right now, it’s happening. it’s happening right now. it happens when i least expect it. when i want it to happen the least. the pain shoots up my left arm, only from the elbow up and it rings out where my elbow meets my shoulder. my whole upper arm goes stiff. my heart starts to race. my shoulder hurts. my arm hurts. i try to move. i try to my arm, i stood up, i moved my shoulder, rolling it back and forth but you can’t make anxiety attacks go away. you have to breathe through them. i told my mom when they started happening my junior year of high school that i was scared because i would never be able to tell if i was having a panic attack or a heart attack. supposedly one feels like the other. i’ve only experienced one though, and not the other. how will i ever be able to tell if i’m dying?

i don’t know where this came from. i am trying to focus on the words, on these words, on the music in my ears, to drown everything else out.

i got mad, that day not so long ago, when she said she had “a panic attack or an anxiety attack or whatever”. “except those aren’t the same thing…” i responded, more sharply than i should have. i regretted it later, the sharpness of my tongue when i should have been sympathetic. but i was mad. i am mad. she should understand or at least try to and yet, she never does. she has brushed the whole thing off in a way almost everyone else seems to do.

except i can’t. because i dry-heave when i get nervous. because my body reacts in a violent way when it is scared. because when i least expect it, pain shoots up my left arm and slides across my chest. it sits under my rib cage and it won’t go away. my chest is shrinking. i can’t pull in enough air because it hurts.

it won’t stop.

i open myself to this world. this world turns its back.

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