I feel it in my body.

I speak with my breath, and I have a lot to say.

And apparently, so does everyone else.

“You’re going to have to try and take deeper breaths”

“God dammit breath slower!”

“You’re going to have to work with me here.”

“Calm down”


But my favorite one is:

“She’s not listening.”

You’re right.

I’m not listening.

But I chose not to listen.

Just because my eyes are taped shut with cried and dried tears

Doesn’t mean my ears stopped working.

I can’t help it that my legs won’t stop ferociously flirting with the floor

Or that my jaw is clenched tight with the juxtaposed pain of numbness in my chin, my legs and

My hands

hurt. Against every ounce of strength that I squeeze from my muscles,

I can’t uncurl my fingers.

My pinky and her neighboring finger tense as they gently lay on my palm.

My index and middle finger pause as if it were holding a mug.

And my thumb, my thumb doing whatever the hell it wants.

My hands hurt the most.

My hands, holding different hands every time,

Because I can’t control the casualties who come.

They say a lot of things,

And their words often don’t work,

But that’s because they’re panicking too.


I feel it in my heart.

And it hurts most here.

Aside from the hysterical heartbeat that pulsates the skin atop my chest,

It hurts deeper than that.

With the keys to my eyes locked away,

My heart spills out of the drying edges of my mouth.

My heart sees everything.

It sees the the fear of the innocent.

It sees eyes closed in terror and fear.

It hears hyperventilation.

It sees scrambling legs, dragging around the floor,

jaw, tight with pain.

It sees hands curled, clenched, desperate,

Desperate for me to get better.

My heart sees me,

among the people who are doing all of these things.

My heart gets mad at me.

It beats faster and faster,

I deserve this pain.

But my heart hurts for me,

and my heart gets tired,

and finally takes a deep breath.

Slows down.

Calms down.


And listens.


Quickly it comes,

I feel it go,




Submitted: October 18, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Ellie Carp. All rights reserved.

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