I suffer from panic attacks. They started back when I was in grad school, but they weren’t too bad then. Usually they occurred while I was driving and I’d just roll down the window or turn on the AC to feel something moving around me and within a minute or so, back to normal.

Over time, they got worse and worse until a couple of years ago when I was taking public transportation in the East Bay and had a full-scale meltdown. I thought I was having a heart attack. I was convinced of it. I felt alone and trapped and terrified. Somehow I was able to make it to my freelance gig where I asked a woman I hardly knew to take me to the hospital. Once there, I was miraculously healed. Every symptom disappeared the second I told the admitting nurse that I thought I was having a panic attack.

After that, I would have at least one major episode annually, more often than not in November. Another doozy was when Travel Boyfriend and I went to Southeast Asia. It was our first night and we were in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Until then I’d only really traveled to Western countries and to say that Cambodia is quite different than your Germanys and Spains is the world’s biggest understatement. Triggered by water retention around my ankles from the long flight and my discomfort at realizing I was as far from home as I’d ever been, this panic attack had me curled up naked on the bathroom floor with Travel Boyfriend feeding me Xanax and talking me down. After that I resolved to cure myself. I never wanted to feel that way again.

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  • Travel Betty

    Travel Betty is a woman in love and lust with travel. All kinds of different travel. From pampering to roughing it, she’s an ex…

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