July 2007 Archives
1. to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth.
2. to cherish, foster, keep alive, etc.
3. to strengthen, build up, or promote
The panic is coming and the walls are closing in. I am hyperventilating and I can't breathe and I am dizzy beyond comprehension. It is late in my 270-square-foot tomb of a studio and I reach over, grab the empty sheets on my bed and I realize for the first time in my life, I am truly alone. I don't know what to do; I've never lost it before when I was alone. How many years has it been since I've experienced this? I didn't realize it's been so long. Why is it back? What is going on? How do I stop it? I don't know how to stop it all by myself. I feel rusty; I can't remember what tools I used to use to help keep myself grounded, safe.
My heart is pounding and my hands are shaking and I am terrified. I reach for the phone and call Kiera. With a mixture of humor and compassion, she talks me through the panic attack. 45 minutes later, I am breathing normal, I am in the present moment and okay.
I spend the next few days intensely journaling while fighting off more panic attacks. Pages upon pages upon pages dealing with grief, with insecurity, with confusion and pain and the unhealthy habits I am falling back into as a result of what happened last month and the associated fallout that has reverberated through every aspect of my life: work, friends, blogging, C. Entire pages of the same line written over and over and over again with the intent to burn this into my brain: I am safer when I let go. I am safer when I let go. I am safer when I let go.
And finally, I remember I can choose how I want to act, how I want to move through this situation. How do I want to be? Emotional, volatile, depressed? Or safe, secure and serene? The only person in my life who can provide safety, security and serenity for me is me. Me. I'm the person who can nourish my soul.
My mantra becomes nourish. Each choice - millions of choices every day - becomes an exercise in nourishment. In what way can - will - this choice nourish me? Yes, I want a double-western-bacon cheeseburger, but that isn't nourishment. What can I choose instead that will fulfill the emotional comfort I am craving while also fulfilling my need, my desire, my craving for nourishment?
Intense amount of growth, of groove-building, has been occuring on a daily, minute-by-minute and second-by-second basis. It is exhausting. I am focusing on me, on my growth, on my choices. I am focusing on my son, on his needs, on what will keep him safe. I am letting go of unhealthy attachments and I am learning that I have an incredible support network in my friends. I am writing and creating pieces upon pieces of art.
I have received some bit of closure in this tumultuous time, some sense of knowing what's going to happen and how I will resolve this situation. I found out on Monday that the best possible scenario, the one I was hoping for, is indeed the result. That was joyous news (although I must say, I am still pissed that I'm even IN this situation in the first place).
I have found a new place to live, a house that is twice the size of the tiny studio I lived in for the last year. In this new place, Ash and I have room to move around each other. For the first time since I moved out on my own a year ago, I have an oven, a full-size refrigerator, a freezer that works. I have air conditioning and a real bedroom complete with a door! I have a closet for my clothes and a full tub so I can take ice baths at my own house now; I don't have to beg a friend or C to borrow their tub after a long run.
Not that I'm running. I down-graded my Flagstaff marathon to the half-marathon and I really should be training for it, but I'm not. I'm running once, maybe twice, a week, for two to three miles. It's so hot, so muggy, here in the monsoon season. I'm exhausted from dealing with my current situation, from moving, from work, and I'm not running. I think I want to, just not now. I want to enjoy running, and I do NOT enjoy running in the heat. I do NOT feel like trying to force myself through a few measely miles in the mugginess. It's like banging my head against a wall. It's this sense of having to push, to pull myself through and it hurts and it's exhausting and it's NO FUN and I don't want to do it.
I sound so petulant!
I'll get there. I'll be running again, soon.
I want to say thank you to Chad, Eric and Pat. All three of you left comments yesterday with well-wishes, and that is what finally prompted me to post. I appreciate everyone's comments and support and e-mails. My posting has been erratic and probably will remain so, and I'm not sure when I'll get the time to actually get caught up on my bloglines. Feel free to e-mail me at any point - if you don't have my e-mail address already, you can click on the "Blogger Profile" link on the upper left side of my blog, and on the left side of that page is the "Email" link.
...I wake up feeling the warmth of C's hand on my arm...
...I am out the door, running, 10 minutes after the alarm goes off...
...I feel the warm air flowing over my sweaty face while breathing deep...
...I'm in the shower and hot water sluices over my tired body, washing the salt off and renewing my energy...
...I'm sipping an almond-soy-with-strawberry-instead-of-banana smoothie at Xoom Juice while writing in my journal...
...I know, no matter what happens, everything will be okay...
The world is right for you when...
Muddled voices emanate from the clock buried under stacks of books on my nightstand. I clumsily knock a few to the floor as I try to stay asleep while turning off the alarm. I roll back over with the pillow over my head, deciding that I am too tired to run, and glad that the normal rock music did not come blaring out of the radio, otherwise I might wake up too much.
A male's deep voice announces, "You know, I used to be really overweight."
His sidekick, another male with the deep announcer voice, replies, "Yeah, Steve, me too."
Steve says, "But then we picked up a copy of GQ, and you know who was on the front cover?"
"Ethan Hawke!" exclaims the sidekick.
"And Paul, man, lemme tell ya, did he look fit!"
"He used to be so pudgy, Steve, and then he started running. And look at how good he looks!"
"So we started running, too, and now we look fantastic!"
And I wake up, grumpy, wondering if Ethan Hawke was ever pudgy. I curse my subconscious for creating a radio show to guilt me into getting up as I don my running clothes and head out the door. It's hot out this morning and I am tired and dizzy and can't take deep breaths. It's been just one day shy of two weeks since I last ran, and I can tell. Before leaving, I had stepped on the scale and was pleased to note I actually dropped a pound. I spend the run wondering if that meant I lost some muscle during the last two weeks of inactivity. I also ponder the dizziness that's been plaguing me since the morning before. I had to leave my yoga class halfway through the previous night; I was too dizzy to continue. The changes in my life are not medically related, and the dizziness is throwing me for a loop. I decide to take iron pills and B-12 in case I'm anemic.
I walk a lot during the run, but I decide to not judge myself. I got up; I put on my clothes; I went for a run. That's the important part. I am getting back into the groove.