Where Are You?

I have been absent from here for awhile. Life has been hectic. I have stumbled and fallen way more than I have had made steps forward. But that is okay, it has helped me re-sort some stuff I have let dust settle on. In time my independence and inner strength will be at full capacity.

But why I am here today is because I have a few questions that have more questions attached to those ones. Is it possible to be cursed? Is it possible to inherit the family trait of living alone for life? Not to marry, not to love, and not to have someone there when you waken in the middle of the night?

There has been someone. Someone who has always been in the background and has some how made their way to the front row of my life. It is complicated. Not easy at all. More often I find myself pushing intruding thoughts out of my head and banishing them from entering again.

I observe how I dance within their mind and it creates interest in my goings on. I try to rationalize it daily. This person likes my friendship, my conversation, my attention. I am their friend and I provide a trustworthy ear and advisory to issues. But in those weak and quiet moments a 5 alarm fire bell rings reminding me THIS IS WHAT I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED. I am not sure how much longer I will permit this person front row status. There is a truth that I must usher them to the back and thank them quietly for they have shown me the quality I truly deserve. I am scared for this moment.


I see your name light up my screen, my eyes slightly widen with anticipation of your enlightenment. There is always something, something you must share. Your intelligence is uncanny and never shoves me over there. It is to bring something to me, something I will cherish. I walk in the room and usher myself quickly through masses. My peripheral vision is clicked on. I am scanning for you. I see you and you do not notice my entrance. I sit quietly in the back pretending to doodle as people swoosh past me. I know you are standing; I do not have to look up. I lift my head as to have heard something that will produce a need to assist someone but there is nothing. I know that one gentle movement has caught your eye. You guide yourself to me and sit beside me. You tell me things that make me smile. You tell me things that make me think hard about possibilities. I giggle and I smile at you to let you know I am proud and besotted with your grey matter. Glances are exchanged leisurely and in private. I can hear the clock ticking, time is moving fast, it will not be much longer before you leave again. Again, we are sitting side by side, it is my nature to touch with communication. I realize after my hand has left your arm and wonder if it has crossed a line. You have no reaction, I have a heart beating hard. I quickly wish you farewell in hopes it shows no affection. I am left alone.

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The Message

I am in my spot where I find the most comfort when I need it. Its here I feel I can hide if I need too, feel safe if I need it, and know it won’t betray me. I am not a person who has ever liked wearing a housecoat. I tried many times but it was just never for me; until now. I found a slice of heaven.

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Sanctuary

I have had a very trying day. It was the kind of day where you come home and you are quiet and too wiped out to talk about it. To make matters worse I could not even cook myself a hot meal and that sent me into a sour mood. I snacked on a pepperoni stick and cheese. Then I crashed for three hours and I woke up feeling a world of doom.

I let myself weep and my thoughts were that I was crashing again. I had to understand that I was not crashing but my body and soul were telling me that they needed some TLC. It was a reminder that I forgot to take care of myself today.

That is my goal that I am focusing on right now. Taking care of myself. If I do not do it, who will?

When You Tell The Universe a Secret

There comes a point where we survive the emotional crash. We really do. When it is at it’s peak it feels like it will never end and will only get worse. I have been there many times and each time I am almost positive this is it, this is where my body says it can not handle it anymore. But I have to listen to my body. I have too.

I hear my body tell me its exhausted. It wants to rest and let my brain have little to think about. I have to let the panic attacks roll out of me and brace for their impact.

I feel I am on the way back up the hill. I pushed myself throughout the week on mini outings, testing how far my brain and body would let me go. Each time it sent a clear message that it was enough and it was time to rest.

Last night was the real test, a bigger outing, claustrophobic amounts of people gathering in a small space. I was there to show my love and support to a family that recently adopted me as a long lost sister and aunt to their children. It was their son’s music recital. Everything he does makes me super proud.

In my mind I had my escape planned out if necessary. But my night was filled with laughter and love. And of course a monster bear hug from the star of the show my most excellent nephew. I was worried the whole time that I would break down into bouts of tears because I would not be able to handle the entire 2 hours. I have to say half way through the show my appetite came back to a fury and I thought I could eat the chair I was sitting in. Another good sign that things are getting better.

Today is another big day for me. I am returning home. It is not my house but another place where I feel comfortable, peaceful, and full of joy. All those feelings you have for the home you love. I can smell it already the perfume I will be entangled with when I open the door to go inside.

