A Good Friend Knows Their Panic Stations

| AB, Canada | Friendly | May 24, 2017

I have severe panic attacks, but am trying to learn to cope with them and to do some small things by myself. Stores trigger them badly, so I normally stay with my parents, but decide to try and see if I can manage a very quick stop by myself. I leave my parents in the car and go into the store, intending to simply cross the store, grab the item I need, pay, and go back to the car.

I get across the store and get the item I need but as I’m waiting to pay, I can feel an attack coming on. I manage to pay quickly and ask where the bathroom is. As soon as the assistant tells me, I hightail it to the bathroom and lock myself in one of the stalls, just before the attack hits fully. It’s the first time I’ve had an attack in a public place when I’ve been alone, so the panic part is even worse than normal, and I can’t do much except sit on the toilet and rock back and forth, crying.

Eventually, I manage to think that I should contact someone, but there’s no-one I can think of to contact, since I rarely feel able to talk to anyone about it. Then I remember my best friend has Skype, so I send him a message asking for help. He proceeds to talk me through the early stages of the attack, before bombarding me with a plethora of images of sloths (my favourite animal) to distract me until finally, the attack wears off and I manage to get home safely.

It’s terrifying having a panic attack, worse knowing you can’t talk to most people you know, but if you have one best friend who’s like a brother to you and will drop everything to Google sloth pictures when he should be working? You’re blessed.

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