Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wormholes of Lost Time and Anxiety Attacks

I learned a lesson last night. Walks down Memory Lane are, for the most part, not the most prudent of ideas for me. Especially when I let my brain run away with my thoughts. When my brain eventually returns, it brings baggage. It's difficult to explain the baggage, though, because not all of it is bad, or sad, or hard. Some of it is okay. Not happy, exactly, but okay. It's just stuff I'd forgotten. And for whatever reason, those things brought with them hitching, gasping breaths, giant tears, and vomit. I literally made myself sick. Full-blown anxiety attack at 10:30 PM. It was awesome.

There are blank spots in my memory. Black, gaping holes of time I can no longer pin down; time leading up to, and immediately following, the death of my mother, Mary, back in June of 1989. And, if I'm being honest, I don't really start having full, in-Technicolor memories again until about 1993 or '94, when I moved to Mystic, CT.  I was definitely in a dark place for a long time. I'm not entirely sure how I didn't get myself into a ton of trouble; I'm convinced there were plenty of opportunities. Somehow, I managed to...for want of a better word...survive. 

No matter how dark things got, though, I never, ever considered removing myself from this mortal coil. I did some self-destructive things, but I don't think those things were ever life-threatening. Stupid? Absolutely.

But when my thoughts wander into the wormholes of lost time, sometimes they unearth things which I'm not ready to examine. I can't steel myself against, or prepare myself for, what memories will hitch a ride back to my conscious mind. And that's what happened last night. I dug up stuff that I would have preferred stayed buried.

Mostly because of the mental and emotional state I was in during those times. I'd lost my mother. I was a teenager. I was hurting and destructive and was convinced no one cared or understood or wanted to help. It was those feelings that resurfaced last night. That desperate pain of grief and loss and of being lost. 

So I cried. Long and loud and hard. It was awful. I don't recommend it.

The lesson I learned is sometimes, those blank spots are blank for a reason. It's usually self protection. And to shed light on them - even a dim light - can be...not exactly detrimental, but certainly not helpful, either.

I feel better this morning. I do. Yesterday was not a good day anyway so I was already fragile and my barriers were down. Today, aside from seriously puffy eyes and some post-crying jag congestion, I feel better.

I believe getting better - trying to find that emotional upward swing in a downward spiral - is a game. Like two steps forward and one step back. Progress. Set back. Progress. Setback. I'm not sure you're ever really...there. Done. 100%.

But I'll take better. That will do for now.


1 comment:

Joe LaGrone said...

Anxiety and panic attacks - one has to experience them in order to have any semblance of what they are like and how they affect a person. It is a mystery how they come sailing from nowhere for no apparent reason and wreak havoc. I've battled them for years. My heart goes out to you.

You do have a talent for describing the raw way in which they affect you. If I had any useful suggestions I would share. If you choose to respond, send any comments to Bless you!