Since the Evan Ebel fiasco, I haven’t had any issues with panic attacks so I thought they were a thing of the past. Being quite frequent when I first got out, they lessened over time but truly made my first months of freedom very difficult.
Now these aren’t some minor panic attacks that should be ignored, these were so serious as to affect my body for days and almost render me mentally incompetent for about four hours. In my past, it became necessary to re-wire my flight response to situations I feared with a more aggressive approach since the criminal lifestyle preys on fear like something bleeding in shark filled waters. So fear itself would provoke an intense fight response from me and my mindset would transform into one of a psychopath. This was necessary for a smaller sized male like myself to thrive in the prison setting, since the smaller you are, the more crazy you better be.
So in a rabid state, my body would be consumed with adrenaline to the point that it would make me sick if I couldn’t release it in a violent manner. In prison, that outlet would present itself often, but in the real world, I had to act in a more socially acceptable manner. The panic attacks were more frequent due to my institutionalized self being out of my element (free) and the lack of violent release made the physical effects more severe since control required repression and that builds like a volcano.
The smallest noises or energy would set me off into this panicked mindset so I’d lock myself in my room to maintain control. Paranoia would be so intense that I felt like a meth addict who was up for days peaking through the window and body tension would cause a sever headache. Nausea would take over and for the next few days, my mind and body would be off. The only thing to lessen the effects is meditation but they’d still hit hard.
So last night during a rare moment of anger from a situation I won’t disclose, the dogs starting barking, and given the situation, it sent me off into a serious panic attack. I let my large female presa canario out for a moment to attack any potential intruders and window watched like a coiled snake until I could pull myself away. My brother, who can read me like a book, came downstairs unaware of my mindset; took one look at me and knew I was on one.
At first he told me to meditate but maybe saw something in my eyes and decided to talk to me for awhile. I pretended to participate in the conversation but it felt surreal. Eventually I went to my room to get sick and stew in my own insanity. The worst part of it all is that I despise mental weakness so I was mad at myself on top of it all. The next day my body and mind still seem off, while I’m only one step away from hyperventilating. I’m hoping to leave this in my past.
Despite my disgust for mental/emotional weakness, I still share mine with you as we’re all works in progress. My disgust fuels forward progress and even though I have a legitimate excuse for all of my mental issues; the fact is that I can’t stand any side effect from my time in solitary confinement since it reveals the prison system got to me.