Saturday, May 28, 2011

Journey Toward Healing: Part One

I went to see my therapist the other day.  She walked out to the waiting room to get me and said "Oh, my God.  OH...MY...GOD." .  By the look on her face, I thought she might cry or, perhaps, explode.  Down the long hallway to her office, she repeatedly turned around, watching me intensely.  We couldn't get inside the room and shut the door fast enough.   I knew what she was responding to.  It had worked, and this declaration was oozing from my pores.

Sometime at the beginning of May, I began experiencing the frighteningly familiar waves of anxiety that had paralyzed me last fall.  I was terrified, that I was, again, heading down a very dark road, with no other path to trod but the one leading to the inevitable imprisonment of my being by the warden of fear.  If you have never experienced severe anxiety/panic attacks, this may seem to be a bit melodramatic.  I get that.  Three years ago I would have thought the same thing.  Until you've battled the terror of losing control of your nervous system, you cannot imagine how devastating this is, and how the most basic of tasks becomes nearly impossible to complete.

At that point, my therapist looked deeply into my eyes and said "Judy, this is a spiritual issue, and all of the meds in the world aren't going to solve it....a colleague of mine has a weekend intensive healing program...and I need you to trust me and go."

So, on the morning of May 19th, I boarded a flight, bound for West Palm Beach, Florida- the first airplane I've been on, alone, in fifteen years.  I'd had only about ten days to make the arrangements, and with the anxiety and the issues of daily living, and parenting four children, I didn't have the time to ponder the details of the trip, or how petrified I was of flying.  I packed twenty minutes before I left for the airport- the smallest of duffel bags, containing nothing more than the most necessary items- 2 pairs of leggings, 2 shirts, undergarments, my favorite necklace, books, and enough pharmaceuticals to sedate a horse.  I remember crossing the threshold of the gate, onto the jet, grasping all of the courage I could muster.  Then letting go- knowing that this was it for me- this journey. This was my hope.

This was all that I had.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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