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The Brain’s Way

How It Feels to Live with Anxiety-Driven Panic Attacks

Photo by Mathew MacQuarrie on Unsplash

It’s 9:35 AM on a regular, boring Wednesday. I’m sitting at my desk about to start on my monstrous workload that has accumulated for the last two days, the smell of freshly made coffee burns my nostrils as my laptop boots up to the familiar jingle. My day has now begun. However, unknown to me, it is then that on that boring Wednesday, hat dumb, monotonous, plain-old Wednesday, for no rhyme or reason it happens. 

The wall behind me cracks as the bullet whizzes past my temple. My ears are ringing. My blood pressure is skyrocketing. My panic. Insane. I dive under my desk almost instinctively not even realizing that now I had no way out. It has become eerily silent as the attacker walks towards me. I can see his feet striding to my cubicle. He walks with somewhat of a limp. He is wearing black lace up combat boots with a knife attached onto his left calf. He lets off another shot to let me know he sees me before he kneels down to my eye level. His face is covered in a black ski mask, but there’s something about his eyes that is so familiar. Maybe it’s something I’ve seen in mirror, for they are filled with not hate. No, they are filled with fear, pain, loss, and regret. I can see his mouth moving under the ski mask, but no words are coming out. It is strange as I can still understand what he is saying as if we are connected. My heart drops as I know what he is going to do next. The man then rips off his ski mask to reveal a bruised and bloody visage. His face is so debauched that his own mother wouldn’t be able to recognize him, but, unfortunately for me, I am not his mother as I do recognize this man. The horror of realization on my face must’ve filled him with some sort of twisted joy as he let out a silent cackle that sent shivers up my spine. He pulled his ski mask down before standing back up to cock his 9mm Glock. With nowhere to go I close my eyes waiting for death to take me. I hear the man’s feet taking position to take the recoil of the firearm. I can still smell my coffee sitting on the desk above me. I am about to scream when the first shot goes off. It rips through the wooden desk, and right into my hand. I let out a violent scream that no one can hear. Not because I am not screaming, but because nothing is coming out of my mouth. My voice has been taken. I feel each bullet as they penetrate my skin burning holes through my body. Except I don’t feel it in my body. I feel it in my chest. It is a raging fire that consumes my heart, and my mind. 

After what felt like a century the firing stops. The man kneels back down to stare into my soul with those eyes. He leans in slowly to whisper something. His soundless words slither off his tongue to lie at my feet ready to strike. Then he leaves. He leaves me there. Bleeding on the floor under my desk. Blood staining the carpet. My desk riddled with bullets. I can hear the door slam shut behind him in the distance. It felt like days before I was able to I stand up again. When I do stand up my legs are made of jelly and I almost collapse back into my chair. My coffee is still there waiting for my lips. To my surprise it is still hot as I sip it slowly. My laptop’s desktop is up on the screen. Now my day has properly begun…

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