I began writing “Perception” a few years ago, revised it once, yet never truly finished it. Well, for a variety of reasons, I needed this poem to be done & gone! So, I did a little more editing and have HOPEFULLY “purged” it here as cathartic relief. The effects when going through anxiety & panic attacks are exhausting & can have a disastrous impact on the mind and body. For some people, these episodes are often debilitating and difficult to control. Anyone who has dealt with anxiety/panic knows exactly what I’m talking about.
|PERCEPTION ~ Ode to a Panic Attack
Wildly nervous, unhinged with
Anxiety inescapable & surely obvious
Others who stare in curious observation Of this crazy woman’s mania, but no…
At this moment, I think they all see,
but they don’t, can’t see what I feel…
Self-conscious perception of
My mouth dry, as if gauze filled
Affected by self induced effects –
Words muffled, struggling, yet stuck
Fidget, picking my cuticles in a
Strangely hypnotic, self-soothing
Trance…I survey surroundings
In search for retreat, an
Heart races – constricted in my chest
Breath shallow…such hard work to
Focus, to remember how to swallow –
Complete chaos, a freak show
Ridiculously on display, my internal
Combustion, a solitary meltdown
ABOUT MARY ~
Mary is a patient advocate for MS, chronic illness & disabilities. She is a freelance writer from Texas who enjoys exploring a variety of different styles & genres, however her deep passion for creative writing (poetry, essay, narrative interview & non-fiction) remains unwavering & purposeful. Mary's personal & professional background is an eclectic compilation consisting of the fine arts, civil rights advocacy, fundraising with 15 years in sales/marketing & event planning in the private club industry. Mary is a 1990 graduate from The University of North Texas with a B.S. in Hotel/Restaurant Management. In 2001, Mary was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Within a few years, health issues forced her to resign from the career she loved. As her marriage began to crumble, Mary was keenly aware of the emotional & mental crisis firmly taking hold. Eventually, she sought the help of a professional therapist which helped her learn the important coping skills needed to tame/calm mood disorders & to encourage healthy ways in which to purge the noisy chaos inside the brain. This loss of reality, normalcy, & PURPOSE needed to be reinvented, renewed & rewritten...NOW! The divorce & all related proceedings lasted an unfathomable six years, yet it was the therapy, communities & her writing which kept her most grounded. Each poem a cathartic purge, each word a therapeutic tool meant for healing & to inspire resilience. Blindsided by this newfound purpose & passion, Mary continues writing & exploring a plethora of multimedia outlets to this day. Her writing, networking & advocacy projects target the MS, chronic illness & disability communities. Her interactive presence can be seen throughout social media. Although MS is the primary community in which she advocates, Mary enjoys playing an active role in other patient communities (bloggers, writers, music, live chats, special events, & many more. One of the key messages Mary continues to emphasize is how chronic illness can affect everyone differently. MS is a prime example in that we are not a "one size fits all." This disease called MS is a conundrum in every which way. To this day, research continues, yet we still don't know the root cause for MS, yet current findings now show "risk factors" for the disease. MS can morph as it sees fit to do so. Unpredictably, silently, sometimes relentlessly this MS becomes an uninvited, unwanted "internal room-mate." Mary's overall background & her desire to discover herself & new creative outlets was a plus. A renewed student for life, Mary continues to explore the unknown - Once you switch off your "auto pilot" it's amazing what you can see & do. Place focus on learning, consume new information & participate in activities uncharted or foreign (The science of Neuroplasticity). All of this is most DEFINITELY a work in progress, but remember to focus most on the important things in life. Laugh out loud & live selflessly with compassion, purpose & unbridled passion.
Connect with Mary at:
🔸Twitter: @pettigrew66, @MSpals
Acknowledgments and Press ~ UPDATES TO COME
* Creator & Co-founder of MSpals: A Global Organization (2014 - present)
* Administrator & contributing author of content, posts, & interviews: MSpals blog:
~ The Summer of Sport: Forward Poetry 2012
~ Poetry Rivals Collection 2013
~ Something On Our Minds Vol.III
~ Something On Our Minds Vol IV.
Interviews: National Multiple Sclerosis Society's "Momentum Magazine"
~ 2013 = Art Therapy & MS
~ 2015 = Connecting Via Social Media
Other works also featured on a variety of blogs, websites, videos, as well as other multimedia platforms including:
iConquerMS/The Accelerated Cure Project
WEGO Health - Patient Leader
HealtheVoices - Patient Leader
MS Focus - Monthly contributor
View all posts by Mary
6 thoughts on “Perception ~ Ode to a Panic Attack”
I have only had one attack and I can’t really remember why. Now I know its not an easy thing to remedy. My partner of almost 20yrs. has PTSD and anxiety. I have learned a lot from her and from what you have shared
LikeLiked by 1 person
My mom has recently experienced this & now has a totally different opinion & understanding.
Anxiety & panic attacks are beyond awful when it hits!!
Yes, if a person hasn’t had one that really can’t fully understand. It’s sucks.
I just wanted to say hey there and hope you are having a great day. If not, I’m sending prayers with this message just in case. Take care friend. Hope to hear from you soon.
I really like this. I know the feelings all too well
This is me to a tee. Thank you for putting into words that which I've been unable t verbalize so eloquently.