By Lake Averie
Fight or flight? She can’t decide.
Hiding out, trying to ride it out until the pain subsides
Praying they don’t find out the fears her body has shouted.
But He knows and where is He?
As close as the air I breathe.
© 2015 Lake Ave
In the fall of 1999, the leaves on the trees weren’t the only things changing. “You had a full-blown panic attack.” My counselor informed me. His words were like being rescued by a shark. “It’s common in people who’ve been around a lot of unpredictable situations in their childhood. You need to buy the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook – and there’s medicine. . .” I left my counselor’s office with an answer and a prescription. I couldn’t believe my new life sentence.
My first panic attack snowballed into an avalanche of terror during a presentation at Grand Valley State University. I was the one of the only English majors who wanted to write, not teach.
I was determined not to let my nerves get the best of me although I couldn’t sleep or breathe the whole night before. When my professor called my name to present, the anxiety laid siege to my whole system. I was no longer in control. I was a ship being hijacked, surrounded by a sea of people and no one could help me.
During the ambush, my throat felt like it was closing. I was sure the class could see my heart beating, because it was about to jump ship. My hands suddenly resembled that of a Parkinson’s patient. I shook and squeaked through it, but at the expense my looking insane. The words of my professor echoed in my mind, “If you don’t present, you won’t pass this assignment.” I wanted to scream and run as everyone’s eyes went from a look of anticipation, as I always had thought provoking things to say during class, to wanting to put me out of my misery.
When it was all over, the tip of my nose and finger tips were numb. The weight of embarrassment and shame made it hard to…
A decade’s worth of teaching by day. Dreamer of words and design by night. Mother of three – 24/7. Child of God for eternity. My past is sprinkled with published poetry and articles, copywriting, and assistant editing. My future sparkles like the magnificent sunset on the Great Lake from my home state.