Thursday, September 30, 2010

Too Good Not to Pass Along

So for the record, I'm doing all right - I'm still drafting Part II of "Invincible". I know you're waiting with baited breath....

But in the meantime, a well informed friend of mine with remarkable procurement skills found this article and passed it along.

(PG-13 warning: there are a few swears but they are not flagrant and/or directly pointed at anyone)

I felt like I had just heard a General Conference talk when I finished reading. This puts words, paragraphs and names to a bunch of things that I've been feeling angsty about and affected by.

Please read this and remember you're human, that's thats beautiful, and VERY NECESSARY.

By the way - I love you guys. I don't say that enough.


Thursday, September 23, 2010


Part I

I think that there are a few moments in every life where you're shown of what you are and are not made. This is my accounting of one that I had last week.

Growing up a Long/Dees it's very easy to feel, well, a bit super human. School and anything cerebral comes fairly easy. On the Long side, we're rarely sick, and if we ever are we usually just power through it. Sports come fairly easy, anything physical actually. When I was playing water polo and regularly lifting weights I put muscle on so fast I couldn't keep up with how strong I was becoming and Lennyed more than one hole in a wall and broken door frame. For the most part, people believe what you say, laugh at your jokes, seek your advice and value your company. As much, you grow up not really being affraid of anything. You can either think around, charm, or power through whatever situation you find yourself. I'm not going to lie, it's pretty damn awesome, most of the time.

As such, I begin to think that nothing can really hurt me until I realize that because I see things differently, I feel things differently and typically more extensively and I realize EVERYTHING can hurt me and regularly does, but typically I'm strong enough to bear the blows. I remind myself that it's imperative to feel feelings, but to let them pass through. They do not control me and that I'm strong enough to take it.

That all being said, last week while shopping for drain-o at an all but empty Lowe's after a church activity as I'm wandering the overwhelming isles of wrenches, drill bits, lawn chairs, carpet rolls, and weed killer I start wishing there was a 3D Google contraption that could let me just find the bloody drain-o. This particular task does not high-cogniative levels of problem solving so my mind starts wandering into girly places, inventorying the recent pairings and/or interests of my friends and the local boy club and realize that, for about the umpteenth time, I'm sans partner/interest/pursuer.

Everyone (in my Looney Toons mind) is about to gallivant paired into the sunset and I, again, am left at home, broom in hand, by myself.

This idea starts to upset me and instead of the familiar sting of tears at my eyes the focus is lower, in my chest. It starts to tighten like an asthma attack and I can only manage short shallow breaths. My heart starts pumping like a captured field mouse but I don't get light headed, I don't feel compelled to sit down, I don't want to cry, I just can't breathe and I don't know why and my heart feels like it's being dribbled against my sternum.

Being the Long I am, having assigned myself to a task, I take the physical discomfort, shove it aside, and continue on my drain-o search. I try to keep a steady breath, yoga breathing fixes everything right? Oxygen, the fastest way to detox the body. I finally find the drain-o, properly compare potentices with price and container size, get through the self check out (yoga breath, yoga breath, yoga breath), and make it to my car.

Tasks being completed, I turn my cartoony brain to the most pressing matter at hand, my insane body. I don't really have time to play Dr to myself but my body was demanding attention and if I know one thing its don't poo-poo anything that has to do with the chest/heart/ lung region.

So I sit there in my car, I inventory my racing heart, mentally cross referenceing it with other accounts from remembered NPR articles and friends' stories and my slew of Medical School friends running medical dialog. I rewind and review conversations, picking out pieces of information that seem to apply, come to a conclusion that I don't like at all but one whose evidence I can't refute. I sit there for a few minutes longer, rerunning my experience, the evidence, my existing knowledge of possible explanations and I realize I need more data to be sure. I reluctantly text my friend who has mentioned similar experiences before:

What does a panic attack feel like?

Replies come confirming all this weirdness. I realize the trigger, feel helpless and silly but that I cannot dismiss these feelings. They're demanding time and attention. But I have no idea how to explore them. Talking about them with anyone of my afore-mentioned friends and/or family would just trigger the route "Don't be sillys" and "You know you're wonderful" and "He'll come around some day" that never seem to make me feel better. Ever. If anything, they spray gas on the fire. I think they never comfort because that's never been the issue. My raw and unaddressed fear isn't a life without love, it's a life alone. I know I'm loved. That has never been an issue, but being left behind, being left out - that's what closes the shutters on my rationale.

Flashes of being on the tree-line Provo street of my child hood and having my big brother purposefully get his friends together in front of me and then ride off on their bikes while yelling behind him that I can't come along, that I'm weird and a pest, that I'm not invited and I'll get beat up if I try to follow. Family reunions where my cousins flitted off to the mall without even considering me. Those come crashing in and for a tic I feel a shudder go through out my consciousness, destabilizing things for a moment and I'm not sure if its a layer of delusion being stripped away or a layer of foundation being ripped out.

I look over at the drain-o on my passenger seat, remember the pressing task of a clogged bath tub at home, wipe the tears away to see straight, take a few more yoga breaths, decide I need to air this out later, start my car, shove aside my weaknesses and just keep going. That is the only thing I know how to do.

I'm not sure what to make of this new info but it'll keep for another day when I'm feeling stronger and a little bit less alone or maybe when I've got my red boots and bullet proof bracelets back on. Nothing can harm me then.