When the one thing about you that seemed unshakable is shook, what do you do?
I turned to chocolate and films and music when I could. I cried and screamed and shook when I couldn’t, which was often. I was lucky to have a few good friends to lean on, (which was all the friends I could handle to lean on, Te Absolvo) and I had four beautiful animals to remind me of joy and love and fun, even when it remained just out of reach.
In the end, I had to feel it. I had to build up the energy reserves to be able to sit with my terror, which took time. So much time. Oceans of time. Most days, I wasn’t able to stay on the surface. I rolled around in real time turmoil, with old memories fanning the flames of fear. An ocean of fire. I bobbed about helplessly, an untethered cliche. Time became a long, flat, uneventful ribbon of discomfort. Occasionally I had a clear feeling. A lightbulb moment. An idea. A sense of connection. Without relief from the hammer of panic and no real place of rest, I just didn’t remember it. At times I felt I had dissolved, too far gone to ever be solid again. I had to let go and just feel all of this. There was no way around it.
While feeling, fingers wedged in the cracks of panic, I did do a few things that helped. I would scrape myself out of my room and meet animals, people, nature, bits of my former self. With help, I managed to create memories that stuck, to leave some markers of better-feeling in place. Anchors to feeling calm. Snippets of safety. Something to shoot for, to return to, whenever possible. It’s not always possible.
Somehow, while practicing my hold, I surfaced. I had not dissolved completely. I’ve had to reset what the basics of survival are. I’ve had to reset myself, on minimal sleep and maximum stimulation. Red hot anxiety to breathe through, daily. Possibly forever. Practicing my hold when I can. It’s not always where I left it. From where I’m hanging on, I can see myself, in time, finding the peace in being shook. In the space between occasional and habitual. I don’t know where it will go, just that it will keep moving. My mistake was in standing still. The current will break you if you don’t move with it. Looking away won’t help. That’s all for now. Predictions of smooth sailing on the wind, which owns all directions. Will keep you posted. Peace. 🌱