16 January 2013

On Panic Attacks

------------------   I think this should be trigger free, but it may not. Fair warning.   ------------------

My grandmother had Alzheimer's Disease. For over a decade of my life, I watched as I slowly lost her. One day at a time, my grandmother stopped being the person I had known, and became a person I didn't. I still loved her fiercely. She was - in my mind - still the vibrant, vivacious, and loving lady she had always been. The person before me was just a shadow of the person she was. Then one day she left me completely.

          Part of me was relieved. 

                    Part of me was devastated.

          Part of me was elated. 

                     Part of me broke down in tears.

I have childhood memories of state homes, visiting my brother. 
They are tender memories. 
And one day, he left me too. 

So when my program director tells us that she is looking into getting a participant that she can guarantee has a cognitive disability in the form of mild dementia, my stomach knotted and the tears pressed on the backs of my eyes.

The longer I sat there listening to everyone talk about the study and cognitive impairments, the knot grew.

I felt myself shrinking on the inside. 
Hiding from the pain, the despair, the feelings. 
I had to choke down the desire to run from the room. 
I had to keep my stomach where it belonged. 
I had to keep the tears from forming.

I stayed silent.
Silently planning on asking to be excused from that session for personal reasons.
The feelings were too close, the fear too real.

Then salvation. 

They were not calling on any more participants. I would not have to ask to be excused from the session. I could breathe again. And breathe I did.

When I got home, I turned on my music and climbed in the shower. As the water washed away the tension, I breathed.

I am now in my safe zone. I have my music, and my brain is distracted. 

I can breathe. 

Not deeply, not yet. The feelings are still to real. Too close. But I will survive this moment of panic, this bit of anxiety. 

**Deep Breath**

Tomorrow can be better.

13 January 2013

Hearts and Reason

Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point.
My hearts has its reasons for wanting what it wants, but my poor brain cannot wrap its head* around why.

No matter how many times my brains says "heart, that's not possible." My heart goes on believing that its reasons are infallible. It sees things and knows things that my brain cannot.

One day, they'll get together on the same page, right?

Full quote:
Le cœur a ses raisons, que la raison ne connaît point. On le sent en mille choses. C'est le cœur qui sent Dieu, et non la raison. Voilà ce que c'est que la foi parfaite, Dieu sensible au cœur.          Blaise Pascal

*See what I did there?