I had a panic attack.

It happened a few weeks ago while I was in the driver’s seat of my car with my 3-year-old in the back seat.

First came the tears and then, it became hard to breathe. Thankfully, Bon Jovi’s “Living on a Prayer” had started to play through my speakers and I was able to calm myself down by reciting the lyrics.

This wasn’t my first panic attack. I had one about 7 years ago in my dorm room sophomore year of college thanks to a combination of stress and diet pills prescribed to me by my doctor at the time to jump-start weight loss.

In response, I scaled back and honestly, slacked off. This time around, I sucked it up, went to work and took the next day off to pamper myself and practice self-care. I thought I had found the cure-all; and then, I had another panic attack.

It happened in public, while I stood in the audience of a Samoht show. He was on stage killing it and I was a few feet away trying to keep it all together. I didn’t practice any self-care rituals this time. I just filed it away…until tonight, when I almost experienced a third panic attack.

I invited someone into my personal space, opened up and they ended up fucking it up with their bullshit. It’s a wound I’m used to mending as I’ve been here countless times. But, whew, it’s taking EVERYTHING I have to not go postal and pull A Thin Line Between Love & Hate.

The beauty of it all lies within who I’m becoming and the growth that I’ve been experiencing this year. I used to think it would take one more bad romance after last year’s fuckboy folly to harden my heart. It hasn’t. Still, I’m bursting at the seams. I am angry, exhausted and in need of relief from this pain that’s been crippling me.

I’m not bitter. I’m mad as hell.