So. First day of the year and I had a breakdown. All of a sudden I started crying uncontrollably. Then the panic set in. Hitching sobs, breath catching, hard to breathe. Nausea, dizziness, sweaty palms, heart racing. I was fine just moments prior. Lightning fast, it came on. As they tend to do. Everything seemed to crash down on me. I was terrified of every thought I had. I was overwhelmed with feelings of loss, fear, dread. The room seemed to shrink right in front of me. The area around my chair seemed to be in a bubble. I was trapped. No way out. It seemed darker, almost ominous. I tried deep breathing, telling myself I was okay, I’d get through this, I’d been here many times before. Didn’t matter. I was in the moment and couldn’t distract myself. Couldn’t calm down. Every breath was a struggle. I was drowning. I saw black flashes of light, not enough air. I fought my way to my room. Found my pills. Took one dry. My furbaby Samantha jumped up on the bed. I started stroking her soft fur. She laid down next to me as I sat back against the headboard. She began to purr. I tried to match my erratic breaths with her slow, steady ones. As the meds kicked in, and Sam help to ground me, my heart slowed. My crying turned into quiet sobs. The nausea faded. The panic started to ebb. I began to feel peaceful, tired, relaxed. Sam looked up at me and I actually felt a smile on my face. She calms me. I’m so thankful for her presence and our bond. She is so attuned to my moods, emotions, and eases them. She is the other half of my heart and soul. I fell asleep to her soft, healing purrs.