After that I plan on a serious reward of napping because I am going out for girls night with a bunch of ladies who I never really hang out with in a social setting. Another push forward to healing. We have to do that to heal; push ourselves forward into tasks that feel a bit uncomfortable. It’s a test to see if we need more time for healing or it’s time to resume regular living.

Moral of the story: I put it out into the universe that my one friend who goes through the same thing I do; failed me and broke my heart as I struggled this past week. Selfish maybe? I won’t put too much energy into determining if I am a right or wrong. The universe responded by bringing people into my life this week that circled me with unknowing support.

On a totally different note. I signed up for a barkbox for my big dog. It came yesterday and just like a tv commercial she was almost smiling that the whole entire thing was for her. She didnt know what to play with first, the treats made her eyes sparkle with delight, and her owner thought it was just like Christmas. I would have inserted a picture here of her and her mail but there was no time for a picture when exciting things were to be played with.

Hidden Baggage

My mom and dad have never once in all my years shown me any physical or verbal affection. It simply does not exist. There is no pat on the back welcoming me home. There is no hug of congratulations. There is no tissue handed to me after a meltdown. There are no “I love you’s,” or words of affirmation. Zilch.

As a child growing up in a home like this I did not understand that a child should have parental love. I was frequently a part of my grandparents home where parental love was abundant. So I learned that a loveless home was normal.

I have to add a note here. My parents love me. They bend over backwards for me. They drop everything in a heartbeat if it means doing that. I know what their pasts were like for them and I totally understand why our home has zero mushy moments. But I am craving for that to change. Am I being selfish?

Growing up as a teenager and into a young adult it never dawned on me why boyfriends were all such assholes. I figured at that time guys were all like this and I just put up with it. Those were turbulent times; sometimes literally.

Today I am hidden deep beneath my goose down duvet with my head laying on my tear soaked pillow. As per usual, I like to peel away the layers of why I have my ups and downs and panic attacks. I have come up with a few items of interest for myself.

I am almost certain I am in the early stages of perimenopausal, have some workplace stress, and I am at the end stages of my period. With all these things, I have come to the realization that I am craving love. I want to experience it. I want to know what it feels like. Of course I have friends and family who love me to pieces but there is that other piece that I want to know what it feels like.

What does it feel like for you?

Traveling with Anxiety

Hi. I haven’t been around in awhile. I was feeling so awesome for so long. When I was feeling good I let go of most of my self care and just did nothing.

I had invested so much in myself not that long ago. I was exercising, eating right, resting when it was necessary, and making me a priority. Stress at my old job had me tossing out myself as a priority and just stopped investing in me. And that all lead up to a tumble into anxiety, panic, and depression.

So getting back on the “me train” has been baby steps forward. Then I was feeling good so I stopped with the baby steps. When I did that I tripped and fell into anxiety and panic. It took me by such surprise that I could not believe it.

Fast Forward.

I am trying to regain myself and my confidence. Its been a struggle. I want to hide under a rock and hopefully a magical cure will land at my feet. But I know that will not happen.

I am on a work trip. Its 3 days. One day travel, one day meeting, and one day travel. So not too bad. I am about a four hour drive from home.

But I feel like hell. My anxiety is sky high. My IBS is reminding me chill out.

I know I can do this. I have done it before for a lot longer. I have the tools I need to get through this. I have great co-workers in the same hotel as me so I am not alone. Its just getting through it. There is no reason to feel scared. I got this. I don’t have to do a presentation. I don’t have to do much other than sit and smile. And heck, I could leave early with a “migraine.” And thats it. It will be time to go home. Once I get home this will be a fantastic accomplishment for me.

I have been having panic attacks since I was a wee child. So I am an expert at this and know I can get through it all.

This is my time to show my employer that I am committed to this organization. I will learn from the meeting and take away from it to give to others. If that makes sense at all; it does to me.

But what is it that is so awful? I did not have to do any driving. Woot woot. I am not alone. I know darn well I could call on any one of my coworkers to sit with me. I think my biggest fear is I will panic. That is like the ultimate fear. But there is absolutely nothing to panic about. It is like the ultimate vulnerability.

Panic Attack with a side of Disappointment

WTF!!!! 

I am so mad!   Well kind of, maybe not really.   The truth is I am very disappointed. I was seemingly having a great day.   The sun is shining, the temperature outside is scorching hot, and I got to work from home.    To me those facts alone are the foundation for me to smile all day long.   My boss doesn’t need to know that while answering emails and sorting through paperwork that it all happened while I was tending to my herb garden.   

I think I was in the direct sun for too long.   When I went inside my home I sat under the breeze of my fan and not long later felt a bit too cool.  Naturally, I grabbed for a blanket and covered my legs and then thought I would recline on the couch while writing an email.   Yup, I fell asleep.   Sound asleep I was until I snored so loud I woke up and figured that did not sound cute at all.   I dozed back into sleep.    I am not sure for how long but I eventually woke up because my bladder was pounding at me for relief.   I shot up like I was going to win a marathon and before I could think, I was in full panic attack mode.   HUH?!  Wait, what? I thought I had to pee? As much as my bladder needed relief, I awoken into a panic attack as well.  

No!  This was not happening.    I kept thinking this really was not going to happen right now.   Too late.   My mind was spinning with thoughts and my body was reacting to find the quickest and safest way to flee.  Part of my brain was already crying, “no no no no no panic attack right now.”   There was nothing I could do to calm myself, it was like my panic attack pre-stages occurred while I was sleeping and there was no way to calm down on my own steam.

Panic attack pre-stages – my own personal lingo for what I describe as the build up to full blown panic attack.  It is in this pre-stage I have anxiety and I am doing self talk with myself to calm down, that I am safe, and I will be okay.   In a pre-stage I can almost deter a panic attack if I start a very focused orientated household chore.   Yes, even if it is at 3:00 a.m. 

I packed my “to-go” bag and stood outside my home and caught my breath.    I continued my numbered breathing pattern as I got myself to what I labelled as my safe spot; the hospital parking lot.   I made myself comfortable as possible and telephoned my mom for guided and grounding conversation.   It took 10 minutes of that style of talking and I was through the brunt of my panic attack.   I hung up the phone with my mom and reassured her if the panic came back I would just go in the hospital.   Here I am an hour later my panic attack is over.   I usually feel depressed and exhausted but I feel disappointed that it happened at all.   Maybe I shouldn’t look at this as a negative experience.    I have to go and reflect on this on how there is some positive light to this.    I may not come up with anything but I have to try.  

To-Go Bag – contains items that bring me comfort and ground me.   In it I carry a bottle of pickling spices (the smell reminds me of my Grandmother who was my rock during my most horrific moments in life), my super cozy blanket, lots of water, phone charger and cord, dvd of the Golden Girls, sweet snacks and carb loaded, and other little items that keep my mind busy, calm, and make me laugh.   Much like a bag a woman would have ready and packed for when she is set to go to the hospital to give birth. 

this is how stylish i wish me and bag look

Recovery

I do not normally write another post so quickly.   But I felt compelled to release my thoughts on recovery from panic. 

Panic attacks take a lot of energy from me to the point that I have a rest.   I rested after this morning’s ordeal and decided to make the drive through the rolling green countryside to my parents house.   As soon as I saw their faces I felt instantly connected.    Connected to their peace and quiet.   They were heading out to a community dinner; I declined the offer to attend but chauffered them to their destination.    I dropped them off and decided to take their two dogs to a local quiet lake location.    I arrived at the small lake to find no one there.   I rolled up my pant legs gave thanks for this beautiful location, clean water, and lush habitat.   I strolled into the icy clear water up to my knees, bent over and splashed to cold lake water on my face several times.   This is where my peace is at.    This is where I am at.   
 

A Vow of Up

It was very recent that I experienced a re-birth, so to speak.   It took a lot of down time to crawl through and sort.   There was a ton of pain and sorrow.  Anyone looking in at me would have seen a mess and maybe a disaster.  At some point I could not see what was trying to emerge.  For a moment I believed it was all sadness with no cure.  It was a time to learn a new patience and humility.   As I write this, I can feel tears welling up in remembrance of where I was and how the strength given to me helped me move forward.  

There was no defined moment, no written scripture, and no shining light lifting my eyes to a new start.   It was just a slow and soothing movement within myself.   I found myself standing steady, readying myself for independence  when, I assume, the universe gave me the door to open to my new journey.   I opened the door, and the light was blinding but the feeling gave me nothing but sheer sparkle inside.   The feeling was amazing, it reminded me that life and new adventures exist.  

Here I am, 2 days later.  Sitting here with the feelings of old sorrow tempting me to retreat to where dark comfort would be just as soothing.   I am pushing through looking for the sparkle that was instilled inside me.   It is now that I realize that I am the one that has to make the vow to myself. The vow to look for the “up.”    It is me that has been given the sparkle and it is up to me to share it and keep it moving forward.  I am sure there will be times when my old friend of sorrow will come around but all it really means is preparation of a shedding of the old readying me for the new.