What's it called when you're not having a panic attack?

What's it called when you're not having a panic attack?
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What's it called when you're not having a panic attack?
Not gonna push that button.

I'm feeling pretty chill right now. I'm wearing new pants that fit. I made a point during a work meeting that was met with knowing nods. When I looked in the mirror, I didn't think "hello, human eclair."

I'm looking for the words to explain this sudden calm and confidence. I feel safe. But I know that won’t last. I’m due for a sweat-inducing, eyeball-rattling, bed-hugging panic attack any minute. A real humdinger of a downward spiral that will send me into the sheltering arms of Netflix. Seriously, what is it called when you’re not having a panic attack?

Because I’d like to be able to say I’m having whatever that happens to be.

Have you read the news? Have you even looked at Twitter? My Facebook newsfeed is nothing but bad news. People are literally begging other people to help them and some of those people are responding with “enough about you let’s talk about me.” Everyday there’s a story about bullets doing what bullets are designed to do. Nobody believes in science. All of my friends are walking around, staring at their phones, trying to catch cartoon characters from their childhood, which was a simpler time. Don’t you know you can’t go home again!

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I know I shouldn’t watch cable news but how can you not stare directly at a volcano of vomit?

I’m into self-care, like pizza and Xanax. I do yoga, every couple of months. But most days I try to get in some light stretches. I am aware of my breath and my core and most of my chakras. Then I read about a kid who attached a flamethrower to a drone and I’m done. Hey, people who don’t believe in science, we’re living Darwin's theory right now.

And can we talk about this election? It’s like living the prequel to The Purge. So many smiles with so many sharp teeth hiding behind greasy lips. One candidate is telling me what I want to hear and it sounds like the “shhhh, shhhh” of someone slowly pressing a pillow around my face. But the other candidate is an extradimensional demon butcher wearing the flesh of a reality TV star.

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The bees are dying. England use to be an island of whimsical wizards and now it’s just angry racists. One day, soon, Robocop will be real and he’ll probably kill you. The only people who are happy are terrorists and that’s because they can watch cable news and then high-five each other.

Don’t even get me started on my credit card debt, deflated dreams, and body image problems. No, no. Don’t get me started. Don’t.

Right now, however, I’m fine. Feeling pretty good. I know that things work out. Individuals can make a difference. If we’re just positive, and live with an open-heart, individuals can make a real difference. Wait, no, that’s ridiculous. History isn’t individuals; it’s a long series of complex factors including the human organism’s penchant for eating itself. The arc of the moral universe isn’t an arc, it’s just a long, big stick with nails protruding from it. We’re all doomed!

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At least I know that, between bouts of existential anxiety, I’ll be visited by serene moments where I’ll be able to smile and have some perspective. I just want to be able to say I’m having an attack of… happy? You tell me.

Anyway, like I said, I'm feeling pretty chill rn.

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