First, I focus on my breathing. I breathe to the sound of the rain beating down around me. In and out. In and out. I close my eyes and put my head against the wall of my bedroom. In and out. I close my eyes so tight, I start to see spots, static like on an old television screen. I focus my thoughts on nothing else, but the hum of the weather.
I stop rocking back and forth, I pick myself up, walk outside and stand under the sky. Breathe. I can feel my face going wet and the water dripping down my back and neck.
I can’t remember how much time has passed when I go inside and sit down on my bed. I feel drained and tired, but at least I am calm. I don’t even realize that I’ve been digging my nails into my palm. I stare at my palms and can see blood, very tiny droplets, but blood nonetheless.
I have just survived a panic attack.
I am right here, and so are my books and the countless pages of poetry and short stories strewn across my bed and study table.
I am right here, under the roof of my room, under the safety of my house, under the flesh and blood and bone.
I am right here.