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Now Hiring: Professional Hugger




unsplash-logoJack Sharp

It’s been five months since I was diagnosed with a panic disorder.

It’s been that long on Zoloft and Ativan.

I endured a very hard childhood and thought I had escaped the worst of it when lo and behold, one day back in October I had my very first panic attack.

I thought I was dying.

Ran off to the E.R. and the doctors told me that I was not having a heart attack nor was I have a stroke.

They performed an EKG, took blood, and a CT scan of my noggin and everything came back fine.

From there, I was sent home with a script of meds.

Getting used to those was like getting used to having the flu for 3 weeks. I was nauseous. I was hot and then cold and then clammy and the panic attacks weren’t done. As soon as I felt anxiety coming on, knew what to ‘look for’, the symptoms would change and suddenly I’d be flush with a burning sensation from my waist all the way up to the top of my head.

In the interim, I started eating healthier, cutting out soda, coffee, anything with caffeine. I started drinking more water and working out to rid myself of extra energy.

I’ve slimmed down in places and bulked up in others.

Yet – there is one thing that I wish I had on tap. Something I could just press a button for.

A hug.

That has been the oddest feeling that I’ve had since this all began. The desire for a bone-crushing, all-encompassing, shit’s gonna be alright, I love you, man,  hug.

I swear to God if there were a six foot seven, Mexican, biker gang member named Jerry who was willing to administer so said hug.

I’d let him.


I would just go with it.

It’s the weirdest feeling. It’s like hunger pangs.

I am thinking about having a t-shirt made for when I go out in public.

Panic Sufferer: Hugs help.

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