First and foremost: Happy Thanksgiving! For the rest of this I can only apologize and try to explain.

I hesitate to even write this blog today, but I promised myself that I would keep this blogging event “real.” Rotten tomatoes are available at the front door for you to toss spiritedly at me as you file out.

Here it goes…

Yesterday, I had a bad panic attack. For those of you who aren’t intimately familiar with my bio, I’ve been suffering from chronic, debilitating attacks for the last 20 years. They forced me out of college, out of the hopes of holding any job and barricaded me in my room for an embarrassing amount of time. About fifteen years ago, I started on some pretty heavy meds that have allowed me to operate a little more normally. I was able to go back and finish school (I even got a Masters Degree from FSU… still can’t believe that one). And while I’m still unable to hold a job outside of my writing, I live a happy, independent life mostly in the sunshine.

Yesterday, the shadows sucked me back in big time. Mental illness can be that kind of sneaky bastard, and may I say that I hate him with a passion.

I went Christmas shopping at Target Wednesday afternoon. I’m usually able to shop without too much problems. Over the last few years my ever developing and morphing panic disorder has decided to attack me more physically than mentally. While the meds apparently keep my mind from frying during an attack, the rest of my body still goes into extreme panic mode.

I lose my breath.

My world narrows down to a pinpoint. The dizziness is terrible. My legs threaten to buckle. My internal temperature either skyrockets or plummets.

Did I mention I can’t catch my breath?

Literally, I barely made it out of Target yesterday. I clung to the grocery cart trying to keep myself from passing out. It was bad. Very bad.

Today, I thank God for getting me out of there. I thank God for giving me the strength (or is it an overblown self-importance?) to write this blog today. I thank God that most days I can breathe, that my world is not a pinpoint, that I don’t have to cling to anything but my faith.

Until tomorrow when you’ll receive two sneak peeks to make up for the lack of today’s.

I thank you for listening, for reading and for dragging me out into the sunshine every day.


Chloe Stowe