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Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

All is well, all is well.

As I get older, or wiser or more embarrassed about my mind, I speak less and less about how I feel, I even think less about how I feel, choosing, rather, to just get on with it and say 'all is well.'
It is, of course, well. It is, life is well. People are well and happy and I am aware that I am blessed and lucky.
I can sit and think and see that I have much to be happy about and I am, indeed happy about much.
This is a good post isn't it, all flowy and funny and making such sense, it is days like this that make me so glad I keep a blog.
Any minute now I will work out what I want to say and gosh darn it ( do you like that? It's sunday, I always try harder on sunday not to swear and usually I manage pretty well, of course, if I open the laundry door and see a big fat MOUSE, that effort is all for nought but I'm sure the Lord understands and tries to let it go.) just as soon as I do work out what to say I will jolly well say it.
The more I try to be cheery, the more the misery seems to take hold.
Bizarre isn't it that your body will do what it chooses to do despite your head trying every trick in the book to tel it to shut up?
I truly don't believe I am sad, I don't. I can't think of a single reason why I would think to be sad.
I am, however incessantly anxious. About everything. Even though I am so MAD at being anxious and even though I am damned sure I won't let this feeling beat me, I go through the motions of bloody well doing what I want to do and NOT giving in, it is actually winning. That makes me so furious, I can't tell you how furious.
I don't talk about how I am feeling, I don't tell H, or anyone because I can't stand it myself, I am annoyed with myself never mind allowing others in on my miserable secret.
I am the least tolerant person when it comes to depression, when I see anyone overwhelmed by it and hear that they have given in to the staring at a wall and not moving longing side to this infuriating and disabling affliction, I am of the 'pull yourself together camp' I KNOW how hard it is to carry on, I understand how overpowering the need to shut off and stop thinking can be and I puff myself up and tell myself how much better I am than they, because I keep going and I don't allow anyone to see just how awful I am feeling, except who am I kidding? I like to think no-one knows what I am feeling and perhaps they don't, I suspect that makes it worse, I wonder if the people around me are looking at me and wondering WHAT THE HELL???
I'm only writing this now, this disjointed ramble of stupidity because I woke up, just now, after a lovely sunday afternoon nap, thinking I was dying.
I woke up and couldn't breathe, was sweating and gasping for breath and was sure I couldn't BREATHE, oh the terror. Panic attacks are bad enough when you feel them coming, when that prickling terror begins at the centre of your very soul and builds until the world comes crashing down, when I feel that happening, I can usually talk myself out of it, when it happens while I sleep, there is nothing I can do. It is by far the most terrifying feeling, I woke up and was grasping at the sheet, trying to get some breath into my body and just stop, that's usually what I say to myself, stop, stop fighting, think, breathe and stop and breathe and you are not dying, look, in fact you ARE breathing, in, out, in out, keep doing that. So I do.
All of this year has been anxious, for no reason that I can fathom, I just have been more panicky and worried, how many times did I say that HA! Imagine getting on a plane feeling like THIS! Yes, that will never happen! Whooo, not THAT stupid, even I know my own limitations and shutting myself in a metal box and sitting in there for many hours is asking way too much of my stupid panic attacky self.
I didn't listen though, did I? Not even to myself, of course if anyone else had dared to say to me "Helen, don't do it, please don't push yourself *that* far, it doesn't matter, if you think flying is too much to ask right now, it probably is" I would have, in my own bloody minded way, have stuck a metaphorical finger up and said " Oh yeah? Watch me! You're not the boss of ME!"
Only I could be so stupid as to dare myself!
On the way to the airport I was so terrified, so overwhelmed with terror that I was speechless, apart from saying " Please Dan, please drive slower" or " Oh please don't" as he went to overtake another car, I was unable to speak or even breathe more than a shallow little huff and puff. I spent the 4-5 hours talking to myself, telling myself how foolish this was and how look, how may times have you done this and it has been OK? And then thinking of H and the little boys, thinking how, if I died they would be left with the feeling that I died leaving them to just have fun, to do nothing more than please myself. I weighed up how awful it would be to just stay home, to send Sophie and just not go, I thought how disappointed my friend would be if I did that.
I was stupid and show offy in shouting about the trip, once I did that it turned from being a visit with Cathy to a big old get together with people I didn't of my biggest panic triggers, as I heard of more people joining in I became more and more worried and grumpy, cross that I had opened my mouth and allowed this to happen, feeling terror at the idea of people seeing me and having to be funny and witty and everything people think I am.
