Conditioned Soul

The day after– or the hours after– a panic attack can be almost as bad as the attack itself.

During the attack, adrenaline rushes through me just as if I were still in actual, physical danger.

My body doesn’t know the difference, and tenses, literally preparing me for fight or flight, remaining on high alert until someone or something calms me down, convinces me the threat has passed.

In case anyone missed it–a panic attack or flashback often means reliving the traumatic event mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s virtual reality in every way, except there are no fun and games involved. Only fear and anger.

After a prolonged panic or anxiety attack I feel like I’ve been running some kind of deranged marathon. My head hurts, muscles ache, nausea, complete exhaustion and dehydration, chills and a host of other random symptoms and ailments seemingly coming from nowhere. I become emotional, sensitive and withdrawn.

I like to call it an anxiety hangover.

It’s draining and sometimes debilitating. My impulse, afterward, is to hide and sleep. This is usually not convenient or acceptable in my day to day life as a mom, business owner, wife, friend, volunteer, etc. I am not functional, but it is necessary for me to function regardless.

 

Aftermath

 

Tired, so tired

Stuck, lost

Muddy mind mIred

Cold fog frost

Riot all around me

Don’t touch

Let me be. It’s all

Too loud, too bright, too much

 

Raw, Sore, frayed

A step behind

Reactions delayed

Unable to hide

Run away

From demons inside

Sounds threatening

Silence, sleep beckoning