I had my worst panic attack today. | Dear Diary 2021


I had my worst panic attack today. 

As a content creator, receiving packages are the norm. This morning, one came too early and my partner's sprained ankle was still unstable. There was no other choice but for me to go and get it, we didn't want to keep the rider waiting. He also needed a couple of pain meds. 

I spent minutes trying to find a way out, maybe it can be redelivered or maybe I can just ignore the rider's calls and texts. Maybe I can pretend no one was home. 

My partner convinced me to steel my nerves and take a deep breath and step out. I wore a baggy hoodie, a loose sweatshirt, and a face mask. I kept my hands close to my body to keep them from shaking. 

I took the package, shakily signed the receipt, and walked quickly to the nearest sari-sari store for a couple of Alaxans. I paid and dropped the change. I scrambled to get the coins and maybe missed a couple. 

I didn't care. I had the package, the pain meds, and most of the money. I ran back inside and dropped everything to the floor, locked the door, and stripped. 

Then I sat down and let the tears flow. At first, it was just heaving breaths, then my whole body was shaking and I was sobbing and tears and snot everywhere. 

I felt like everyone outside was looking at me. As if there were millions of eyes looking at me and judging me. As if everyone knew my deepest and darkest secrets and as if everyone was laughing at me. It felt like there were hands all over my body, squeezing and inspecting and pointing at all the imperfect parts of me. It felt like I was running but staying in one place and it was being broadcasted to the world for everyone to see. I was curled up and a ball and had my arms close and hands-on my face, covering my eyes. I wanted to be as small as possible so that maybe no one will notice me. I felt so helpless, so vulnerable, so weak..

My partner came and slowly touched me, on the shoulders first, then my head, and then hugged me, combing my hair with his fingers and letting me cry it out. He let my weight rest on his chest and rubbed my back in soft circular motions until my breathing calmed down. 

"Umi," he said softly, calling me by our name, "what happened? Did something happen?"

I shook my head and embraced him. I felt safe now. I'm safe now. 

"It's okay," he said. "It's okay. Do want water?"

I shook my head again and tightened my hug. I listened to his heartbeat and timed my breathing to his. 

Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. 

We stayed like that for half an hour, maybe more. I loosened my grip and just leaned on him, so tired from all the crying. He went and got a bottle of water for me and I downed it as if my life depended on it. 

"Come to the bed, it's okay. I understand," he said and helped me up. 

I looked at him and he just nodded. He understood. He knows what happened and he knows all he needs to do is to be there. 

We went back to bed and he combed his fingers through my hair again until I fell into a dreamless sleep. 

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