I had a panic attack about a week ago, two Saturdays ago. It was mild. And utterly embarrassing.
Because I'm supposed to be better, to be getting better. And most of the time I am. But when I'm not, I'm really really really not.
Good friends asked us out to a movie and I thought I could handle it. I dared to think that my life was back to normal, was a life wherein I could play all day and party at night, a life wherein I could throw caution to the wind and say "yes" every single time, never striking out.
Between my psychiatrist, my therapist and me, we could provide you with a myriad of reasons and theories this panic attack struck. This one. And all the others.
But, the thing that I know best now about anxiety and panic attacks is: there is an end.
There is another side. The world won't end. I'll be able to breath freely again soon. My sweaty palms will dry. My racing heart will slow.
I just have to push through to the other side. To ride the proverbial wave. To squeeze your Daddy's hand under the table as hard as the day you were born. To keep breathing. To mindfully control my thoughts, not letting them drift and spiral into darkness, holding myself in the present.
Until it all passes.
The waves and pangs of anxiety, breaking against the shore, crashing, finally diffusing into the sand.
Another day dawns. And another. And another.
Letting go of the past, I moved forward into the week, noting all the delicious things that fill the space of my life, the space where all is calm, all is well, all is right with the world.
“Let everything happen to you
Beauty and terror
Just keep going
No feeling is final”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
The giggles and the screams of cousins playing.
The aforementioned apple pie.
The stifling inland heat that pushed us to the shore, salty and cool. The ocean, vast, boundless--as Lola remarked--our view and vision suddenly flooded by the sparkling water of the Pacific, as we turned onto Highway 1. The way my heart sung at its sight, feeling the sacredness, the holiness, the weight of the ocean, it's cleansing and powerful nature.
“I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it.”
Rita Mae Brown
The love between a grandmother and her grandchild, also boundless, playful and stern. I think, a perfect love, unadulturated by the parental scars of expectations and put-your-shoes-on-now and time outs.
“What day is it?"
"It's today," squeaked Piglet.
My favorite day," said Pooh.”
― A.A. Milne
Creation, creativity, a space to experiment and grow. The kitchen table, overrun by scratch paper and crayons, where everyday I find a new treasure
to behold, proof that they were here, where I now stand, looking down, hours or moments ago.
“Forever is composed of nows.”
The strong personalities that surround me. Danjo, who insists on wearing either nothing or a full ballerina skirt--or "mina" as she calls it. The adventures Bel leads her little sister on, throughout our house, in closets and corners and the couch cushions, the reason and knowledge she tries to bestow upon her little sister, explaining as she goes. Danjo, ignoring, but always a shadow.
“Happiness, not in another place but this place...not for another hour, but this hour.” ― Walt Whitman
How an idea can spark and catch. And a painted toe becomes a painted leg becomes a reason to take your shirt off.
And those baby bellies. The embarrassment with which you will look back upon these pictures. But, the beauty I see. In your play. In your personalities, reckless and meticulous. In your spirits.
Pizza night and a fortunately misspoken request. Full tummies, we are thankful for, always.
“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.” ― Maya Angelou
Your daddy, who sometimes gets home early and saves the day. Whose lap is big enough for two daughters, waiting for dinner to be ready.
A certain puppy dog, always near, patient, concerned when his babies cry, and a little bit jealous, wishing he could crawl into my lap too.
The cookies. That is all. (Recipe here.)
“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.” ― Henry David Thoreau
Refreshing quiet and calm. Awestruck, taken-aback, re-focusing moments. Peace. And love.
And a week has passed. Like that. Quick and easy. Too fast, sometimes too real.
Literally and figuratively delicious.