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In Case of Emergency Break Glass

August 21, 2007

Wow, I am flattered. So many comments on my very first post ever. I am both excited and a little scared. I am not a great writer, nor do I always have a lot to say. So I guess I’m feeling a little performance anxiety. 

Anxiety. Sigh. Yup I have it. Mostly it’s about my health. I tend to think way too much about my health. As time passes you will come to learn more about some of the issues that I deal with. But what I have been grappling with lately is the cause of my mini axiety attacks. I’ve had full blown axiety attacks in the past, self-diagnosed, but it didn’t take me long to figure out what was happening. 

I had been downsized from my job. A career really, or that’s how I saw it then.  A very good position, in a very stable corporation, in the field that I had gone to college for.  I had started there almost right after college. Well, almost. There was a brief two weeks where I worked for the University as a Technician for the Psychology department. I’m not sure, but I think I was supposed to fix computers, deliver A/V equipment for the Profs, and help build rat mazes with lights and buzzers. I quit after two weeks, thanking the dean for the oppurtunity, but explaining that I was bored to tears and wanted something more challenging.

Not long after I landed my dream job, and spent six years learning and getting very good at something that I loved and found rewarding. Then profits dipped a bit, the shareholders got antsy.  Ten thousand people had to go, and I was one of them. My options were to take a position in Toronto, or take a buyout.  I chose plan B.

At the time I was still taking the local disabled transit service. I remember when it happened, it was winter or late fall, quite cool out and I was wearing a heavy jacket. I was sitting directly behind the driver. My chair was strapped down tight to the floor. I was on my way home just a few days before my last day. The thoughts of “what now” were filling my head. Where will I work? How am I going to pay the bills? And even a sense that I was losing my identity. Who was I if I was not that guy who works there and fixes those things and makes people happy? My breathing got more and more rapid, my heart was racing. And then everything snowballed. I felt trapped. If I could have I would have run off the bus, but I was ratcheted to the floor. It was so hot, why is the heater on so high? Am I having a heart attack? Why is my heart pounding so much? I cant breathe……oh God I can’t breathe! I was looking around frantically and even considered grabbing the emergency axe right behind the driver to cut myslef loose. To go where? I don’t know, but at least to regain a minute amount of control over my life. I managed to mutter to the driver that I didn’t feel well.  She asked me if I wanted her to pull over, or was there something she could do.  That snapped me out of it a bit. Was there something she could do? No. No there wasn’t. 

My brain rewound itself to age 9. I was in the hospital awating yet another major operation on my spine. And I was scared. Terrified in fact. Whimpering in bed clutching my teddy bear (pitou).  A nurse came in to see how I was doing and noticed how panicked I was.  She asked what was wrong and why was I fretting so much. I explained it to her.  What she told is something I try to use every day of my life. She said “Is the surgery happening tomorow?” I nodded yes, tears flowing down my face. “is there anything you can do to stop it?” I nodded no, breathing in those short little heaves a child does after crying. “Then why are you fretting? There is no sense getting yourself worked up over something that’s going to happen wether you like it or not, ok? Understand?”  I nodded. I had no idea what that nutty old fool was yammering about. They were going to cut into me the next day. If wanted to be scared and poop a brick over it, that was my business!! 

But those words have gotten me through some rough stuff over years. They registered somewhere in my head. Were stored there for use later in life. And I have needed them. Often. And it pulled me out of my panic on that day. My job was gone. Nothing I could do about it. I will wake up tomorow, and the next day, and the day after that. Just like I did after the surgery. And I’ll deal with whatever is there when I wake up.

It’s funny you know, when I think about people that have left such a deep mark on me over the years, and realize that most of them probably don’t even know it. I’m sure that nurse doesn’t know it.  I have to wonder whom I have left a mark on? What words of wisdom have I planted in someone’s head? I guess I’ll never know.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynn permalink
    August 22, 2007 2:30 am

    Depending on how many people read this blog…and how many take in what you said, well you have helped that many people! You just taught them Lesson One in Postive Thinking and Thought Control or/How to Control Your Own Thoughts!
    And doing this Controls Anxiety! I know I happen to be an expert in this particular area!
    Way to Go!

  2. August 22, 2007 5:46 am

    I was thinking about that the other day as well: how many people we touch deeply without even knowing it, simply by being ourselves and doing or saying what comes naturally to us. I realise it when someone tells me “I’ll never forget the time you did XXXXX for me” or “… the time you said xxxxxxxx and it did so-and-so for me” … for things that were so simple that I’ve forgotten about them years later, but they changed that person’s life.

  3. August 22, 2007 10:46 am

    Um, I thought you said you weren’t a very good writer! Pfft!!
    You can take this for what it is or chuck it straight out the window, but I do intuitive readings and healings for people and the minute I started reading this I was told that you need to carry a piece of Haematite (crystal) with you. Haematite supports the base chakra and greatly helps us ground ourselves. As I said, take it or leave it, I won’t be offended!
    I used to have panic attacks, they’re awful, so you have my empathy x

  4. August 22, 2007 12:15 pm

    I agree with Simonne…you are a good writer.

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