In for four,
Hold for four,
Out for six.
“Want to try the rainbow exercise?” Your brother asks.
“Yes,” your shaky voice answers.
You tell him everything red you see
Your backpack, your cup, the wall …
“Good, can you take a sip of this water?” Your brother suggests. Your shaky hand that has
created an earthquake within you, lifts the lip of the bottle up to your lips.
“Good, can you put the lid on it for me now?”
Now you tell him everything orange you see
Your dress, part of your cat, Camilla, your highlighter …
Now everything yellow
Your highlighters, your shirts, your sticky note tabs …
“Good,” he says, “now everything green”
Your box, highlighters, part of your tissue, part of that painting …
Sip of water
Your highlighter, your sticky note tabs, your shirts …
“Good. This next one is a little harder, everything purple”
Your pen, your sticky note tabs, your shirts
And as you sat there, you realized that the mini earthquake within you had stopped, you had
I’m Jordan Coen and my pronouns are she/her/they/them. I’m currently a student at LCC and will be transferring to Southern Oregon University (SOU) in the fall where I’ll major in Educational Studies to become a teacher and I’ll double-minor in Creative Writing and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. At SOU, I hope to be a writing a tutor and explore my creative writing even more than I am now. In my free time, I like to write for contests and fun, read, watch Grey’s Anatomy, and hang out with my pets, family, and friends. I wrote this poem about the worst panic attack that I’ve had — I was hanging out with my brother and I remember thinking that I was going to pass out. My brother, later told me that it looked like I was going to pass out. Normally, the 4-4-6 breathing technique can stop my panic attacks for me, but it wasn’t working, so we did the rainbow exercise shown in the poem. I believe we did that twice and then did a planning exercise in which you go back as far as you need to, I think we did the end of the week, and you explain what you’re going to do ending with what you’re doing now. This exercise finally helped my breathing become steady, without me realizing it.