I don’t know if I’ve ever had a panic attack. I think I’ve had something close like it. I felt my heart beat out of my chest, I couldn’t swallow air, my oral cavities were stuck and I had the involuntary urge to vomit whatever I ate earlier. My fingers were cold and there was a desperation in my chest I couldn’t let go of.
What I usually do whenever these feelings come is to turn on something by The National, and listen to Matt Berninger sing something melancholic. It’s extremely sobering, and it felt like I was transported to New York, or wherever I believed his ” Fake Empire” was or whatever “Graceless” state we must be living in.
It always seems to bring to mind a few comforting things to remember when you forget that you are happy:
1) That happiness is a recent invention, and science has proved again and again that a) As long as you have the following: Food, Clothing and shelter, you are actually, in fact, undeniably happy, and that b) all happiness is relative.
2) It would be more fruitful to not be obsessed with being happy, because everything will pass and that our existence isn’t about being “happy” despite the conventional wisdom put on memes and pictures on Facebook.
And then I breathe… and I try to breathe in slow, and I think I feel the panic go away.