Rushing my hand over old receipts and prickly house keys in my coat pocket, I clutch and curve my palms over an inhaler.
Its shape, awkward and bulky, protrudes out of the cracks between each finger and whilst it's not yet uncapped in my mouth, its weight serves a soothing semantic objective.
The monotonous daily drill of life had suddenly started to become terrifying. No seats on the tube? Panic stricken. Ten minutes late for a meeting? All consumed.
Silly things, like getting a fork stuck in the dishwasher forced me crashing down on my knees and the bleak belligerent head of anxiety sucked all of the air from my lungs and demanded thousands of short breathed shut downs.
I am on the stairs at a party and unanticipatedly I am drowning, deep sea flailing in the puddles under my eyes, clutching my heart like a life buoy that won't float me upwards but is instead rock weighted. I realise I must look nothing short of an overemotional prick off the back of no resolute reasoning or tangible slap to the face but still, a friend stays up with me until five in the morning telling his dark exchanges by way of making me feel normal and the hyperventilating subsides with the rise of a stronger emotional connection.
It's frenetic unhallowed nature entangled in a warming trust exercise.
As it robs me day by day of an extra hour asleep, the pangs burrow deeper and irritation grows thicker through the curved fleshy tubes in my body. I ache, I digress, I allow it to be and trudge through it a little more worn. My fingers starred with discomfort, pain shooting like confetti cannons from the base of each digit.
This is customary, a sequence I find sadist companionship in, it hurts with its volatile grasp but it is also laden with excuse cards as to why I'm not always top of my game.
We've battled against each other for so long that I'm almost just as scared of being free as I am of the suffering it etches out.
It is only now, inhaler in hand, propranolol resting on my tongue and mantra echoing staccato in my head that I realise I don't need it.
For so long it has shadowed each morning and taken the minutes in each meeting, a second head growing from my shoulder and speaking for me. Cutting the chords I am now desperately trying to set myself free and whilst it is testing in its unpredictable nature, I feel stronger than I ever knew.