Five Easy Ways to Outsmart A Panic Attack

I had 3 panic attacks this week. One occurred in the middle of the night in my homegirl’s crib while I was in underwear and a hanes ribbed tee. That one was fun because I got to sweat from the heat and the panic while listening to car alarms go off in the distance. The second one happened in the middle of the morning while I was getting ready to chill with one of my writer camaradas. I texted her a mini poem about my panic attack and I think my panic attack got pissed off and just went home. The third one happened this morning in the middle of a rush hour mob of grim faced people on their way to work. So I hustled my chunky ass right back around and stripped off my clothes and doused myself in lavender oil and dealt with it like a grown up. Sana, sana, culito and all that jazz.

Pero like, I mean, there are ways to dodge and dip past the bullshit. SO I’ve compiled a muy scientific blog post with todos los facts about how to Outsmart a Panic Attack.

5. Flip up the collar on your shirt or jacket.

maverick-up-close-best-of-the-best

Panic attacks like to consider themselves the coolest kid on the block. By flipping up your collar, you’re saying ‘Hey, I’m the Tom Cruise in this group of fly bois, sucka’. That panic attack will run home so fast you’ll be singing Highway to the Danger Zone in no time!

 

4. Start talking to it in English and then flip into Spanish and then speak again in English.

exactamente!

exactamente!

When a panic attack comes up to you ready to engage in some mental health harassment, flip yo lingo man. Going from English to Spanish and back again to English is like the craziest thing you can do to anyone, especially a panic attack. I mean, it literally confounded and enraged an entire comments section on my friend’s XoJane article. Ay caramba, man, get away from me, coño! See everyone es muy confused now.

 

3. Pat it on the butt, like mad casually.

You ever just been like chillen with someone and then they pat you on the butt? No, of course not, cuz if that happened you’d probably leave on some creeped out I hope they don’t follow me home type of shit. Cuz people don’t pat each other on the butt unless they’re wearing silver leggings and helmets and chasing a ball down a field. Then it’s normal.

not a butt tap but still a very good moment for butts

a little ass and a happy tap

 

2. Tell it that you’re pregnant and that it’s probably the father.

Nothing fucks up a panic attack’s day like being told it’s the daddy of your anxiety baby.

white lady maury gif

 

 

 

and without further ado, the number way one way is

1. Say ‘I see you. I know what you are. I can handle this. You have 5-10 minutes. The rest of the day is mine’.

I did that today. Still cried, still felt mad weird, and then it was over. And now the day is mine again and I know more will come but I also know that every time I acknowledge what is happening, the next one is easier. Ain’t no thang.

i got this gif

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last nite

a beautiful brown boi fell asleep on my couch.

they also threw a tantrum while sleeping, woke up, still technically asleep and then went to sleep for real for real before the witching hour.

 the oven was set to 450 degrees in the middle of a heat wave for the love of french fries.

 a plan was set in motion to uncover the secrets of queerness and futurism forever and turn it into a staged production.

the cashier at trader joe’s asked for my id. her boss wished me happy birthday.

i almost hugged her.

during talks of the sirens that have our hearts, the wind blew hard in the trees over our heads.

so hard that our conversations paused and the women we love washed over us.

added garlic and herbs to french fries, died of foodgasm, came back to life twice.

printed out a short story that isn’t ready for the light or the day which means it’s ready to be thrown into the ocean.

i will dive deep.

the dream to be butch mamas or loverboi papas is strong and real. the wonder why our dreams aren’t supported and protected cuts deep into guts which makes them so easy to spill.

put clean sheet over gently used couch to protect the skin of a boi who is also chosen family.

prayed to Lady Marmalade and La Virgen for wisdom and better dance moves.

debated love debate love debated love love love fight for love know love be loved debate debate debate

we flipped white privilege on its head and dissected tumors of oppression and brutality.

realized we both have extremely small and needy bladders.

put Sweet Action in the freezer. put Sweet Action across my lips and tongue,

down into a belly waiting for a different kind of warmth.

read a text from the most gentle human.

it started with “sweet baby love” and ended with “mi amorcita.”

i am convinced that this is the only language loverbois need.

cold shower cold shower cool off limbs hotter than a two dollar pistol.

recreated Harry Potter from the POV of POC who were unimpressed with some white boy’s rule-breaking bullshit at their prestigious school of magic, who sipped tea the whole time knowing that if they had pulled even half the crap HP had their asses woulda landed in Azkaban so fast there wouldn’t have been time to write even one book let alone 7.

spent 45 minutes writing alongside each other in silence with room for stupid jokes and queer modeling contracts.

remembered why it’s so important to spend intentional time with friends who hold pieces of my humanity in the palm of their hands for safekeeping.

remembered that i am worthy of safekeeping.

