I had my first, for real, panic attack.
I thought panic attacks occurred when you were panicking. I did not realize they mostly occur, when you are in denial about the fact you are panicking and therefore surprised by the fact that your heart is beating in your throat, your hands are numb, your chest is burning, and you are on the side of the road in a borrowed car with a paramedic knocking on your window trying to convince you to open the door.
That if you were having a for real panic attack, you wouldn't stop to think about all the things your husband has no idea to take care of if you die. That you wouldn't stop to kick yourself for that blank will in your binder.
Because when you have a panic attack, you actually feel like you are dying.
I thought, that if you were panicking/dying, you wouldn't be worried as you drive away in the ambulance about said borrowed car, or that the flashers were on and the battery might die and your husband won't be able to get the car home. That you wouldn't be worried about your lack of insurance or making jokes about your vertical c-section, stretch marks, or Victoria Secrets' wonder-bra. That you wouldn't cry every time they came to do a medical test, because all you could see were dollar signs. That you would know you shouldn't answer the call from your sister who was in the process of moving to Houston.
I thought, nothing would matter except you were panicking/dying.
"What is going on in your life right now?"
"I was just talking to my mom. Telling her what's going on in my life."
"What's going on?"
"Both cars broke down. New car broke down. Middle son just started driving. I just started a new job in McKinney. My sister is moving to Houston. But this is not that major. I mean, really. If you heard my life story, this is not that big a deal."
"The son driving is enough to make me panic."
I didn't even call Chris until they finished testing me.
I didn't want to scare anyone.
I didn't want to bother anyone.
I wanted to be in control of the information and how it was disseminated.
I wanted to be in control of my behavior before I spoke to anyone.
I wanted to be in control. And I wasn't.
And this is why I had a panic attack.
Because I am not. In control.
I am not God.