Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

I sit here in my home office, alone, on a Friday night. I could have gone out to see some friends or make new ones like a regular 24-year-old; I could have blown off some steam after a long work week of working at a financial institution and at my startup, Kanekta, but nope — I chose to do this.

Often, I’ve been told that I have to make numerous sacrifices as an entrepreneur:

  • Social life? Nah, expect to consistently work nights and weekends.
  • Moving out? Big purchase? Sure, with whose money?
  • Stable career? Ain’t gonna happen, buddy.

I mean, they weren’t wrong. My startup sure as shit won’t build itself. But as I sit here contemplating on my next step, I feel directionless.

I plan, and I execute; I plan, and I execute. I’m doing numerous things: researching, hiring, bookkeeping, finding investors and mentors, applying for grants, constant meetings, cold calling and emailing customers, and more. My plate is always full; I’m always on-the-go, yet I feel like I’m going nowhere. Nothing is working. I’m aimlessly drifting from one task to another for days, weeks, and months and it felt like it wasn’t going to end.

Yet despite all of this, I was introduced to an investor from Silicon Valley. I don’t know how, but I got lucky.

Finally. It’s actually happening.

There was this moment of pure, absolute bliss. Anything and everything was suddenly possible. I start to visualize what could be — no, what will be. But as the realization started to set in, it starts brewing inside me again.

I have no fucking idea what I’m doing. I don’t know what I’m going to do. What do I know? Nothing. Who am I? Nobody. I’m in over my head. I know I’m not good enough to do this so how will I even impress this big shot investor? She will see right through me. I’m a fraud.

A couple of days pass and now I sit here by my kitchen table, my “home office”, at 8:30 am as I wait for the call. It wasn’t until 1:00 pm, but I felt paralyzed to do anything else. I caught myself looking at the clock every minute. I started to get restless and my thoughts started to race.

And just like that, I get sucked in..

I started to sweat. My hands slowly trembled. My heart raced and pounded like it wanted to break free from my chest. I could see my chest move up and down with each and every heartbeat under my clothing. I could literally feel my blood rushing through my ears and my tinnitus worsened. I got up to grab some water, but my legs felt numb and disconnected from my body. I just stood there, waiting for my body to just fucking snap out of it. But I was unable to move and I started to become eerily aware of, but disassociated, from everything. I wanted to throw up and my bowels wanted to explode. I was gasping for air and I felt like I was choking. Then I started to cry..

Something is wrong. Why does it feel like I’m losing my mind? I’m going crazy and I can’t stop it. Why isn’t it stopping? Is this a heart attack? Am I dying? Is this what it feels like?

Spoiler alert: I didn’t die. I passed out for what felt like hours; though in reality, it was probably closer to twenty minutes. I got up and felt like my life was literally sucked out of me. My body was in shock. I was exhausted — utterly drained.

It was just another panic attack.

I’m no stranger to it; I’ve been living with it for the past 6 months before this episode, but it’s not really something one gets used to.



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