Panic Attack Nutrition Facts

The piece is formatted like a nutrition label for a panic attack. It shows the components making up an episode, like heartbeat, breath, tears, self-loathing, and toilet paper and their respective numerical amounts. The label is in the middle and is flanked by two columns of text presented as numbered paragraphs. The left side reads: "2. Calories It is normal to burn as many calories during a panic attack as are burned by moderate physical exercise that lasts the same amount of time. 3. Total Negative Thoughts Bee stings contain 150 micrograms of bee venom. A lethal dose for a 150 pounds adult female is 1,360 stings (204,000 micrograms). But 600 stings is considered “life- endangering.” Stings take 30 seconds to inject all 150 micrograms. In one panic attack (1800 seconds) you could fit 60 stings back-to-back. 10% of the “endangerment” quota. So, if negative thoughts were bee stings: a panic attack would contain 10% the negative thoughts a person can bear before it’s safe to say their life is in danger. And, if each second of self-loathing in a 30-second thought is like 5 micrograms of venom, 40,800 seconds of self-loathing (680 mins) is lethal. Meaning all panic attacks contain 4.41% the lethal dose. And it’d only take 22 attacks in a row (not even 12hrs) to kill a person my size. 6. Excuses & Explanations. Humans say about 16,000 words a day. “Everything is fine!” costs only 0.02% an average days’ words. “Everything is fine! Really, I’m fine. I promise!” expends but a frugal 0.05%. Providing a “real” explanation for a panic attack—according to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition—demands for 5,624 words. About 33% of all the utterances a person usually manages. 8. Effort / Will to Live At rest, humans put out 100 Watts. Power, (Watts are Power) is equal to Energy/Time. For humans, a 2000cal daily diet is the “energy” in the Energy/Time = Power equation. So if a person’s day includes 2000cal, 24 hours, and non-strenuous “work” (functioning of organs, thinking, etc.) then the Power in use is a perpetual 100 Watts. Humans can intensify our power—force our bodies to burn extra. Increase our wattage with our minds. Even use ourselves as fuel if the 2000cal budget runs dry. Your body is like the inside of Willy Wonka’s factory: Everything is edible! Your body can charge to as much as 2000 Watts for a superhuman feat like lifting a car off your baby. But you can only hold that lightning for a few seconds. Over a few minutes, you can hold 1000 Watts or so steady, at most. 300 to 400 Watts for an hour. All day, without stopping, 150 Watts max. For clarification, imagine yourself, and a wall. The wall falls over, and imagine it is precisely so heavy that it takes all your power to stop it from crushing you. And all that lets you hold the wall back for exactly one second. The 2000-Watt second. Imagine a lighter wall you can hold back for a few minutes. This is still your entire 2000 Watts per second potential, spread on a different slice of work and time. See, you mix power into the universe like juice concentrate, the same few drops of you swirled into various volumes. The limits of your power represent the ultimate potency of your all; in a second, a minute, an hour, a day. Your potential is not actually divisible. The hardest one minute of your life is simply a different look at the same power you use to do something sixty times harder for one second. The wall you can hold all day is 132 times lighter than one you can only lift for one second—that day is worth 1.5 regular days of your life. You use the same amount of effort to hold the heaviest thing you can hold for half an hour, or to live at rest for 1,044 hours. If a panic attack is difficult to fathom, imagine 30 minutes when living requires 4350% more effort than normal." The right side reads: "4. Total Energy Mileage A Honda Civic is 2771 pounds and gets 35 miles a gallon. I weigh 150 pounds, and with a 2,000cal “gas tank” (one gallon of gas produces 30,000cal worth of energy) I get approximately 647.5 miles to the gallon. About 38.8 miles every 2,000cal, or per day, or before I am simply “out of gas.” A panic attack runs 30mins, as fast as (believe me) 100 miles per hour. A trip that takes me 50 miles from any starting point, uses up 128.87% of my total gas mileage and ends leaving me stranded and running on fumes. 