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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Doctor Seuss Does Panic Attacks

From the halls of Montezuma to a hedge-lined nursery, I’d no idea what it was, what was happening to me. It was a beautiful day, early in May, children at play, free to be free. There were flags unfurled to a mid-Spring breeze, no reasons to fret, and all was at ease. Such a sunny scene, no fear of showers, no nerves at work, I was just buying flowers. Suddenly it hit me, bright lights, roaring sound, the flowers went flying, me too, to the ground, with chest beating wildly, gasping for air, no idea what to do, I just had to leave there. Eventually I calmed, tried looking back, realized this wasn’t the first such attack, with thoughts of death, pure fight or flight, with no clue as to cause, try as I might. Later, in treatment, I learned what it was, it became all too obvious, the reasons, the cause. The children that day were all Vietnamese, no danger to me, nor their families, but that has little to do with the truth, don’t you see, there’s no logic to emotions in PTSD. I’m better now, but I’ll never be free. It’s a life sentence, this thing, this PTSD. I have coping skills now to assist, and people who know, and little by little, it improves as I grow,, a little bit older, a lot more wise, so now when the attacks start, I just close my eyes, notice my breathing, count the beats of my heart. It’s not a total solution, but hey, it’s a start. 

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