When Panic Attacks, My Empire Strikes Back


If I don’t deal with humor to come to terms with my issues, I tend to fall down a rabbit hole of despair. Typically the rabbit hole of despair includes melodramatic marathons of depressing Grey’s Anatomy clips on youtube that leave me sobbing helplessly as Meredith tells McDreamy not to call her a whore because she glued herself back together after he broke her heart, or when she breaks down crying in the supply closet that she doesn’t want her mother to die alone and McDreamy comforts her. Yeah, it’s a problem. Because I’ve been having many an emotional crisis lately, the only clear solution was to blog about it.

The other night, around 3 A.M. (I think Matchbox Twenty wrote a song about this) I realized that I’m probably a) a little bit bipolar and b) have two very strong voices living in my head that are often and odds and need to reconcile already before a Westside/Eastside type war breaks out. I was having one of my panic attacks, you know the usual, no big deal, just not able to breathe and my heart felt like it was going to bust out of my chest. Just another day at the office, when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, I hear in my head, “Ariel. Listen to me, and listen close. You don’t have to eat the sandwich. Just because you made it and you hate wasting food, doesn’t mean you will never have another sandwich ever again. You’re not letting the sandwich or yourself down because you realized you weren’t hungry, you just changed your mind.” No, as you guessed, this was not actually the situation at hand, but as is common to change names in stories to protect the innocent, I change stories into weird food metaphors and analogies as evidenced by previous posts.

My breathing slowed a little. The same voice in my head spoke up again, “Wait…that actually kind of worked? I mean, of course it worked. Calm the hell down.”

Sandwich. Sandwich. SANDWICH!” The other, more panicked voice in my head kept saying, unable at first to calm down and listen. “WHY DON’T YOU WANT TO EAT THE SANDWICH?”

“Listen to me. If you don’t stop this bullshit right now and get to sleep, you will get like two hours of sleep, and then instead of watching The New Girl after class tomorrow, you will have to nap. You love that show. You know what you have to do. It’s called sleeping, and everybody does it.”

The next morning, after a few hours of sleep, I began panicking again, and eventually the voice came back, a little exasperated, “Just make. Another. Sandwich. Later.”

“It’s not that easy!”

“Yes. Yes, it is. Is there bread in your cabinet? Cheese in your fridge? I know you finally invested in mustard last week, so that’s half the battle right there.”

“Okay. Okay, you’re right.”

“Good. You just earned yourself an episode of Family Guy.”

“But I don’t even like Family Guy all that much anymore.”

“I know. Maybe if you work a little harder next time, I’ll let you watch South Park or Parks and Rec.”

This seemed to work. Since then I haven’t had another attack!

Basically, all this has taught me that for some reason, one voice in my head responds really well to:

  1. Tough Love
  2. Bribery
  3. Threats
  4. Negotiation
  5. Commandments
  6. Fear
  7. Television

The other voice is just a badass. I’m going to try to listen to that one more often.

*side note, shortly after I began putting this post together, I actually had an incident where I made a sandwich and then five minutes later decided I didn’t want to eat it. Life really does imitate art…or blog posts anyway.

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One thought on “When Panic Attacks, My Empire Strikes Back

  1. Funny and so true. I think I’ll go make breakfast….banana bread as a base for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, the battle is won.

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