5. Total Social Resources. When a person falls off a cliff, we try to grab their hand. If a panic attack is a cliff only I can see that I’m falling from, I must try to grab my own hand. On one hand is everyone wanting to see me save my life. On the other hand is a slimy thought of slipping through all the helping hands that sweat because I seem to fall so often. The average adult female has a left- hand grip strength of 28 kilograms and a right-hand grip strength of 30 kilograms. A pretty tight tug-of- war to bet one’s life on. But a girl only has two hands. 7. Total Personal Resources. In 1907 Duncan MacDougall hung a hospital bed so it would function as a giant scale. His goal was to weigh people as they died and capture the fluctuation in physical mass made by a soul leaving its body. Six people agreed to pass away in that bed. Maybe hoping history could use another monument built to the exact dimensions of a human soul. They were right. People who believe that are always right. But the study was a sham. It appeared in The New York Times under the sly title, “Soul has Weight, Physician Thinks.” After that, hundreds of journals took a turn to publish and discredit the study. It’s society’s oldest schtick, capitalizing on criticism. If you still recognize 21 grams as the weight of a human soul, maybe that’s why. But personally, I think we all share MacDougall’s obsession with the substance of souls. It could be that the 21-gram soul survives because we spared it. Along with the spectacular belief that we do have souls, and that’s better than good science. Because our stories are the only real measurements we will ever put toward the developing theory of our existence. The truth is, human souls are weighed against the gravity of human ideas, human dreams; and MacDougall told us that part honestly. Like Emily Dickinson, who also studied the soul a great deal (though she never published its precise weight), who helped by revealing a soul’s contents: “Hope” is the thing with feathers – / That perches in the soul - / And sings the tune without the words – / And never stops – at all – / And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard – / And sore must be the storm – / That could abash the little Bird... And if the little Bird of my soul was, say, a Song Sparrow, who is small and feathered. Named for its endless singing. Who on average weighs between 20 to 25 grams, that would make the weight, of all “Hope” in my soul, about 20 grams. Small, even for a Song Sparrow. Big insofar as it would account for 95% of my whole soul, according to MacDougall. 9. Vulnerability. To assess burn victims, emergency medical providers use “the rule of 9’s.” Breaking the body into 11 blocks, assigning each a factor-of-9 percentage of total body surface area (TBSA). Head and neck: 9%. Anterior truck: 18%. One arm, with hand: 9%. Genitalia: 1%. One leg, with foot: 18%. Posterior trunk: 18%. Underlying the rule of 9’s are stats that state: burn wounds of partial thickness (2 degree) which exceed 36% TBSA are potentially fatal. True TBSA is the square root of body weight (kg) x height (cm), divided by 3,600. For me: 1.8 square meters. (36% is 1,004 square inches) For me: vulnerability is the exposed surface area of emotional skin. Panic scorches this emotional skin. If I curl into a fetal position, I’m protecting my head and chest. (head and neck + anterior trunk = 27% or 753 square inches). Hiding from onlookers pressing more, face-shaped, burns against my skin. (average face area: 3.5% or 95 square inches) According to Ray Charles, one can cry enough tears to drown in. And a minimum amount of water required for drowning an adult human only need be enough to completely cover the nose and mouth (approx. a cup or 4731 drops of liquid) This, out of the total water a person has, or how many tears before you simply dry up and turn to dust. I spend $210 on one-hour session per week. If therapy could be called “insurance against/for panic attacks” then that’s $30 of coverage a day, or enough that one session is supposed to be enough to cover 24 panic attacks a day, as long as they can be appraised at $1.25 a pop. Which seems cheap, but it’s already way more than I can afford. This is actually how much ice cream comes in the container. Not a daily serving size that has ever been advertised. But pretending I’ve ever understood a limit other than the empty tub seems like an unrealistic representation of myself. Another thing I can’t afford."

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