Gratitude For Real

Thanks to everyone, readers, family, friends, who sent their well wishes and congratulations on my 4th Anniversary of being sober. The little card above is from my baby sister. Jack brought me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers I’ve ever seen, seriously, and it includes peonies (!) so I melted. Photos from Broken Camera. He also brought macaroons! Swoon. And truffles! Died. And not only were they truffles, they were truffles shaped like ice cream cones. I mean, seriously? How stupendous is that. Because of the funny shape, I wasn’t really expecting them to be traditional truffles, but they were the real deal. The outer layer snapped perfectly when bitten, and the creamy inner layer just melted.

I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

The only thing that marred the event, was that I happened to have a full-blown panic attack, which Jack witnessed. Actually, it didn’t mar the event at all. It was simply reality. “Welcome to being my boyfriend,” I said. That pretty much sucked, but he would have seen it at one point or another, even though they’ve been happening less frequently. Maybe once a week or less.. versus every or every other day.

I always feel guilty and embarrassed when someone goes through that with me for the first time. The attacks essentially render me useless: I can’t form complete sentences, my mind gets completely overwhelmed, my whole body shakes, my heart starts beating irregularly and super-fast and I feel like I’m about to die. The longest ones last only about 30 minutes.

Very few people with someone who has anxiety of this kind know what to “do” when it happens. I wasn’t able to explain it at the time, but all I want is a minimum of talking, more holding and soothing. Then it goes away.

A long, long time ago, I’d be given a martini (in a cup). So, here’s a testament to the ills of self-medication: not a good idea for me. Even though I still get them, maybe one day the panic will go away. For now, it’s manageable, it’s tolerable. And I’m not kept prisoner by it or by drinking.

So it was a good day.

This morning was even better.

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