Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting Too Deep

This week a friend of mine posted a status update on facebook that was about making friends because of feeling a connection, and how sad it can be when one party decides for whatever reason that the connection, real or perceived, should be broken. I have talked quite a lot about how difficult it can be to let go. I still struggle with it. Sometimes "letting go" is hard to even define. I feel the same way as my friend though- that it's always sad when things were not as they seemed, paths must come to an end and saying goodbye is necessary. I used to be one who believed that doors should always remain, if not open, at least ajar. I'm learning that sometimes it's just better to close them, and hope that Alexander Graham Bell was right in assuming another one will open. Still, knowing this doesn't make it any easier.

I was not feeling well all last week. I'm hoping this week is a little bit better. I ended up not working out at all Saturday and got sent home from work with my boss saying I looked deathly ill. I think after having meningitis, unless I really am deathly ill, I get the feeling I "should" be fine, forgetting that it's OK to take it easy when not at that 100 percent optimal health level. I am feeling much better after another day of rest. Oddly, time off my foot doesn't seem to help much. However, with PT it is still making progress.

The other night, my cat was sprawled out on his little chair, looking like he was melting from the heat. At one point, his head flopped over, and I got a sick feeling as he laid there motionless. I ran over to him, and gently took his head in my hands, calling his name. He felt cold. My insides dropped, and, feeling shaky as the panic was flooding me, I said his name louder. I wanted to throw up. Then, he shook his head, as if waking from a deep sleep and meowed. Gah! What a relief. The little guy gave me a heart attack, but I'm just glad he is fine. Whewww.

It got me thinking about death though, something I really hate pondering. I write about death in my book, having come so close to the edge at times. Here is another short little excerpt from the unedited version. I am supposed to meet with my new editor today or tomorrow, so things might be changed around a bit in the final draft.

Short excerpt from "Training On Empty"

It seems a bizarre irony that someone so afraid of death would have taken her life right up to the edge for a possible glimpse of the other side. Perhaps I thought I was facing my fear. Somehow, facing the reality of dying never actually eased my intense phobia. If anything, it only made it worse. When I was in the throes of anorexia, I would often consider that any given moment could be my last. However, I was never able to let go of all the limitations I had placed on myself. I would think of all the foods I had missed tasting, all the life I had missed living, and all the people I had missed meeting. It took years to begin to reach any sort of balance and begin to sample life again. Just as I was beginning to emerge from my black, black past, I was struck with the intense feeling I was going to die.
There have been several times in my life when I have come face to face with death. The first incident was in grade school. I was at home playing with a friend and suddenly felt a terrible headache coming on. The headache was so bad that I had to ask my friend to leave so I could go lie down. The pain intensified quickly. Before I could even attempt to call out to my mom down the hallway in the other room, I became paralyzed from the severe throbbing pressure growing in my skull. It was as if my brain were going to explode. Any slight movement was far too painful to tolerate, so I stayed as still as possible for over an hour until my mom finally came looking for me. When she entered the room, I saw her panicked face as she leaned over me. My eyes had glazed over and we both thought I would be dead shortly. “My head,” I managed to whisper. She called the hospital, but the nurse told her there was an epidemic of viral meningitis going around. Chances were I was another case. The hospital was swamped. My mom was told to call back only if I didn’t improve over the next three hours and an ambulance would be sent. Viral meningitis is described as a swelling of the outer layer of the brain. It is extremely painful and can cause brain damage, deafness, blindness, and in some instances, death.  Fortunately, the pain lessened over the course of the night, and it was indeed as the ER operator had expected, viral meningitis not the similar but lethal illness bacterial meningitis. I recovered fully over the next few days and was back to my normal activity in less than a week. Many years later, I would be struck down again with this illness in a much more severe case. 

I go on to discuss my mitral valve prolapse and the panic attacks that occurred as a result. This all occurred before I ran a marathon. Well, I jogged it in 3:49 or something, but whatever. That's an aside. I still haven't come to terms with death. Basically it's one big fear that I tend to avoid. I get weirded out if I think about it too much, and often fear losing those around me whom I love. So I stay on the surface with thoughts around death, the same way I avoid thinking too deeply about infinity or nothingness. 

This is a really odd post. I'm not sure what is going on with me lately, but my head is completely in a fog. Sometimes when I'm not feeling physically at my best, I lose a bit of confidence all around. Sigh. Well, it looks like a nice cloudy day, which means a run would be good soon.I'll leave this sort of hanging, as my thoughts seem to be doing that quite a lot lately. 

My little Romo! 

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