Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This one’s for me

“A famous writer once wrote, ‘An author can be seen as three things:  a storyteller, a teacher, or a magician – but the magician, the enchanter, is in the ascendant.’  I always thought he was right about that.”
~ Mortimer in Inkheart

Heath jokingly told me he’s going to stop putting movies into the Netflix queue that are based on books because I ignore everyone and everything to read.  I loved the movie Inkheart and I loved the book too.  It almost makes me want to try writing fiction again.  I haven’t done that in years.  There’s a time and a season to all things and right now my family is my priority.  Blogging is how I can quickly preserve my stories and have a few minutes to call my own. 

My heart is heavy today.  I’m sitting on the fence debating over who I am and I how I feel about it.  On the one side I feel angry with myself for deciding I can’t go to Utah right now but I had to make that decision or check myself into the ER on a valium drip.  Then I think of the number of news stories lately about plane issues.  Forget about two weeks ago-ish and my constantly racing heart knowing in the back of my mind I was supposed to be on a plane to Utah with Gwen.  If I had found a way to silence that fear and go anyway I think I would have died trying to board a Southwest plane days after a 5 ft. long piece came off the fuselage.  Maybe the fear wasn’t fear but a premonition not to go right now!  Then again, maybe not. 

The doctor doubled my Zoloft dosage and prescribed Xanax as a quick fix when needed.  I don’t know how to feel about that.  I told Heath that it seems strange that my endocrinologist is making these decisions for me.  I don’t think he’s stupid or a drug pimp or anything but I don’t know if I should find someone who has more time and expertise to treat this part of me.  But then again, I see how invested he is in some sort of solution.  Good diabetes management is his job and the longer I stay in the mountains and valleys of my blood sugar readings, the more it’s causing damage to my body.  The doctor told me my anxiety is directly related to my overall diabetes management.  Stress produces some diabetic term I hadn’t heard before and can’t remember now but it didn’t sound good.  So we have to fix this. 

So then I think how do you fix something that is so ingrained in my mind that I don’t know any differently?  My heart rarely races anymore so the stress comes out in other ways, usually tears.  I still can’t be a passenger in a car anywhere without freaking out.  I drove to the doctor’s office just fine today but coming home, the part that is always the easy part was so not the easy part today.  Heavy traffic, construction, brake lights, cement barriers that narrow the right lane, huge semis everywhere, jackrabbit drivers weaving in and out of traffic at top speed despite all the signs saying the speed limit is only 55 in the construction zones, cars honking for who knows what reason, and the list goes on.  I never cried.  I stared so hard at the car in front of me I was afraid I would get tunnel vision and not see anyone else around me so I forced myself to blink and stop staring.  I didn’t want to trust the drivers around me.  But what other choice is there?  That’s driving.  Hoping everyone is working together to get from point A to point B safely. 

It hurts too much to trust.  I’ve been burned too many times.  Will I ever get over that car accident?  What if I never do? 

I don’t even care whether or not medication can rewire my brain to actually entertain the idea of taking my kids to the beach one summer by myself.  I just want to get through a day without feeling the way I do. 

I’m a firm believer in mind over matter and out of sight out of mind mentality.  So how do I face the labels of who I am?  Diabetic.  Agoraphobic.  Anxious.  Woman. 

No one is their illness or disability.  They are still a person.  That was the first thing I learned in my Intro to Special Ed class in college.  It was one of the reasons why I decided to major in Special Education.  Person first.  Disability second.  Not diabetic but girl with diabetes.  Today I feel so low I just wonder what if I am my illness and what if I should give these things more direct attention than I do?  What if I die young because I spent all my time trying to be normal and not playing the diabetic victim? 

This is why I’m fine with having a bottle of Xanax in my cupboard.  The doctor warned me that I need to be careful when I choose to use it since it can be addicting.  Being the all or nothing person I am I have already thought I may always need it only to have my next thought be I will never need it.  For now, I think I will feel better knowing it’s in the cupboard.  How many times have I promised myself a Diet Coke later only to have it sit in the fridge for days?  Sometimes knowing it’s there is enough to get me through. 

I’ll try to be cheerier tomorrow.  I just need to allow myself a mourning period.  Today, well and the last month or two or three have been a lot to take in.  I don’t believe in suppressing my feelings anymore.  I spent too many years pretending to be fine when I was anything but so I let it all out now in order to move on.  Feel sad, feel mad, feel whatever.  Just feel it then move on. 

4 thoughts:

Becca Jane said...

I felt like I could have written this post! You already know about my SEVERE fear of flying...yeah, stuff like Southwest does NOT help ease my nerves!! My fear of driving has become increasingly worse as each year passes, and I don't even have an accident to base the fear on (knock on wood). I literally say a prayer in my head every time I leave my parking lot. I miss my zoloft SOOOOO bad, and I can't wait to get back on it in August!!! It's tough being an "anxious woman". It's exhausting! I get tired of seeing everyone around being all relaxed while I'm completely freaking out inside. I don't know if you read my post from yesterday, but I just wrote about how AWFUL I have felt, emotionally, during this pregnancy. Well, through it all, prayer, scripture study and simply having faith sustains me. My patriarchal blessing told me that I will always find comfort in the scriptures, and that has definitely been the case. Love ya! Wish were still able to hang out every day!!

The Piquant Storyteller said...


I just read your post and I'm sorry you feel so extra emotional with this pregnancy. Your family has been through a lot though this time around. It must be really difficult to know that your medication would help you except that you can't take it right now.

Faith sustains me as well. I feel strongly that I am now ready to deal with the anxiety. I feel like there is much to learn from this challenge and I also think that maybe my journey will help someone else. I hope so anyway.

I want to capture these feelings even though they're negative so I can see my own growth. By the time I posted this, several hours after writing it, I felt better and much more hopeful. Thanks for your empathic comment. How did we never talk about this before I moved!

Ray Colon said...

Hi Tristan,

I read this post early in the week on my phone, but did not have an opportunity to respond.

First, I hope that you are feeling better by now. Deciding not to travel because of your health must have been tough, but it does seem to be the right call, even if it doesn't feel like it.

Flying is always stressful, and stories of planes coming apart during flight don't help. But when we think of the number of flights that are completely uneventful each day, it puts things in perspective.

That was some crazy stuff though -- open air planes.

"What if I die young because I spent all my time trying to be normal and not playing the diabetic victim?"

This question has been bouncing around in my mind since I read it. I suspect that there is some workable middle ground, even if I'm unable to identify it. That's probably the root of the problem - finding a balance that keeps you healthy and happy. Wish I could give you a magic solution.


The Piquant Storyteller said...

Hi Ray,

I am feeling better. Thank you. While traveling around town or the idea of going on vacation still panicks me, my other fears are slowly dissolving.

The diabetes part of the equation is interesting. Some days I feel really down about my so called lot in life and other days it's not a big deal. I think the older I get the more I think of my own mortality. I try not to look at my kids and think that everything changed when I chose to bring them into the world because I wouldn't go back and choose differently.

Diabetes is what it is. Some people can make a career out of it and blog about it every day but for me, I can't do that. I'm more than just another diabetic but sometimes, on the bad days, I wonder if I'm sabotaging myself by not being more out loud about it. That's where that statement you quoted came from.

You're right about the happy medium. I'm trying to find that happy medium with my anxiety because that's when my diabetes management is at its best. I'm just trying to cut myself some slack and be patient all at the same time. I know I will get better. I can't explain it but I know it.