A Pause

Yesterday was remarkable because of what didn’t happen:  no emotional shitstorms, no panic attacks.  I woke up with the same anxious belly I’ve become accustomed to, worried that I’d step on a mine somewhere during the day and blow up.  This morning I didn’t have that anxiety in my belly, so far so good.

Do I think the storm has passed?  No.  I think this is a pause, maybe the eye of a storm with many faces and many phases.  Without panic induced adrenaline charging through my body, I feel a bit tired, grateful for the rest.  This may just be a pause, and I may just be washed up on a shore waiting for the next series of waves to take me away, but I will enjoy it while I can.

Some nice things happened yesterday.  I biked to work with only 14 of my 21 gears in service.  My smallest chain ring had two busted teeth and my plan was to go to my neighborhood bike shop after work.  I arrived and they had time to check things out for me and discovered that my whole chainset was wobbly and loose.  I was concerned that I’d have to put off repairs if it was going to be too expensive, but Bike Repair Dude had a box of chain rings and found a used replacement for me.  That, along with a small amount of his time, cost me $16.  Much better than the almost $1k worth of repairs our family car needs right now.  I rode away from Deschutes River Cyclery with smoother gear action than I’ve had in a while and very grateful to have a bike shop so close to home.

Good luck was smiling on me early, too.  I rode to work in a light sprinkling rain and forgot to cover and buckle my bags.  If it had rained hard at all, my clothes, lunch and other stuff would have been soaked.  Lucky me.

On Sunday, which was a horrid, angry day, my wife and I sat down and had another really good conversation, though not as easy as the one I blogged previously.  She told me that she knows I’m having a rough time and she’s doing her best to give me space and trying not to trigger me, but she needs some help from me, too.  She had a great suggestion, that we should do a debrief in the day or two following my therapy appointments so she can have a better feeling of the ground covered and possibly be able to anticipate potential triggers for the next couple of weeks.  Though it’s no fun to be around me when I’m triggered and angry (storming around like a caged animal, as she put it), she knows this is part of the process.  For the next 6 months or so.  Which is such a horrible thought I buried my face in my hands when she said it.  That’s her guesstimate, of course, based on her own experience with therapy, but the thought of going any number of months like this is a hard thought to bear.  I don’t think we solved any huge problems during that conversation, but I think we both felt heard – at least I did.

On another positive note, I have been absolutely, massively blessed with friendship lately, online and off.  Online friends are checking in with me regularly and I’m increasingly able to return the favor.  I’m connecting with local friends more and more, through massages, social dates and patio conversations.  This increasing sense of connection is something I identified a while ago as a need.  I feel less isolated, less desperate, knowing I can almost always find someone somewhere to connect with, vent to, get encouragement from, give encouragement to.  It’s still rough in the wee still hours of the night when insomnia hits, but I’m hoping insomnia will be less and less an issue.  I am also actively looking for ‘spark’, that illusive something I might not recognize until it touches me, that special something that help remind me of why I keep getting up every day.  Roxy planted that idea and it’s a good one, it keeps me mindful every day.

I’m happy for what is good, I am trying to enjoy my joy as it comes.  I am also very tired.  The ambitious Type A part of me keeps a running tally of projects not completed (ones that are completed get a momentary ‘hoorah’ before we move on).  That part of me is almost always nagging me and doesn’t see the good in sitting still and just being.  It wants us to be a human doing, not being. But I am tired, tired of this struggle, of waiting for the next storm to hit, of anxiously rifling through my Rolodex of triggers wondering what’s gonna set me off next (then there are the triggers I don’t know about and I hate those surprises).  So would it be so bad if I just closed my eyes for a bit, allowed myself to fall asleep in the sunshine on this beach the storm left me on?

mmmmmm…. sleep, mmmmm wonderful unconsciouness


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