Journal Entry #77
*Although I have shared almost all of my journal entries, I didn’t realize that some of the ones that I didn’t share would prove to be relevant at this juncture of the journey. Some days, when I am tired, in pain or unfocused, my journal entries are short, with little context or story line. Some days they are just jot notes resembling a list. I write what I can, when I can. This entry is a compilation of earlier excerpts that didn’t have a place on my storyline until now.*
This would normally be the time of year that we would start talking about warm winter vacations. We danced around the topic yesterday when we were asked if we would like to go to Cuba with family over the Christmas holidays. We briefly discussed it and quickly dismissed the idea. Well, mostly I dismissed the idea. How could we possibly go away? How would that look to the world after receiving all of those donations? Plus, I have been feeling so crappy, I can’t imagine planning a trip right now, not to mention I can’t even imagine setting foot on a tropical beach!
Tim and I were talking about doing a family winter vacation today. I suggested that we could get away as a family and go skiing or something wintery. No one really jumped on the idea…it is clear that this is a ‘summer weather’ type of family. I am going to have to start dealing with this anxiety that bubbles up when I am outside, when I hear buzzing and even when I just think about a beach. I am really sad. I used to love to travel and now when I think about it, it brings up so many fears that I get overwhelmed. I know I have to deal with this – I want to travel and explore again someday.
After my session with Terry Green on the weekend, I can see a bigger picture of responsibility within myself. Whether or not I am aware of it, I am modeling how to heal and overcome tough circumstances to my kids. I’ve been so open with them through this whole process. After seeing their reaction when I delayed using the word Chemotherapy with them (I had just been calling it medicine), I know I can’t shield them from all of this. They know I am counselling, they see me tapping (EFT), journaling, meditating and going to doctor appointments. They are seeing how I am taking care of myself and are witnessing me set new boundaries. I really want to feel better. Inside, mentally and emotionally I am struggling. This isn’t easy and I hope that it is okay for the kids to see that. Regardless, I am the only one that can push through this anxiety and worry. Dr. Brown has doubled the antidepressant that I am taking. This insidious onset coupled with anxiety can be crippling some days (like today)…so I am avoiding all triggers.
Even though I am coping in survival mode today, just doing the best I can, this isn’t the example I want to set for the kids. I want to show them that when shitty stuff happens in life, it is possible to recover and live again. I want to show them brave.
Early November 2019
I’m not sure if I am leveling out or sinking deeper into depression? I know that we are coming into a busy time of year and I just can’t get motivated to start planning or preparing. I’ve really been spending so much of my free time reading, researching and discussing PTSD. I think we have become a society that is addicted to labeling EVERYTHING. This is a label I don’t want. Yes, call a thing a thing…I don’t really care what the doctors/therapists and counsellors want to label me. All I care about is getting through it…learning how to cope…learning how to take back the control. How can a microscopic bug, invisible to the naked eye cause PTSD? How the brain works when it comes to trauma, memories and pain is simply beyond me. I do know, that I don’t want to live with this impending fear for the rest of my life. I don’t want to teach my kids that it is okay to make decisions in life based upon fear. I want my kids to be brave, to make decisions based upon what they deem appropriate for themselves. I want my kids to know that even when faced with the most challenging situations, perseverance is something we are all capable of.
During my last intensive session with Terry Green, I discovered that my desire to be well is stronger than the trauma of the bugs. I am connected to ALL and ALL is connected to me. I had this feeling of being one piece of the bigger puzzle of life. And yet, all the pieces are important in the picture. When one piece is disembodied, the other pieces won’t fit into place either. All pieces are necessary and every piece is essential.
Although I am ready to accept this responsibility and am determined to get through this phase of healing, I am not sure that I will ever be ready for travel. Tim reminded me that we promised each other to go away somewhere special in 2020 for our 15th Anniversary. We went to Italy on our 10th Anniversary and we made so many amazing memories together. I can’t go back on my promise to him, but I can’t imagine going away either.
Late November 2019
I suggested Scotland, Ireland and Iceland. Tim says it isn’t the right time of year to visit those countries. He really wants to go away so that we can reconnect and have some quiet downtime together. I want that too. I really do! I’ve spent some time looking at other potential places:
- Hondurasand Roatan– not a chance – Sand flea and Sand fly capital of the world!
- Costa Rica – having been there before there is a comfort level, but I’ve learned since being there that CR is the line of demarcation between New World and Old World Parasites.Meaning it is the gateway to an excessive amount of deadly parasites.
- Not going back to Belize.Probably ever – even though it was beautiful.
- Mexico – I had a major stomach issue (probably a parasite) there once when I was younger…there are bugs there too.
- All Inclusive Packages (Mexico, Dominican, Cuba, Mt. Lucia, Puerto Rico, Bahamas, Barbados…)– the beaches just make my skin crawl.Literally, my skin crawls and I start itching everywhere!
Tim suggested that we look at places we have never been – maybe a place that we have never heard of and don’t know anything about. And what about looking at places that aren’t on the beach? What about looking for a place that doesn’t look or feel like anywhere else we have been before?
Our travel friends, Cam and Alicia have been researching too. They have asked if we would all like to go away together this winter. My answer should be “Yes!” But my insides clench with “No!” I love traveling with them. We have similar interests, love equal down time and adventure. Are spontaneous and also organized. We ALWAYS make amazing memories on our travels. But I this time I am terrified. About several things:
- What will people think of us if we go away this winter after all those generous donations came in AND I am not back to work full time yet?
- How can we afford it?
- Can I afford to live with the consequences of my thoughts and this fear?
I’ve reluctantly agreed to go away. Which means I am going to have to push through this denial, stop procrastinating and start dealing with my shit.
We’ve decided on a little island called Bequia within the Grenadine Islands.
I am terrified.
We were able to fly entirely on points, and have chosen an Air B&B (lower level of a house) with a pool. It is up a hill and away from the beach. It looks beautiful and I am trying really hard to picture myself lounging poolside with a Rum Punch. Even though I still can’t drink!
The island is small, but looks like it has a really unique Island vibe. Something clearly lives there because in the pictures I saw bug nets over the beds. But I am not going to look it up.
I’m going to coast through the holidays without excavating anymore inner turmoil. I don’t do denial well, and I can feel the pressure getting to me. Out of sight, out of mind. No more travel talk until the New Year…please!
It’s the new year, and according to my vision board, it is a year to THRIVE, a year to focus, to rise above problems and work towards wholeness again. I am committed to this. I mean, REALLY committed to this. Which means it is time to step out of denial and into reality.
The reality is that I will be traveling again in a month’s time.
And I am NOT ready.
But I will be.
I can’t put my finger on what exactly is holding me hostage. There isn’t one aspect that I can think of that is in the way. It is just everything. All of it is overwhelming. Planning, making arrangements for the kids, packing, flying, putting my feet in the sand, figuring out what the bug nets over the beds are trying to keep out, bugs, bugs, bugs…Where do I even start? How will I ever figure this all out in time? I have EFT, meditation, my journal, Tim and friends … but none of those things are inside my brain telling the synapses to fire! I need to figure out why my brain is on overdrive…hyper-firing. And then make it stop!
And now I find myself wondering, if this is all just in my head? Is any of this real? Have I just made up a story about traveling that makes me anxious?
What I do know is that in the past when I have travelled I have felt excitement and anticipation. Tonight, all I feel is dread.
I’m looking forward to spending the day with Terry Green again this weekend. I don’t know if it is my intuition or just a hopeful feeling but I think I’m destined for a breakthrough.
Fingers crossed I don’t breakdown before then.