I think that all of our issues and situations are what we make them. We can tolerate things that are beyond our control. We can react calmly, and assess the situation logically. Or we can have a panic attack and roam the airport waiting room, sad music of our own creation resounding in our brains as we bemoan the imaginary loss of an unformed infant.
I think that I learnt this very profoundly this week.
My body was aching and exhausted when the cramps began. Then the blood began to flow. I panicked and googled feverishly, but I carried on as usual. I told myself I wouldn’t cry until I knew for certain. When ‘it’ happened, and I was sitting in the bathroom staring at ‘it’, there were no tears. After I emerged, and my eyes met my husband’s across the hotel lobby, and he nodded at me and picked up my bag, we walked for some time in complete silence. In the airport it hit me with full force and I reacted as a child might have done. I was moody and off with anybody who I had to talk to, even my husband. I cried a little in the bathroom.
“Stay with me. Stay strong” my husband said, numerous times.
‘What does that even mean?’ I wondered.
I wasn’t breaking down. I wasn’t saturated in grief. I was still me.
When the plane took off, and my fear of flying began to kick in, my fingers gripping my husband’s until the area where my skin met his was white and bloodless, I felt a panic attack coming on.
Oh no. The plane is shaking. The seatbelt sign came on. God why did it come on. Why is the attendant speaking to the pilot. Does she look worried? Make that man shut up, I can’t hear the engines. Why are the engines making that noise. Oh my GOD. Oh My God. I am going to die, this is it. It’s over. Ok. We’re going to crash. We’re shaking so much. This cannot be normal.
Heavy breathing. Heart pumping. Blood roaring in my ears. It was happening. My vision was suddenly clouding.
Then I sat up a little and took my hands back. Why? Why worry. Why dramatise things. Why live in my head and not in reality. Yes. You lost a pregnancy at 5 weeks. Did you really lose it? You aren’t sure yet. You haven’t seen a doctor. Are you a doctor? No. Why jump to conclusions. Yes, the plane is shaking. Doesn’t it always? And don’t you always go through this gut wrenching fear? Whatever for, for heaven’s sake! You’re still here aren’t you!
Is it worth it?
I found out what Damian means when he says ‘stay with me’. He wants me to stay in reality with him, and not migrate into my head, and live my own dramatised, illogical life there.
I don’t know if a lot of people are guilty of that. If any of you are, it’s going to be okay. A few sleeps, some hours, and you will emerge again. And if you don’t, you’re dead, and it won’t matter anymore.
My grandmother was a worrier. She worried until her poor heart gave up on her. She worried until her last breath, over the slightest thing.
She owned this book: