sometimes it’s a strategic retreat not a full scale sprint to safety

so i blew into oberlin, ohio expecting quality time with f2fb friend #1 my son eastman presser.  unfortunately, he was dealing with some major drama (girls), work (do they actually do that in college), and rehearsals for a concert he hoped i’d attend.  i had a full day to kill and it got to me.  i descended into my own personal form of darkness.

a chorus of voices in my head, each having their own lines--you're a bad mom, you're a failure as a writer, you have squandered your youth, you will never find happiness, you are going to die alone and broke, you gained ten pounds and look disgusting. . .

oddly, i was at the computer so i posted a status that i was having a major anxiety attack.  i was looking up where the oberlin hospital is located.  i wondered if they had state of the art cardiac and stroke care.  then i noticed lots of messages and comments popping up from facebook friends.  breathe, a great many suggested.  take a hot shower.  watch the movie enchanted april (hey, if i knew how to get the television to work in my room i would!), go out and sing the national anthem, someone wrote and pretend you can do it better than whitney houston.  well, i can but that’s only because she can’t do it anymore at all.  hugs, many sent me and others sent me their own experiences. i’m not alone.  i was really really really touched.  this is exactly the sort of thing that makes mark zuckerberg’s creation meaningful.

i pulled it together to get to eastman’s performance at a recital by michael pisaro who is visiting from the california institute of the arts near los angeles.  what he does with a two minute “rest”–well, he definitely solves the Mozart problem of too many notes.

an hour and a half of experimental, atonal music–very modern and sophisticated.  my stomach growling drew the attention of several audience members.  an hour and forty five minutes no intermission.

and then i went back to the hotel room, took two ativan and got into bed.  thinking about pennsylvania.  the trip, the hours, the turnpike.  took another ativan.  looked for something to read.  the gideon bible.  but too much stuff about being struck down dead.  and then the yellow pages for oberlin.  sort of funny.  under elderly care they had something called the scooter shop!

i enjoyed the image of oberlin citizens of a certain age getting out their hog scooters and terrorizing the neighborhood!


this morning, i had no sleep and was frankly more exhausted than when i went to bed.  i made a decision.  onward to detroit.  it’s closer to home.  i’m feeling a bit bruised.  i think this is a strategic retreat, not a dive for the covers of home.

9 responses to “sometimes it’s a strategic retreat not a full scale sprint to safety

  • Rebecca Woodhead (@rebeccawoodhead)

    You are an inspiration… and you are a human being. Everyone has rough days. You’ve done nothing wrong, and you are remarkable.

  • jane

    What’s with the idiot stuff???!!! What you are doing is totally awesome and brave. Don’t you see, what you are doing takes more courage than most of us ever have to pull together? You are climbing a mountain. I am so impressed with what you have chosen to do. Your bravery and courage is inspiring, for anyone and everyone. Please don’t speak that way about yourself. You are fantastic.

  • jules423

    I understand only too well what you are going through. You have made brave moves to overcome your fears. I have had a couple of years of extreme stress which have caused my own anxiety and fears of public places to intensify. I am not housebound but feel that it would not take much for me to get to that place. Ironically, I was most intrigued by your visit to Oberlin albeit I know it was hard for you to be there. I spend quite a bit of time walking around Tappan Square trying to “exercise away” some of my anxieties. Stay strong…

  • jules423

    Definitely activity helps me but… it’s getting motivated to MOVE – anxiety is just so crippling. Trying hard day by day not to “give in.” Easier said than done some days.

  • Glenn Taylor

    I admire your courage and your strength, you are truly inspirational in what you are doing here, overcoming your fears, good luck to you and keep your chin up it will all be worth it.

  • Jester Who-ver

    I love it when facebook is looked at positively. It really is a wonderful thing. Congratulations to you ma’am. We all have to “fail” our way to success. No shame in that!

  • Susan

    I got a Border Collie and joined the doggie people. My dog and I feed off each other and seek each other if we find ourselves in an uncomfortable situation. We are starting to compete this year and get away from the comfort of classes and an instructor telling us what we need to do. It helps but also find a low dose of tranquilizer helps.

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