Over the weekend, I thought about this blog entry. I wondered what I was going to write about. I fished for topics when chatting with my husband. I reflected on past topics to see if anything new sprouted from them. And by late afternoon yesterday, I still had...well, nothing.
Now that morning is here and I've had my sleep interrupted every hour by the nurses caring for my youngest daughter, I'm awake. Partly because of being woke up every hour and partly because this is when I wake up every morning during the week and the brain & body have a way of remembering things like that.
Which got me to thinking about this blog post again and how our brains work. Or at least how my brain works.
For me, my memory is a blessing and a curse. My brain has decided to store so many memories, both good and bad. Right next to those memories is anxiety. For as long as I can remember, though I've not given it much thought, I have just lived in survival mode.
This comes from many things, I'm sure. Having been abused in multiple ways over the years while growing up, from living in poverty as a child, from being in a previous marriage full of strife and verbal abuse.
Life happens. We make choices. We're born into situations we have no control over. We experience things. And when a person experiences trauma (or multiple traumas) our brains & our bodies respond to that.
In my case, it's by having my guard up. Always on the look out for the 'what if's' or the worst case scenarios or the events that can easily trigger the need to be in survival mode a little bit longer.
Last week, I had a heart to heart with my husband about my anxieties. He helped me and I've worked to let my guard down. To be more aware of when I was living in survival mode so that I could remember that I was safe and could just practice living instead of surviving. My husband is good for things like that.
With my mind mulling over all these things this early Monday morning, I knew I wanted to capture it with words. So here goes:
Yesterday when my daughter was brought to the hospital following an ATV accident, I didn't dwell on the 'what if's' or worst case scenarios. I stayed present in the moment. I focused on my surroundings. I experienced the fear that comes with a situation like this and God brought me through it. I didn't allow myself to worry about the future, but allowed myself to give thanks when she remembered her name and the season and that she'd spent the previous day painting the porch with her dad, which explained the paint on her legs and feet the medical staff kept asking her about (that she couldn't scrub off the day before). I stayed grounded in the present by holding my husband's hand and looking at the rooms we were in (triage, ER, peds room) and talking with my other children who all stopped what they were doing to be by their sister's bedside.
I didn't just survive it; I lived it. And in doing so, I am getting through it one moment at a time...all while getting in some writing. Because my brain also does that funny thing where if you're in a setting that relates to your current work in progress, it demands that you notice it and file it away for when you get back to your WIP. And in my case, reminds me to take some pictures of said setting because the visual aid will be helpful later on when life settles down again.