Right beside me 

At 32 years old, I am working on not being scared of everything. We all have our fears. Some more rational than others. Most people are not controlled by these fears. However, as previously stated, my brain is not like other brains. This year I found out that I suffer from panic/anxiety attacks. Come to find out I’ve been suffering from them for years.  I always thought it was something else. I thought I would get motion sickness, fear of heights, my stomach was upset, etc. Then, I was flying alone with my daughter. I started to feel off and uneasy like I had felt so often before. She was sleeping in the seat next to me and I was just getting worse by the second. I looked over at her and remember asking myself what I was going to do. I was alone with my daughter and not well. It went from bad to worse instantly it seemed. No matter how I tried to control my brain, breathing, etc., I continued to spiral. I was dripping sweat like a faucet, my entire body was tingling, I couldn’t breathe, etc. I remember praying telling God to please let someone take care of my baby. I remember thinking about who was going to get her, when she woke up and I was dead next to her. I honestly believed this was it for me. This was how I would die and leave my daughter alone. It started from nothing. I’ve flown countless of times alone with my daughter. That’s how this goes. I’m aware of certain situations and things that will give me anxiety. I’m also aware that it can be nothing that gives me this anxiety. This isn’t anxiety that makes someone bite their nails and be hesistant. This is crippling anxiety that makes you feel physically ill. Have you ever had anxiety so bad that it makes you say a final prayer and black out? 32 years old and I’ve been suffering with anxiety as far back as I can remember. 32 years old and I just find out that I suffer from these anxiety/panic attacks? Wow, that was embarrassing. 

When I learned about panic/anxiety attacks, I tried to think back to the first time I could remember feeling this way. It took me a while. As mentioned previously, my memory is shot and takes some work to sort through. I traced it back to my grandparent’s house. I remember it was storming outside and my grandma had sent me upstairs to shower. I was afraid of storms, but I was even more afraid of my grandma. I went upstairs and let the shower run. I can feel it right now. My heart starting to race. My skin getting clammy. I sat still, because the floor squeaked and I didn’t want her to know I wasn’t in the shower. I remember being so scared that she would find out I didn’t shower. I made myself get in the shower. I cried as I told myself to just let the water wet my hair. As I tried to go back in time to find anxiety or fear, I remembered a lot of similar stories. I remembered every time I had a runny nose, I was so scared to sniff around my grandma that I would let it run into my mouth and down my face. I remembered gagging down food that I didn’t like. Literally gagging and convincing myself, “just one more bite.”  I was a little girl. How could I have been feeling like that? How could a little girl be so scared? How could I still be feeling like that now? 

I’ve always considered myself a pretty chill person. Turns out that I’ve been tightly wound this entire time.  I’ve been in knots for years. It was never “nothing” causing my attacks. I had been on edge my whole life. I never let that go. I knew that my grandma had messed me up. Sounds mean, but it’s the truth. I have a lot of scary and hurtful memories with my grandma. Years ago I chose to take all that and forgive her. She has been one of the biggest healing points for me in my life. She made me cry, fear, panic, and hide. She took the little self esteem I had then and threw it out. Little did I know that what she would give me in return would be invaluable and one of the greatest lessons of my life thus far. She taught me to truly accept people just the way they are. She taught me that I am capable of loving all, even if they have hurt or are different than me. She taught me to forgive. She was the first person I truly forgave. 

I like to believe that people do the best they can with what they have… most of the time. My grandma never left my side. To this day, she is right beside me. Through my mistakes and triumphs, she has stood beside me. As a baby and now as a 32 year old wife and mother, she has stood beside me. She has loved me. She has never turned her back on me. She has never stopped sending me cards on every holiday and birthday. She never stopped praying for me.  No matter how bad things got with me, she stood right beside me. I’m sure I’ve hurt her feelings too. I’m sure I’ve let her down too. She stood right beside me. She’s one of the most important people in my life. She plays such a huge role in the person that I am today.  I’m so lucky to still have her by my side. I’m happy to say that I haven’t had a anxiety attack, since the one I had on the airplane. 

I want to eat her face 

After marrying James, we called Las Vegas home and traveled the states for work. Marriage is interesting. My view on marriage is totally different now than it was then. Boy was I in for one heck of a ride. The only man I’d ever lived with was my brother, Daniel, and he’s a saint.

 I’m pretty sure I wanted to leave every month for the first couple years. Now, that being said, I have also fallen more in love with him everyday that has gone by. So yeah, figure that one out. 

We have had our moments that have made us question, if we were going to make it. I’m happy to say it’s been years, but we’ve been there. We selflessly gave ourselves to the marriage. Throughout our struggles and ugliest moments, we managed to put ourselves aside and figured out what was best for us. We learned that there was nothing that was going to break us. There was nothing that either of us could do, to make either one of us leave. I can not tell you the peace that brings. To know that no matter what happens, you have someone unconditionally loving you by your side. It’s everything. We have this love that is so much greater than ourselves. 

I never wanted children. I never had dreams about being a mom. I didn’t even want to babysit anyone’s kid, if I’m being honest. I didn’t understand them and I most definitely did not understand why someone would want a kid. However, James was the end of life as I knew it. I remember being so overwhelmed with this great love. I realize it sounds cliche and dumb, but I had this deep love for this man that created a longing for something more with him. