Anecdotal Evidence · Big Fat Wine Tears · Bigger Than My Body

Panic Attacks and Popcorn Kernels: The Story of Exploding

I know the signs of an oncoming panic attack. Heart races, hands shake, vision blurs, chest tightens, temperature fluctuates, and if it’s going to be a particularly bad attack, my arms go numb. If things get really bad, I turn into a giant blueberry. At least, that’s what it feels like.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory


Sometimes it’s best to give into it – let the Oompa Loompas roll you into the juicing room and just explode… and that is what a panic attack is, an explosion. The first thing that comes to mind when you read “explode” might be bombs, dynamite, or that horrible zit-popping video your college roommate made you watch (THANKS MEGAN)…but there are plenty of beautiful explosions too, and that’s what you are.

Beautiful Explosions

  • Fireworks
  • Pop rocks candy
  • Champagne
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Paper mâché volcanoes
  • Supernovas
  • *Puffer fish…sort of.

Puffer fish

So go on and explode all over the walls. Send pieces of yourself across the floor and don’t even bother looking for them later. Gravity will pull you back together. It won’t be comfortable, and it’s actually pretty terrifying, but it won’t end you. The pain might be useful later on. To quote Meryl Streep quoting Carrie Fisher, “Take your broken heart, make it into art.”


*During my google search for “things that explode,” I fell into a rabbit hole and found myself reading about odd animal defense mechanisms. I was strangely inspired by a frog that breaks its own bones and uses them as weapons against predators. That’s some poetry right there! Gurl, you may be broken, but you can swing that pain at people like a damn sword.

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