Panic Attacks: Fast and Furious

I spent over 48 hours at the beginning of last week dealing with cycling panic attacks.

That’s a new one.

I’ve had plenty of panic attacks, but they never last for more than 30 minutes and then there are months or sometimes years in between.

I’ve been okay for the past few days, but I know me. I am super fragile right now. I’m one upsetting problem at work away from breaking down.

I mean, I won’t. I just feel like I might.

Today is Sunday, and we met my sisters and niece to celebrate my baby sister’s birthday.

She wanted to go to the Krohn Conservatory.

I’ve been going to the Krohn Conservatory my entire life. This is one of my most favorite places on the planet. I can’t imagine feeling anything but calm when I visit. Unless, it’s during the butterfly show. For all that is holy, so many people go to the butterfly show.

I don’t care how perfect a place is, if I have to share it with shoulder to shoulder people, I’m gonna be anxious.

But I digress.

Randy and I got there a bit before my sisters and we walked around. I came to this cave and walked through. I considered how, over 50 years ago, four year old me walked through the same cave.

I turned the corner at the end of the cave and remembered what I should see.

A monkey.

That monkey has been sitting there since my mom was a kid.

They had a wonderful exhibit throughout the whole place.

One room was for fairy tales, a dragon was there.

And a burned out mansion. I don’t know what fairy tale that was from, but it was pretty fucking cool.

Burned out mansion

There were replicas of Cincinnati landmarks.

We live just a few miles from Union terminal. which is now a museum.

I needed this.

I needed calm.

I needed my family.

I needed beauty.


Here’s to hoping next week is free of days where I am convinced I am actively dying.

Here’s to remembering that there is a world at our fingertips, where we can escape for a while and feel better.

Here’s to everyone feeling better.

Here’s a gallery of more Krohn Conservatory photos.

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  • I pictured us strolling hand in hand.

    With Randy making Dude do funny things behind us so we could snicker πŸ™‚

    Thanks, Luv. A delightful Monday Morning Coffee read <3

    *clinks coffee cups*

    Cheers! May we all feel better!

  • The Krohn Conservatory is a really beautiful place, but you’ve also reminded me of an old belief that when you respond to beauty it’s because you see a reflection of the beauty in yourself.
    And that’s often true. There is beauty in you, and I hope you can find enough beauty around you to reflect and strengthen that. You have the strength to get through this but it’s okay to have help from outside too.

  • I’ll put that on my list when I FINALLY get up there to see Fiona! The big question is whether to fly or drive? Now I love a big road trip more than anybody, but 19 hrs equals 4 extra days up there & back – so I think it’s gonna mean hopping a flight.

    • I’ve had them for decades, but never EVER for 48 hours in a row. It was a nightmare. I love my office mates so much. At one point I was crying and I told them I was dying. We marched around our room like lunatics until I started laughing.

  • I’m in end stage COPD, which – surprise, surprise – comes with panic attacks when breathing gets too hard. The first one of these was so like a heart attack that I was hospitalized. A good result was that apparently my heart is good & now I have a cute cardiologist. What is eerie is that it does not feel like panic! It feels as though I can’t breathe. God bless Xanax.

  • I had quasi-panic attacks when I was relearning how to walk in 2008. All of the sudden I couldn’t take another step and my heart was racing, my breathing really shallow, and my blood pressure was through the roof.
    They usually happened when I was trying to walk across the main warehouse floor where we lived, and as soon as I got a couple of steps away from the wall, it would hit and I’d have to turn sideways and sidestep all of the way to the bottom of the stairs, where I’d be OK again as soon as I got my hand on the banister.
    I haven’t had one in years, but occasionally I’ll do something like stumble a little and the feeling of fright and alarm will remind me of how scary they were.
    It was a helpless, exasperating feeling not knowing what was wrong or how to make it right.
    And you’re right, the world is vast and encompasses all manner of wonders just beyond the confines of the ever tightening circle of evil our country is passing through at the moment.
    And even the evil is subsiding in unexpected places, like the suburbs of Cincinnati that swung the election away from Bevin the other night.
    I’m assuming that was mostly your doing, because why would I assume anything else?
    I hope you are feeling much better very soon.

    • Thank you. I’m not great, but last week was worse.

      I didn’t swing that election, but my sisters and bad ass mom sure as hell did. My mom, who is 80, and whose husband was still in the hospital, made it a priority to vote. She was stressed and tired and had way too much on her plate, but she fucking voted. She is my hero.

  • So sorry, Michelle. There is nothing worse than anxiety, lots of it. It can strip a lot of joy from life. I hope you feel better soon and find the peace you need and deserve.

By Michelle


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