A lot of people question why I have a prescription for Klonopin. Whenever I tell them, “It’s for panic attacks”, they still don’t really understand.
Mayo Clinic describes it as “A panic attack is a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause.”
It is so much more than just that little sentence.
I decided to shed some light on what my panic attacks are like by telling you the worst panic attack that I’ve ever had.
I was driving in the car with The Ex. We were on Rodeo Dr about to pick up our to-go dinner order. We had been having some kind of fight but I don’t remember what it was about. I was sitting with my feet up and I could feel my anxiety levels rising. My heart started racing and I didn’t know why. I kept thinking it was odd that it was pounding faster and faster from just this little fight. I blinked and I was gone.
That blink felt like a year because when I opened my eyes, everything looked foreign to me. My body was still responding to the actions in my brain and of course I still knew what things were but I couldn’t place them. I thought I was having a stroke.
“Oh MY GOD”, I said, not recognizing my own voice.
I held my hands out in front of me and forgot what they were called. I looked up and knew we were in Beverly Hills on the same street we had driven on countless times before but it looked different. The Ex mumbled something back and I refused to look at him. I was afraid that if I peered up at him I wouldn’t recognize him and he would look like a stranger.
“Oh God OH God, I think I’m having a stroke.”, I screamed.
He thought I was just being dramatic and told me to calm down.
“No really. I don’t recognize anything. I don’t know where we are but I do and I know that you’re driving but I’m scared to look at you because it might not be you”
Then he got worried and called my mom. He put it on the loud speaker in the car and I heard her voice. I continued to stare down at my feet. I was terrified.
“Mom, I don’t know what’s happening. Nothing around me feels real and it’s difficult to breathe. I think I’m dying”
She spoke as calmly as possible as she explained this was a side effect of a panic attack. My body couldn’t take all of the anxiety at once so it had began to disconnect from reality. She told The Ex to bring me somewhere quiet to get fresh air. After parking behind the strip of restaurants, he pulled me out of the car and I finally looked at him. Yes, I could see his face and I knew it was him but my brain was having a hard time understanding that it was really him. He kept repeating that this would pass and I would feel normal again very soon. My mom advised him to tell me to look at things that were familiar to me like my phone backdrop. I felt numb.
He sat on a concrete ledge and held me in his arms while rocking me back and forth. I buried my face in his neck so I would see complete darkness and to steady my breathing. Slowly, it simmered down but I still had a strange feeling. When I turned around, I saw that The Ex had been fucking texting while he was supposed to be comforting me. Not having the energy to fight, I asked him to take me home.
I didn’t sleep that night and I tried to stay in the apartment for a week. I was terrified to go outside. It was like an earthquake and I experienced emotional aftershocks the following 10 days. I decided to fly to Florida to see our family doctor. He confirmed that I had an anxiety disorder and put me on klonopin for future panic attacks.
Writing it down and reading it from a blog doesn’t give the situation justice. I mean, imagine being somewhere with someone who is close to you and all of the sudden not knowing anything about anything anymore. It’s like a light switch.I haven’t experienced many panic attacks in the past couple months but you never know when one could hit. That was by far my most intense one.
When I do have a panic attack, I pop a Kpin and it slowly subsides.
To try to understand them even better, BuzzFeed has three articles that are extremely spot on.