Saturday, April 22, 2017

On breathing in and out

Do you remember when the sky wasn't falling?  Some days I can make it all the way without imagining the worst happening over some daily challenge.

Other days, the weight of life and reality is overwhelming.

I almost don't remember that other life.  I think, I used to have a life. I used to know which way is up and which way is down.  I remember that I didn't fear anything.

I remember it like a dream or a movie, though, and it is someone else's life.  But it wasn't that long ago.

Four years and seven months ago, my world turned upside down and then seven months later, another fissure opened, making sure that I understood that I should never say, again, things can't get worse.

Remember that, things can always get worse.

And when I was still standing despite the world being upside down, six months later, a volcano erupted.

I stood, shakily, and made it through, but the bending was giving way to breaking. I think that I had the beginnings of a panic attack one day... I had been hiding in the library, taking a moment to breathe in the quiet of a carrel.  And I realized I was supposed to be writing, but I was breathing instead.  Breathing as though it was no longer something my brain could remember to do on its own. And scared that if I didn't put all of my focus on breathing that I ...

I couldn't go there, not then, not even now.

I decided to try not to feel, I had already been trying to keep my feelings in a box for while. It was working, mostly, but to the detriment of everything else in my life.

For years, I figured out how to keep busy by *fixing* everyone, pretending to be alright and breathing.

You would think that would be enough ... breathing, especially; it is necessary for life after all.

But it was not enough.

Now I have been trying to put my life back together for over a year.  Much of that time has been spent trying to unravel the tight hold on the emotions.  Sometimes that means I cry, a lot, for apparently no reason.  But I can only do that, still, when I watch or read something sad, about someone else, or I drive.

Now that my car has decided not to be reliable, I no longer have a safe place to cry ... so my neck gets stiff, and I eat sugary things, and I feel out of control and unable to go out of doors.  And I try to feel.

But responsibility creeps in and my hiding abilities fully respond.

And I breathe in and out.

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