Post-Panic Attack by Ashe Vernon

First, quit picking old wounds and going for walks in the aches and pains you already made it through– you call it healing, but it sounds like a good way to take a haunting home with you.

LONELY is a no-vacancies sign for an empty room on the backside of your chest, and there will never be enough people to love that empty out of you. Love will not save you. You will save you.

Remember, no matter how much you need a voice at the other end of the line who only wants to take care of you, it is a felony to call 911 just because you need someone to talk to. You cannot shrink to radio static, to heavy breath on a telephone. Your aching does not end in an ambulance.

Now, breathe. Yes, I know you’ve heard this one before. Do it anyway. Got ribs like the wrong side of a fistfight, yeah? That’s from the hyperventilating. Your lungs just survived a car crash inside of your body. Be gentle with them, please.

Find the pocket of your heartbeat where you keep forgiveness. We will try again tomorrow– I know you’ve got a bone to pick with tomorrow, but it’s coming anyway. Listen, in a few hours our little world will turn herself right-side-up again, and you will forget about all the ways this lonely night sang you watered down blues and your hands will start to make sense again.

You think you’ve seen every ugly corner of this whole rotten world, but listen: there are an infinite number of things we don’t know and, statistically speaking, at least half of them are probably very, very beautiful.

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