I was running errands today and found myself next to the Denver Bronco stadium. Of course I gawked like a tourist, but I didn't wreck or cause any accidents as far as I know, so life is still very good! ;) I was cruisin' along and saw some interesting shops so I stopped and browsed. I visited with employees and customers alike and then went merrily on my way. I was grinning like a fool over the fun I was having when I suddenly remembered an incident from my past. It was 1999 or so and I was living in a small town in Montana, population 250. The nearest "real" grocery store was 40 miles away in the largest city In Montana (pop 90k) and since we couldn't live on food from the 7/11 store, I had to shop there once a month. I hated the trips for many reasons. The traffic was horrible (in comparison to Bob, MT) and it terrified me. I'd drive to my destination, park quickly and run in, literally grab what I needed and then out again as fast as I could, saying very little to anyone. By the end of the trip I was always a basket case and it took me a few days to decompress and get back to "normal". Normal, mind you, was a continual state of fear and sadness. I hated myself and unconsciously felt that anyone who could possibly like me, (let along love me) had to be seriously flawed themselves. I pushed people away and hid myself away from anything that might possibly hurt me, which to me at the time was absolutely everything! I let very few people in through my walls, and no one knew the real me. I was absolutely convinced that if they did, they would run away screaming and never return.
It was late fall, and I was heading to Billings. As usual, I was anxious and afraid. I hurried through my list was shaking like a leaf when I finished my stops. A voice in my head was screaming "get out of here, get out of here, get out of here, get out of here, over and over in my head! I was pulling out of a business with this thought echoing madly in my mind, when I heard a loud car horn and the sound of brakes on pavement. I remember tensing for the collision and then nothing. The next thing I remember was waking up on the couch at home. I had no recollection of the past hour and a half or of how I'd gotten there. As soon as my head cleared, I ran out and checked the car for damage. What a huge relief that there was none!
To this day I have no idea what happened, but I am very grateful that there was no accident. I went to my doc the next day and was put on medication. I took those meds for years, living a life free from episodes like that, but it wasn't a full life. I know that they are a must have for some folks, but I was not one of them. I felt cheated all of the time. Sure, I was spared from being soul wrenchingly sad, but I was also unable to be ecstatically happy about anything and for me, living in the middle zone of emotion was not all it was cracked up to be. After a few years that became intolerably dull but the fear of returning to "those" days kept me faithful. Finally, twelve years later, in 2011, I was able to heal my body, which in turn, healed my mind. Now I am dashing into stores, chit chatting with anyone and everyone, and driving all over Denver, a city with a population of somewhere around a million, without being concerned or worried at all! I cannot begin to express to you how grateful I am for how my life has turned out. For those of you in pain. Please remember to H.O.P.E.