Friday, September 5, 2008
Letting In The Light
Six weeks ago today I was in terror. There was nothing going on in my life to cause such fright, such suffering. Which made it all the more disturbing.
I could find no moments of peace in my life. None. Every moment was a waking nightmare of anxiety and fear.
It came on slowly and grew and grew until I was filled with it. I did everything I knew to fight it. I exercised. I ate well. I got my sleep (and thank God, I could sleep) and I tried desperately to talk myself out of this irrational terror.
I tried being with people. I couldn't talk to them.
I tried going off alone.
That made it so much worse.
I couldn't make phone calls, I couldn't write. I could only try to keep my head above water and try to stay afloat. I was afraid. I was so afraid.
I finally had to admit that I had no choice but to go to a doctor and get help and I began taking Lexapro that day.
That was five weeks ago.
Today I was in the grocery store. I was reaching for a bag of pinto beans and I realized something- I was happy.
Again- there is no external reason. I have not won the lottery. I have not gotten my book sold. I haven't lost ten pounds and my dogs are still here.
I've done nothing today that is out of the ordinary. I went to yoga, I breathed, I stretched. I walked and I sweated. I went out in the garden and I dug up weeds and I sweated some more. I came in, took a shower, went to Publix.
And I realized I was happy.
I saw a woman I know at the store whom I have heard from a relative is also going through anxious, hard times. She looked anxious today and worried. We're not close, but I had the urge to hug her. I remembered how it felt when I was so afraid and in the full force of the storm of that horrible illness (for what else could it have been?) and how much hugs had meant to me then. How much I had craved that touch of a another human. I needed it like I needed air or water. I hugged that woman and I could tell that she was expecting the sort of hug that we would usually give each other- perfunctory and short. Instead, I pulled her in tighter and for just a second, I tried with all my heart to transfer to her some energy, some pure feeling of being okay.
I have no idea if she felt it. It wasn't weird or anything. It only lasted a second. But I hope she did. I hope she felt what I was trying to give her.
I am grateful beyond belief that I had something to give her.
I am grateful beyond belief that the medicine has worked for me. I know I may wake up tomorrow morning back in a dark place. But even if I do, I will know that there is still light and I will be able to see it again.
I have to say thank-you to any and all of you reading this who were worried about me, who posted comments saying, hang in there, we're thinking of you, I've been there too, you'll come back.
You'll never know how much that meant, how much it helped. Without my family and without my friends and without you people who read these words, I think I would have slipped underwater and I am not sure I could have struggled my way back up to breathe.
Back during the darkest times when I was on the island, I posted some pictures of sunsets that were so amazing and so wrenchingly beautiful that it would have seemed that witnessing them should have cured me. Or at least given me some sort of sense of relief. But I was so deeply disturbed that even the incredible majesty of those light-shot skies reflected in the water could not touch my soul. But I look at the pictures now and they do.
So I'm posting one more.
And I'm thanking you and I'm thanking every good thing in my life and I am aware of it all and I am grateful. I am peacefully and amazingly and happily grateful.