Transforming or “Coming Out the Other Side”

See my shadow changing,
Stretching up and over me.
Soften this old armor.
Hoping I can clear the way
By stepping through my shadow,
Coming out the other side.
Step into the shadow.
Forty six and two are just ahead of me.

-TOOL, “46 and 2”

Welcome to the Living Revolution 🙂

I’m starting to remember what it feels like to have an opinion about what happens in the world around me. I am remembering what it feels like to have an opinion about what is going on inside my head as well. In choosing to take responsibility for the action between my ears, I was recently confronted with an experience I’ve never dealt with before, and I’m basically writing this post to ask for help and input from anyone who reads this and has experienced something similar.

I think I’m depressed. Or I was depressed. Or maybe I still am. Also, I’m not sure. About anything. I lost my shit last night. It was not pretty.

Writing is helping the process along, so you guys get an earful (eyeful?) from me, right here, right now.

There has been a heaviness in my chest for the last two weeks. There has been a dense black cloud hanging heavy over my head for at least as long. Please let me be clear: my life is good. My life is good in ways some people will never experience. My life is good in ways some people can’t even imagine. I have nothing to complain about. And that is the worst part. The lack of a reason. The lack of a cause. The lack of a solution. Naturally, I am not comfortable or familiar with feeling like shit for no reason at all. Naturally, research began immediately. Was it my hormone levels? Did my diet play a part? Should I add supplements? Was I training to little? Too much? Let’s just say my “leisure” reading in the last month included more peer-reviewed literature than it has in a LONG TIME. I felt like I was holding it all together pretty well, but then it got worse. From previous life experiences, I know that if I breathe during times of high stress, I can usually calm myself down. I take a deep breath in through my nose and out through my mouth, and after a few deep breaths, I’m usually able to focus on the task at hand. In the last two weeks, this has happened in the most random situations and scenarios and I can’t even begin to describe how unsettling this is for me. In situations where I would normally feel confident, I was now feeling anxious. In times when I would normally feel in control, I was now feeling unhinged. I found myself focusing on my breathing. ALL THE TIME.

I took deep breaths when I dropped the kids off at school. I took deep breaths while I made breakfast. I took deep breaths while I answered emails. I took deep breaths when I was sitting in the car, waiting at a stop sign. I recognized a dull, tight feeling in the middle of my chest. Naturally, my first thought was to “roll it out”. Or stretch. Or pick up something heavy. Nothing helped.  I worked to find my center and to feel that tension release. It did not.  It would not. Now, this was starting to not make sense. From where was this feeling coming? What was happening to me? Think of a anemone in a tide pool. You poke it. It folds in on itself, trapping your finger. That feeling right there; in the same spot where you get the wind knocked out of you; for days.  Ugh.

Last night I finally lost my shit. I tried to scream it out in the car on the way home. I was alone. Why was I starting to cry? I definitely don’t cry. And I definitely don’t cry when there isn’t something to cry about. I parked the car and walked inside. She met me at the door, with a smile and open arms. I’ve never been so grateful to see anyone. I told her I was freaking out. She said that was okay. She told me to go sit on the couch. She cradled my head and she held my hand. She talked me down. She put her hand over my heart and it felt like she punched me in the chest. It came in waves, and I cried. Hard.

When it felt like I was finished, she told me to take a shower and wash it all away. The water scalded. Hot steam filled my lungs. More deep breaths, and trying so hard to find that release, but nothing. Then, a blast of icy cold to snap me back to reality. I laid down on the bed and played that song over and over again. Wanting so badly to feel the change consume me. Wanting so badly to be done feeling like this. Wanting so badly to come out the other side, scarred and tested, but much improved.

Three days later, I’m still not there. But I do feel like some progress is being made. My self-talk is improving, and I have the most incredible people in my life guiding me along and taking such good care of me. I’m still unsure what this is all about. I’m still unsure there is something that I can “find” through this process. I’m still unsure what is happening in my head, and why I have this dull ache in my chest. I don’t imagine that I’m the only person who has felt this way. These emotions, these feelings, probably manifest in a whole host of baffling ways, and some of you have probably felt like this too. How do you handle it? What are your thoughts on my “symptoms”? Any advice on how I should proceed, or how I might handle a situation like this if it ever happens again? I truly need help, and I’m open to receive anything you offer in generosity :). Please leave a comment here, or send me a quick note at tobias.shea.livingrevolution@gmail.com . Thank you all for participating in the Living Revolution!!

Until next time…

Peace.Tobias.

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One thought on “Transforming or “Coming Out the Other Side”

  1. I randomly–or not so randomly–remembered this post this morning and went on a quest to find it. I thought I understood it the first time I read it, but I had absolutely no clue–no reference point for the sheer pain and confusion. As I read through your words a second time, I immediately started to cry because I was identifying with every panged effort it took to write them. I am currently truly overwhelmed for the first time in my life and recognizing that I’ve never known fear until this moment. I want you to know the amount of empathy I feel for this post, as well as gratitude for the knowledge that if someone else can go through something like this with no identifiable reason and still come out on top, then maybe I can, as well. Maybe.

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