Where On Earth Have I Been?

I’m writing about where I’ve been.

It feels like I may be tempting fate and risking another One just by writing about Them.

I fear everything right now is a trigger.

But if They’re going to keep happening, I might as well write about Them.

It’s been one week and two days without One, but somehow I know They can hear me, read me, know that I’m talking about Them.

Panic Attacks.


It’s been five weeks and four days since the first one gripped my chest so tight I thought, someone help me!

And then I thought I’m not going to make it. Then a stream of thought consumed me:

I can’t breath. My chest is pinched. It’s collapsing. My lungs – air.

 My throat is closing up.

Why am I shaking so violently?

My head repeats I’m not going to make it. I’m not going to make it.

 I’m outside, so is the dog, fuck, “GET INSIDE, DOG, NOW!”

I was surprised any sound made it out of me at all.

I locked the door. I walked to the neighbor’s house, quickly. I pounded on the thin strip of metal that is the screen doorframe until someone heard me.

Her husband answered, why is her husband home and mine is not.

“Is Ruth here?” I asked, shaking, eyes wide and frightened, I must have been a sight.

“She’s sleep—“ he stopped the thought, “yeah one second, come in.”

I spilled the glass of water I’d forgotten I was holding.

Breathe Jaime, breathe. I can’t. You can. I can’t. You can. I can’t. You can.

He’s back, “Ruth will be right out, do you want some coffee?”

“I think I’m having a panic attack,” I may have yelled it. I may have cried it. I was definitely pleading for help when I said it.



It’s five weeks and four days later.

I finally feel like myself again, which only just happened two days ago. But for the first time in five weeks and four days, I’m not sitting waiting for an attack to happen and that feels like the best gift ever.

I didn’t have just one panic attack – I had one to five attacks per day for a month. It was unbearable. Debilitating. Scary-as-hell. Nothing I’d ever wish on anyone.

I couldn’t be alone for those weeks. I went on jobs with Jason. I dragged Jack to Jason’s basketball games and piano lessons – the ones I didn’t make him cancel, and I dropped the baby off at daycare full-time. I cried in public more times than I can count. I couldn’t drive because I didn’t know when I’d have one or how bad it would be. I couldn’t stay in the house; not alone, not at all.

I’m here, I never left, but I did lose the month of June. I likened it to a really long stomach-flu, but it wasn’t. It was much worse emotionally and physically, not that I want the stomach flu again to compare.

I’m still me. I’m working on getting rid of the attacks. I’m practicing more self-care. And I’m writing. Every experience helps with character development, right? Right.

Every time I tell someone I feel a little stronger, a little less alone, a little more like everybody else. Because I’m not alone and neither are you.

Author: Jaime Parker Stickle

Writing all the words all the time from my midwestern-polite pov (Michigan born and raised), to my Californian heart (I hope I never leave)... we'll call me a passive-aggressive do-gooder!

7 thoughts on “Where On Earth Have I Been?”

    1. About 6 years ago I started having them. I had to take a month off from work, then ended up getting into a bad accident that left me with half my body in casts for several months. I had to get on anxiety meds and will be on them forever, I don’t care. I’ve only taken a break when I decided to have a baby but went back on them once I was done nursing. I never had panic attacks again once I got on my meds. I hope you’re able to find the best treatment so you can be functional again! It’s so debilitating, humiliating, and scary.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have a panic disorder as well and have severe panic attacks. I have been on and off of Meds depending on how well I am coping. I have had to learn so coping mechanisms that have helped a lot. I do take B complexes, Vit D, Flaxseed oil, and eat yogurt (your supposed to everyday, I have forgotten the last month to do it regularly). I also take a supplement liquid in the morning that has High B complex and other things in it. I don’t ever go with out these because if I do I will get worse. A doctor (psychiatrist)told me about taking these when my son was not doing well with depression. Says it has been studied and documented in medical journal (I have the info if interested) and it is supposed to significantly help with anxiety, depression, bipolar, and other mood disorders. Anyway, it has helped my son, my husband, and myself greatly! So, I know it works. Anyway, I have struggled with mine the last month as well. Actually thinking I may need to go back on medication. I know what it feels like to feel like your dying (I have had to go by ambulance 3 times this past 8yrs! I thought I was having heart attack or my throats was closing and couldn’t breath). I think for me, I have had some major changes happening in my life last 4 months and feel a complete lack of control in my life and that every foundation I had has been taken away. So, I am extremely (putting it mildly) anxious. I feel them coming and it is horrible. Sometimes I can get myself through them sometimes I can’t. It is hard and lonely. People don’t understand. I wish we were closer! I would have been there for u in a second!

    Liked by 1 person

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