Panic

By Charlotte Nitschke
“Can I work out here please?”

“No. You didn’t organise it”

My chest is already tightening

I can feel my brain rewiring.

I don’t think I can do it

I don’t understand why my body

Is going into fight or flight mode

And I freaking hate it

I can’t breathe

I can see the world

Around me spinning

And I can’t control this.

My legs are shaking

My mind is breaking

And I don’t know how much

Longer I can do this.

Nope, I’ve cracked.

I can’t breathe anymore.

I go to fill up my water

And beckon my teacher out too.

She comes out

I tell her I can’t do it

She sits me down

And tells me to breathe.

She tells me that my body

Is going into a panic response

But to take a deep breath

And to just think.

She talks me through what’s happening

She tells me to tell myself

That I’m not in any immediate danger

And that I am safe.

And for some reason,

There’s something about her

That my brain begins to know

That I am safe.

And I breathe again.

Maybe shallow

But I am intaking oxygen

Which means that I can finally function

Perhaps not to a

Great ability

But enough to actually

Blink and see clearly.

I sit on the floor

In the corner of the staff kitchen

And I breathe.

In for 4, out for 6.

I’m okay.

Thanks to the teacher

Who helped me through

My panic attack.

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