By Cheryl Jacobs
I never know when it’s going to happen, the sensation of pressure on my body, trapped, breath catching in my throat, desperate to escape. It makes me feel crazy.
I pay attention to traffic, think about what time I leave, the roads to take, all to avoid Los Angeles congestion. I don’t like the feeling of being caught, pinned in. But this morning I have an early therapy appointment and, as soon as I make the turn onto Olympic Blvd., I see only bumper-to-bumper traffic. I ease my car in, all the while talking to myself.
“Relax, breathe, it’s okay, it will ease up soon.”
But it doesn’t. I’m caught in the middle of three lanes of traffic moving slowing forward, connected by some unseen muscle keeping us tightly joined.
My car inching along, stopping entirely for minutes at a stretch, I feel the unwelcome tightening of my body. The feeling of entrapment rises up, no exit, no exit, no exit, acutely aware of the hardness of the metal surrounding me, pressing, leaving no room to move left or right.
Panic rises like vapor, choking me. Continue Reading…