The guests leave. I breathe a sigh of relief. I stop breathing. I hold my breath. I hold it so hard that I start to panic. I let it out. My Dad has a heart attack.
My Dad has a heart attack.
I am so beyond panicked at this point, that I allow myself to stay home and pretend that this isn't real. This can't be real. My Dad is my best friend. Outside of the immediate members of this family under this roof, my Dad is my best friend. This isn't happening.
I white knuckle the ride in the passenger seat to go get him, I can't allow myself to think about the ride back. With my Dad. With my Dad broken in the passenger seat. I am driving. I can't drive in the dark. There are too many unknowns that happen alongside highways at night. I am making him nervous. We pull over to get the kids some dinner and he gets behind the steering wheel. I am making him nervous. I white knuckle the ride back home in the passenger seat. Knowing a stint will slip. Knowing an unknown clot will float towards his brain. I can't stop thinking what if, what if, what if... What if my Husband gets into an accident right in front of us. I am paralyzed with fear. We make it home and I am ok once again.
My Dad needs me. He needs me to go places with him. To walk slow beside him, making both of us look normal. He needs me. I go to an interview, I do well. They want to hire me. I am so paralyzed with fear at being away from my children for 50 hours a week making money necessary for us to survive and get back onto our own two feet that as I'm pulling into our neighborhood I realize every last muscle is seizing up on me. I can't unfurl my fingers from the twisted positions they're in. I am passing out.
My Husband saves me, drives me home. I can barely make the walk to the bedroom to curl up on the bed. I can't do this. I have to make this stop. This has to stop. This is INSANE. Why can't I talk myself down out of this panic? I can't cry no matter how hard I want to. Please let me cry, I just want to cry. I text my Mom to come get me. I don't care where I go, I just want this to stop. I kiss my Husband, my kids, tell them I need to go to the doctor. That I hope to be home in time to make them breakfast. I get into the car and arrive at the Emergency Room.
I pace the floor, flapping my hands, wanting to feel anything. My Mom sits me down, hands me a tissue and rubs my back. The floodgates open. I can feel. I still feel like I can't breathe. They offer me medication. The same medication my therapist had offered mere hours before my interview. I denied it then thinking I could fight this. That I am so much stronger than I think and that I can defeat my own demons. I start removing my jacket, please, PLEASE just give me a shot. Give me an I.V. give me a pill. I need relief. I need this to stop. Please make it stop. I'm given two pills of my original prescription of the drug I had refused before. I drink their ice water faster than they can give it to me. When had I stopped drinking? When had I eaten last?
I'm no longer pacing. The tears come and they fall and they are so welcome here. I never knew how good it could feel to just let it go. To not be strong. To be so human.
Two days out. I still find myself telling myself that I'm not allowed to cry. That I have to be strong for EVERYONE. I have been putting this post off because I KNEW it would make me cry, that I just might break down. I am sobbing. Lo just came up and put his hand on my arm to tell me he loves me. I am loved. I am loved and needed, but I am human.
The hardest part of all of this is saying no. I want to be there for everyone. I want to. But, no. I can't. I have the most important people in my life, my top priorities here under this roof. And I know I have family that needs me as well, but the answer is no. NO NO NO. I'm getting used to saying it, it's just hard to fully believe it in my heart.
I still panic. I still don't want to think about driving or leaving my neighborhood. I don't want to be this person. But, I don't have to be her. I don't have to be scared... and I know that. I also know it will take time.
So please, keep an eye out for me. I'm still here. I'm still listening to your beautiful stories and I'm still crying alongside you when you're pouring your hearts out. But now, I might actually be crying real tears for you, because life ISN'T fair, but it is what we make it.
2012 is about making this life my own... about finding me under all of this mess. I'm here somewhere, and I am beautiful and happy and above all else, loved.