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 I become emotional, sensitive and withdrawn.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.




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

4 thoughts on “Aftermath

  1. I am so grateful to you and your bravery to put this into art and written expression. I am identifying with so much of this as I am identifying with what I am feeling and moving through.
    Such emotion…beauty and pain…and evolution to healing…

  2. Mine gets the feeling like I’m going to cry or scream or both. I freeze. I start rippling through my tools to find something to soothe myself but sometimes I can’t and it feels the same urgency as if I have to pee really bad only all throughout my body. I start searching the area quickly for escape paths.

    I hate that this is yours. I wish I could take it from you so you wouldn’t feel the terror anymore. I love you.

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