I wasn't funny, or witty or anything. I seemed unable to be anything but upright and breathing. When I was there I felt as though I was walking through treacle, just trying not to be a weeping stupid mess.
As the time to come home came closer I think I cheered up, I know that when it was just Sophie, Cathy and I, I felt better, that's not to say that anyone who came had made me miserable, I was making myself miserable, me and my people fearing panic attacks. Sophie was my saving grace, I hid behind her effusive and outrageous persona, I adored her every loud moment, she was the center of attention and I was able to hide in her shadow, she is divine and I don't think I will ever tire of saying that, of spouting how glorious she is, how much I love her. We had a splendid time in the hotel room, watching movies and running outside with the fire alarms, making sure we could fit all the loot into the suitcases, I love that I have the chance to do this with her, or to have done that with her because I am pretty sure I won't be doing it again.
Flying home is never as frightening to me, I think there are several reasons for that, one is that if I die on the way home my family will always be thinking " she died coming back to us" ( and we won't think of the fact that they might also think "selfish cow shouldn't have left us in the first place, least she was coming home") Also, I know that waiting for me will be the people who know me best, the ones who love me the best and I am excited to be with them without feeling that they will gasp at how fat I am or how old I am. ( why do I feel that all the way through this post I should keep writing disclaimers? Let's do one and be done with it. * I am not saying that anyone in Boston would EVER say or think these things, I adore my friends, I know they love me, every worry I have is in MY HEAD*, imaginary or not, it's what I think and feel and is the reason I said I would not be getting on a plane again, will someone remind me should I ever get above myself again and decide that this is a good idea, please?)
When I came home, I didn't seem to get jet-lag, I was tired for 2 or 3 days and then I was all better, better that is, apart from the need to hide or hibernate, to shut myself away and not talk or look at people, to just be. Quietly be.
One thing about living with H is that I don't need to talk and I'm not sure that is a good thing, it would be easy to go days without saying anything of any import, so depression is easy, I can say all the day to day things like " get your lunch box" and " who peed on the seat AGAIN?" and not ever voice a single thing that matters, which means I don't burden anyone with how I am feeling but whatever I am feeling builds up inside until it explodes in a spectacular panic attack. It has been building for a few days, while I sit and write or read or watch TV my heart will pound and I have to talk myself through breathing and then I am calm and I get through another day.
After I woke in the midst of a panic attack, I calmed down, made myself see that I was not dying, I went into the kitchen and started dinner, H walked in and as I looked at him, it all came out, the snot crying and the guilt that I had left him and the boys just to have fun and the fear of what if I had died and maybe wasting such a lovely treat by not loving every second of it, I'm not sure he even heard what I was saying because the gasping for breath and the hysterics, the burbling and hiccuping and all that emotion....but it didn't matter because he just said " Oh" with such love and he patted my back and said " Oh" again and I knew, in a second that all is well.
He doesn't think I am the worlds worst wife and mother for flying to Boston and having fun, he doesn't think I am useless or stupid and he doesn't care if I fall into a heap in the kitchen and wail about all the hopeless feelings I can't even explain. He just loves me and he doesn't even have to say it for me to know.
All is well.



Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

I love you too, but I don't mind saying it. I feel beyond blessed that I've gotten to spend time with you 3 times. To me, you happen to be one of the most wonderful waffley people I know. :)

I also am happy that you have H in your life. It is good to know that someone loves you even if the words aren't spoken. I once heard that love really isn't a feeling, it's an action. I believe it is.

Love you so xoxo (sorry, couldn't help sending the hugs along too)

9:04 pm  
Blogger Sara said...

You have yourself quite a little fanclub over here, Helen...:O)

I am forever grateful that you have been able to push aside your very real fears to travel here not once, not twice, but three times.

I am so glad that you have your H... and that, silent or not, loves you too.

Sorry, but hugs from me too.

9:59 pm  
Blogger MJ said...

Oh. *pat* *pat* *pat*

12:24 pm  
Blogger Julie Julie Bo Boolie said...

oops.. sorry that last one was me.. MJ is my secret identity LOL (used for the French Immersion school blog)

12:25 pm  

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