 

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not clinically depressed but like still kinda depressed?

hi hi hi. so last time i wrote that i was feeling hella depressed. i don’t think i would have said anything about it without all the coverage of robin williams death. i felt like i had to blurt out some shit. felt like i had to say ‘hey, i’m feeling a certain type of way’. i also felt some type of responsibility towards other people who might have the sads, who might be queer and alone.

so i wrote some shit. put the feelings out on the blog. made myself vulnerable even though i know that there are people who are reading my words and are clapping with joy over the thought of me being depressed. i said fuck that, fuck them, let’s put the feelings out.

but the more i think about it, the more it felt a little hollow, or maybe under cooked?

like one post doesn’t take the sad away.

one trip to a therapist doesn’t lift the cloud of restlessness and alleviate the inability to focus.

it doesn’t take away the wanting to die.

it sure as hell doesn’t immediately provide meaning to meaninglessness.

it is only a start. that’s it. just a half step forward into a small spot of sunshine.

i wanted to make sure that i wrote that, that i added to this, finished what i started.

this whole seeing a therapist thing and going and “getting help” is just one part of healing. also, it’s an emotional luxury in a sense. like thank the universe that i felt strong enough to make several phone calls, send out random emails, and talk to strangers about my needs. how did i find the strength to do that? i’ve got a good support network. but i still tried to keep most of it to myself. i’m thankful that the fear of slipping over the edge was enough to pull me back. some people don’t have that luxury and it doesn’t make them weak. not even for a second.

weak is ok too. i am weak. i am tired. my body fits into couches and beds and under blankets too well. it is too easy for me to sleep/eat/tv the pain away. it’s too easy for me to shut off and pretend like the days don’t matter. it is too easy for me to fall away from myself. so yes, i ran to the phone and made calls. but what if i didn’t? there are people out there who can’t. i think about them every time i go to therapy, every time i go for a walk or make a banging ass dinner for me and my lady.

i pray they are ok.

i’ve had a few sessions already. i feel a bit clearer in my head. i’ve been told i’m not clinically depressed. i’ve been told i’m a strong ass vibrant motherfucker. homeslice therapist told me that i’ve been hit with some not-normal and totally not ok circumstances and that the symptoms of depression i’m being bombarded with are my body’s way of taking care of my soul and my heart. so like i can get down with that. i want to work with my body and its self-preservation mechanisms to take care of myself. cuz no one is going to take care of me if i’m not putting in the work, least not in a healthy way.

i’ve had some beautiful queers reach out to me via email and tumblr and twitter and thank me for writing about this. all the thanks yous have been anonymous. the emails have been shrouded in vague language. thanking me for being brave and talking about uncomfortable shit. but like no one puts what is really happening. i can’t even do that. that’s ok too.

all i can write about is what’s happening in my head. i can’t use names or list specific details. it’s not cuz i’m afraid of backlash. i’m not afraid of anything. but what i’ve noticed is that reactionary words and storytelling and immediate responses are for the most part all bullshit. i’m the type that needs time to think things over and pull myself out and away from situations to truly understand what has happened and how i can make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

taking care of my mental health is the best way to do that. i can experience rage/sadness/shock. think it over. talk to someone who isn’t connected to anyone or anything but me. i can talk to someone who won’t absorb my life. i can talk to someone who is just focused on me and my needs, not their cell phone or their feedly. it’s fucking incredible.

and then, then i can figure out what i need to figure out on my own. i can take a mad long walk and deep breaths and understand what i need to do to navigate difficult situations. i can figure out the best ways to cut negative energy and eliminate brutal people from my life.

this depression sways and rolls. i’m not laying under a cloud of death 24/7. again, that’s something else i do not in any way take for granted.

i’m social. i’ve been going to the beach, going to shows, moving and playing and running around with beautiful people.

i am writing every single day and reading all the books.

i’m living. hard. living. well. living for myself and for the life i want to build with the world’s most lovely human. 

there isn’t any one way to navigate survival. but i do know that if i started avoiding my issues, denying that anything is wrong, and absolving myself of culpability for my actions, then i’d just drown. this is a difficult, beautiful, delicate, and totally worthwhile journey.

i am a miracle. i am working every single day to keep on shooting into the night sky and lighting up the galaxy.

 

 

 

ppps- once again, if you’re a depressed and uninsured new yorker, click here for a list of resources available to you.

 

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