Sometimes I Freak Out

like blind panic, white-tailed-deer-ass-in-the-air-leap-over-tall-grass-in-a-single-bound freak out.

I can feel it building, bubbling in my gut and then my whole body is tingling, heart-racing, feet-pacing... and I want to run.

I will not be the one left behind. I will not be the one crying, or waiting around, or wondering how come I didn't see it coming... not ever again. All that shit about "one day at a time", "have faith", "it's not a big deal"... really it's bullshit. If you've had to deal with what I dealt with, you'd understand. It is a big deal-- a huge deal, to learn again to trust someone, to have faith, to believe. It's an even bigger deal to learn to trust yourself again, your instincts, your gut, your heart.

I know, ultimately, that whatever happens I will survive because anything less than that is not an option. Someone depends on me. And really, I depend on me. I cannot afford to fall, to implode.

On the other hand, for perspective outside of me, I had a meeting with a new department (for me) in the hospital that was my former employer/now my client. A community-based group who's focus is educating and supporting stroke survivors and helping them prevent the re-occurrence of stroke. A woman made a presentation; not too much older than myself; a former opera singer, a mom. She'd had a stroke when her new daughter was 12 days old. She had started a foundation to help other people like herself, and so today at this meeting she presented a short film of her story. I almost cried, except I was in a room full of strangers (well, one turned out to be Mima's Aunt--and that also almost made me cry), hearing her and her husband talk about her struggle to regain her life. I also had a short brainstorming session with this group of people just prior to the film, in which we threw out positive words like "proactivity"and "action" and "hope"... all those things they had to hold on to as they recovered from stroke. They spoke of loneliness and fear, and pain, and isolation, of depression and needing to rely on other people and on themselves.

I spoke to the woman who made the film presentation... we agreed that "there is always some drama" and that the thing is to keep moving, to try again, to never give up, to persevere, to survive. Our circumstances are different; I am not a stroke survivor and can't relate to that experience per se.... but I am still a survivor of the drama wars. Nobody comes out unscathed.

In comparison, though, my drama is all in my head (well, some of it wasn't) and I know I'm not dealing with that. Compared to surviving a stroke my life is cake, I know that.

But it's still hard sometimes to quell the panic. To have faith, to trust, to try again.

And I am trying again.

But sometimes I freak out.


Fat Lady said…
We ALL panic. My life is a state of panic. And we all live in our heads too much. The real trick is pulling ourselves out of our heads, stepping over the lunacy that has been triggered by past experiences and moving on.

And this isn't easy. For some people it's impossible. It is certainly the biggest struggle of most of our lives. Though, I think, most people don't realize that's what they're really struggling with - themselves.

The Bull and I had a huge argument the other day and near the end of it he said that I insist on being insecure, that I refuse to believe in myself. I asked him to please, PLEASE tell me how NOT to do that. I've spent my entire adult life trying to learn how to get out of my own head and not tear myself down every time I see signs of something good in me. Unlike your voices, mine never ever have anything kind or helpful to say. I'll keep fighting that fight to not hear those nasty voices. And I'll force myself to spend a lot of time going, "La, la, la - I can't HEAR you!" and pretending that I have confidence I don't have. Pretending that I believe and trust in myself, my judgment, and the people around me a bazillion times more than I really do.

The alternative is to sit in a room, alone, looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'd rather push on, acting as though everything is going to work out and hoping that it really will.

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