I wake up in a dead panic, not knowing where I am.
What's wrong with me?
I can't breathe. Oh God. I can't breathe.
Panic is reaching into my sternum and through me. It has a steel fist grip on my spine and it's twisting, trying to keep me from moving or breathing.
I can't breathe.
Why is it so hot?
I'm flapping at my neck, clawing at my hair, trying to get it off of me. The heat feels like it's crawling across me in stinging singes. I feel like I have ants stinging me and roaring wind in my ears.
Panic has reached into my head and stirred it so badly that I cannot control my thoughts. They're galloping everywhere in a frenzy.
I start to pace. My convoluted brain keeps screaming, "BREATHE!" I flap. I flap and pace. I angrily flap. I gasp for air. My chest feels as if it will explode.
An hour goes by.
My husband hears my sounds and wakes up. He asks me what happened. I gasp, "Panic." He nods and rubs my back, which causes me to freeze more. I hate being touched sometimes. I cry some more.
I try to stretch back out on the bed on and the tightness in my sternum jerks me back up. I yelp. I gasp for more air.
The panic has set in so badly at this point, my brain is scrambling to make sense of anything. My hands are like foreign objects wildly combing my hair back and then flapping angrily as I pace and gasp and try to think.
I feel crazy, so damn crazy. Other people don't wake up like this, surely. People sleep, correct?
I'm going to throw up.
I hate this.
I'm shaking so badly and crying so hard. I brush my teeth and recoil at the smell of toothpaste. I hate it- too strong. I wash my face.
I notice I'm finally breathing.
I take a deep breath.
I have air.