Particularly at 12:21 am. Particularly when you're alone and the rest of the world is asleep and you're stuck trying to talk yourself down from one. In the dark. With no Xanax prescription. So I write. Hopefully it calms me enough that I can sleep in a bit. It's going to make waking up for early morning jiu jitsu practice brutal.
It feels like the weight of the past 6 years came crashing down on my head in the dark as I was trying to get to sleep. The past 6 years have kicked my ass. I've seen my husband through a 15-month combat deployment and major surgery, lost my father and my grandmother within 6 months of each other, watched friends face unimaginable horrors, said goodbye to more friends than I can count due to suicides, combat-related deaths, PCS moves, or simply life moving them on from me (some of these were blessings in disguise), faced ridiculous unexpected stresses related to MacGyver's Army career and the legal mess that spelled the end of it, multiple non-combat-related separations, his unemployment and subsequent employment in a foreign country plus that extended separation, and buying a house (our first!) on my own.
The panic attack makes sense (particularly given the fact that my closing date on the house falls right smack - TMI alert - in the middle of my PMS week...oy). But it still sucks.
The other night, I dreamt that I was driving my poor old sedan on the freeway in SoCal. And as I'm driving (through the tunnel that leads you under the runway at LAX), my steering wheel came off. It was quite the panicky chaotic scene as I tried to steer my car without a steering wheel. Obviously I'm processing more stress than I realized. My dream is about as good of a metaphor for my life as you could ask for - more often than not, I feel like I'm just kind of careening down the road with little to no control.
Tonight, before I could even crash out, the stress hit me so here I am at 12:30am typing away in an attempt to keep these demons away. I had turned off the light and was working on drifting off when I started thinking about our flight to Korea. I am not a fan of flying over water - never have been. Over an ocean that large, where the hell do you land if there is a mechanical issue? You don't. I've had many a nightmare about crashing in to the ocean. For some reason, flying over land doesn't bother me as much (I'm still not a huge fan of flying anymore. I used to be, as a kid but now it just makes me nervous) because in my mind, there are many places you can land a plane if you're over land. Not so much if you're stuck out over the Pacific Ocean. And the idea of crashing into the ocean terrifies me. Moreso if my children are on board with me. So, when I started thinking about our flight to Korea, it set my panic attack that has been building for weeks off like a firecracker. I can still feel my heart racing and I can't get my breathing to settle down.
I need a break. I need a hug. And I need for the next 2 months to hurry the hell up and be over so that we can be together again as a family. I need the next few years to be kind to me. Not easy, just kind. Because the last 6 have really kicked my ass. There's no shame in admitting that, right? I have none. This isn't too much to ask, is it? Don't answer that if you're going to disagree with me.
In my fantasy world, I could hit 'rewind' and go back to 2006. Back to the calm before this storm. Back to the 'before'. I'd be surrounded by good friends who were enduring the same challenges I was facing, before the sadnesses hit, before things really got rough. Maybe if I focus on those things, I can push the panicky feelings aside. Maybe it will help me feel less like I'm drowning. Maybe it will help me breathe.