Monday, October 11, 2010
My Scary Hole
I went out on a limb this weekend just to see how well I could balance my brain. Since the TBI I have been experiencing sudden anxiety attacks especially when around crowds or when I'm around a loud environment. I really wanted to go on this weekend trip but I was terrified that if an anxiety hit me, there would be no place for me to hide until it passed. The trip was important to me for several reasons. It was a breast cancer walk and I was walking with one of my best friends who had breast cancer late last year. I knew it would be a fun time and I wanted to see how far I could push my boundaries with this fear thing. The anxiety has gotten so much better than it was a few months ago, but still it has a way of sneaking up from behind, catching me unaware. I am feeling so much better!! There are still a few things that need tweaking (patience would be one of those things). Since the accident I've been pretty careful about putting myself in social settings and isolated myself for a variety of reasons. This weekend I thought I'd push through and see how it went. I made it through Friday night much better than expected even though there were a lot of people with us and the restaurant was very crowded. My Son and his friends joined us for a while at the restaurant and I enjoyed getting to visit and catch up with him. Saturday morning went great. It was a sea of pink as far as the eye could see. It felt good to be a part of something positive and it felt good to see people whose loved ones had not come out on the winning end against the disease, being represented. About 3/4 way through the walk the stifling cloud caught up with me along with a raging headache... I had to get out of there before someone noticed the tears and the ragged breathing.I needed just a few minutes alone to gain control before I could get back to my group and enjoy the rest of the walk. I ran back to the hotel, got something for my headache and took a few minutes to calm myself and reassure myself that the anxiety attacks, although inconvenient, were becoming less severe and soon they would pass altogether like most of the other symptoms. When I got back to the group I was fine, exhausted from the aftermath of overwhelming anxiety, but for the most part fine. A hole certainly would come in handy during these times.... A portable hole I could climb into that was lined with soft silky fir that would wrap around me like a warm blanket. Instead I climb back into cold hard reality and put one foot in front of the other until finally I'm back to my safe place. When I got home my husband asked me how it went and I fell in his arms with tears rolling down my cheeks(he has gotten pretty used to this)..... "I just want the old Jac back, I want to be her again." He held me and assured me that she was coming back in little pieces every day and that I would just have to be patient. I told him I was pretty sure everyone was getting tired of my quirks and didn't understand the struggle. He said "Jac, when people hear what happened they expect for you to have some kind of visual scars they can see, you don't have any of those on the outside.... The damage was all inside. From the outside you look just as normal as if nothing has happened. You are better every day and you can't let these little episodes set you back." These episodes don't set me back, they terrify me! I become paralyzed with fear that they will never go away. I liked the person I was.... we were friends, I understood her. This new person can be hard to read, easy to offend, and has the patience of a gnat. I'm not crazy about this person and if she angers me I know she angers others. He continued to reassure me as he always does. He held me tight and suggested I take a nap(always a good idea). I'm not sure how I would have made it these last few months if it wasn't for my husband. He has been so supportive and loving, much more than I deserve. During this whole ordeal I've never felt like I was fighting alone, he has been beside me every step. When I get discouraged, he lifts me up. When I get overwhelmed, he carries the load, when I get scared he reassures me,when I fall into the black hole, he reaches in and helps me out, never judging,never criticizing. But most important of all, he loves me 100% unconditionally and never fails to calm my fears.