Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Love is the Ultimate Reality & Other Reasons Not to Freak Out

Daisy Girl

I've had a few rough days to put it mildly.  That's why you've not heard from me. I have been feeling too raw, challenged by my emotion disregulation -- a state of existence that can also be called "Freaking Out to the Point of Paralysis."

Just because I'm working the program, so to speak, utilizing the techniques I have learned so far through Dialectical Behavior Therapy, well, that doesn't mean that my symptoms have just disappeared.  Quite the contrary.

But it does mean that when this happens, I have a sense of what is really going on and I have coping mechanisms -- healthy coping mechanisms, as opposed to the old, rotten, self-destructive ones that I have lived with since I was rather young.

Anyway, long story short: Toby cat had one simple symptom and was perfectly normal otherwise. We thought it was something but that didn't go away so we took him to the vet and he just has some allergy stuff going on. He got an antihistamine and is fine now.

Simple, right?  Wrong.  When stress and normal human emotions feel like tidal waves and your brain can't discern the difference between TOTAL EMERGENCY and minor regular schtuff, well, it is a snowball turned avalanche kind of way to be.  (Sorry about mixing metaphors and all that.)

I immediately think someone is going to die.  That my life will end as I know it.  That I will never be happy ever again.  That I am too...fragile...not strong enough for these things that other people seem to be able to...handle.

None of that is true, of course. My brain is not like your brain. It processes emotion way too big and then it takes a very long time to come down.

This was all happening and I was a mess but I also was not the mess I would have been six months ago.

And during the entire thing, I was praying and meditating on my inability to trust this life, to believe in the love of it.

So here are some reasons I contemplated for NOT freaking out:
  • Life is essentially beautiful.  All of it. Including the end of life.  It all matters.
  • Love is the Ultimate Reality, the Ground Luminosity (to borrow a Buddhist term).  Love exists and is not something that can ever, by anything, be destroyed.
  • Which brings us to the Big One: Death is not the end of anything. It is just change. I still have loving, meaningful relationships with the loved ones who have passed over, including Jobie, Rosie, Ernie, and Scottie Cats, and my Great Aunt Dell, who guides me with her light and laughter to this day.
That's it.  Those few, intertwined things are all that matters.


ladybug said...

Thank you for this post...I've been facing my own emotional tsunami lately and these words from you were a loving gift.


svasti said...

I recognise these states you're talking about. I think this is why it's possible for days or weeks to go by unnoticed. There's just too much information to process sometimes and it's so intense and overwhelming!

Still have those experiences sometimes, when the waves of anxiety rise up and before I know it the drum beat of doom has kicked off it's rolling thrum. My heart is racing and nothing will slow it down again but time (I've tried).

As you say though, it can get better with concerted effort. Like I've found. And like you're also finding.

Blessings to you, Marcy and the animals (a whole bunch of good reasons not to freak out!) xo

Gretchen said...

Thank you for your continued honesty about the emotions you're dealing with and your bravery to talk about them. So often, we don't talk about the most difficult things in our lives with the people around us and that causes us to feel as though no one truly knows us. You are a true example of the way that being honest about what's going on in your life helps yourself, helps those around you, and helps others, like those of us reading your blog.