Almost every night

by Amy

I've had panic attacks almost every night since I was 7. I go to bed and wake up around midnight feeling like I can't breathe. I sit in the corner of my bed/room and rock, my knees pulled to my chest while my chest burns for at least 5 minutes. I literally can't breathe at first, then I take short stiff breaths until it's over. My mother has always told me I'm just making it up that I'm fine, that mental disorders don't exist. My grandmother would hold me and sing to me until I calmed down enough that I could breathe properly.

Well, my worst panic attack was three days after my grandmother passed away. I woke up having a panic attack, and instantly started singing 'you are my sunshine' (the song my grandmother sang to me) in my head to try to calm myself down. The second I started singing it, my chest tightened even more. I couldn't breathe for what felt like forever, and the panic attack lasted about a half hour. Ever since that night I have no way of calming myself during a panic attack. I juSt have to wait them out. If I try to sing the song in my head it gets worse. If I look at anything that reminds me of her it gets worse. And of my mother hears me or finds me during one, I don't think I'd survive it. All the yelling of "stop looking for attention" would keep me from breathing ever again.

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