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How an On-Air Panic Attack Improved My Life

ABC NEWS - Presidential debate coverage from ABC News headquarters in New York City, 10/3/12.
(Photo by Ida Mae Astute/Disney-ABC via Getty Images)  DAN HARRIS
ABC NEWS - Presidential debate coverage from ABC News headquarters in New York City, 10/3/12. (Photo by Ida Mae Astute/Disney-ABC via Getty Images) DAN HARRIS

Shortly after seven on a sunny spring morning in 2004, I freaked out in front of five million people. I was filling in on "Good Morning America," anchoring the news updates at the top of each hour. I had done this job plenty of times before, so I had no reason to foresee what would happen shortly after the co-hosts, Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson, tossed it over to me for my brief newscast: I was overtaken by a massive, irresistible blast of fear.