Monday, May 14, 2012

Something of a Breakthrough

Well friends, since I share with you quite frequently when I fuck shit up or utterly fail at managing my anxiety I share it with you, I figured I might as well share when I do something right too.

Yesterday I was napping because that's what you do on stormy Sundays, and when I woke up I went straight to my phone to check out the fire situation.  We've been planning on Rob getting called out soon since Arizona is lighting the F up, so I've been checking even more often than usual. Anyway I noticed a fire had started within the last hour and a half or so and that two crews of Rob's designation had been called.  I immediately figured he'd be called out, and within 10 minutes he texted me with extreme verbosity, "going to az."

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Dids upon hearing her Robbie wasn't coming home.

Now, the last time this happened, I totally fucking dissolved at this point.  I was more or less non-functional for the entire 3.5 days he was gone and I'm sad to say that isn't an exaggeration.  When I walked into my therapy appointment that week I literally couldn't hold it together long enough to make it to the chair without crying.

This time I was somewhat prepared because I'd been steeling myself for it for weeks and because I've been researching non-stop.  It hit me and it sucked, but I didn't cry.  Instead, building off of what my therapist and I have been working on the last few weeks, I acknowledged the emotion and acknowledged that it was just that--an emotion.  Valid, of course, but it doesn't by definition come from a rational place.  I reminded myself that I am loved, that Rob would be home eventually, and that 2 weeks (the maximum amount of time he can be gone) isn't fucking forever no matter how much it feels like that.

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The problem I normally have in these situations is that I lack the ability to regulate my emotions.  When I feel a strong emotion--like sadness or fear--it hits me full-force straight in the gut.  In that way, being sad that Rob is gone for 14 days--decidedly not the end of the world--feels like, well, the end of the world.  Once I get too deeply mired in the "emotional mind" as my therapist calls it, I can't claw my way out and end up just running on autopilot. This time was totally different.  I felt sad, but it didn't feel like my whole day (or week, or weeks) was/were about to be affected adversely.

At first I felt terrified to move from my bed, afraid I'd jar the newfound peace and end up wallowing in tears again.  But I jumped up, half-surprised at how easily I did so, and took the dog for a walk.  I texted the fire-wives and made plans for dinner at a new restaurant, and took the dog for yet another walk beforehand to help stem the tide of her excitement while I was gone.  I had a great time with the ladies and I feel really fucking good about these next few weeks.

My footing on my emotional peace feels tenuous at best at this point - I'm afraid that if one day I don't get a phone call or if he seems distant (usually I read "exhausted" as "distant") I'll dissolve all over again.  But for now I'm allowing myself to be proud that I seem to be handling this better than I ever could've imagined, and without even realizing I was doing it.  Since you guys are always there to hear my nonsense I wanted to share it with you.  Have a wonderful week!

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  1. I'm really glad that you are doing better. :)

  2. I'm really glad that you are doing better. :)


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