I stand in the kids’ martial arts class, trying to entertain the toddler, which is impossible because I’m not a goddamn magician and apparently my dance moves make the toddler really, really angry.
It starts with a muscle spasm in my neck. It’s goes away so quickly, I whip around to make sure the toddler isn’t standing behind me, holding a voodoo doll in my likeness and squeezing my neck.
And then the pressure builds from my shoulders to my temples. Holy shit. Not here. Not. Fucking. Here.
But panic attacks are assholes and this one doesn’t give a shit and knocks me on my ass.
I press my palms to my cheeks, pulling my skin back, pulling it tight, creating grotesque faces that make the toddler giggle so hard boogers come out her nose.
The room starts to spin and tilt slightly like one of those carnival rides that starts out sort of fun and, but the end of it, you’re so dizzy and sick, you just want to run to the bathroom and throw-up.
I put my sunglasses on like a drunkard, having to put them on and take them on several times before they actually stay put. Parents are staring at me since we’re indoors and it’s dark and rainy outside.
It is so hot in the room, I want to strip my clothes off. Instead, I take huge sips of water from the toddler’s sippy cup. Note to self: do not drink water from the toddler’s sippy cup because this girl has serious backwash issues.
Xanax. I need to take a Xanax.
I desperately search through my purse, but all I find is an old Cheeto and some squished gummy bears. Holy fuck. The one time I cannot rely on food to save me.
It is officially too fucking late.
I’m drenched in sweat, my face feels hot and red and now the tears have started. I can barely see out of my sunglasses because they’ve fogged up and are full of salty-ass tears.
“Oh, you love this song, too?” The woman’s voice hits me like a frisbee to the neck and I turn to one of the moms sitting near me.
“What?” I can’t even believe I’m able to talk right now.
“This song. It’s just really beautiful. It really speaks to me. I’m glad you like it too.” She smiles at me and then goes back to watching her son in class.
I concentrate really hard to hear the song. It’s Katy Perry’s Roar. FUCK THIS SONG! I want to scream, but I don’t. Instead I just nod my head and turn my back on everyone and stare out the window, digging my fingernails into the palm of my hand.
My brain is eating me alive and there is nothing I can do about it.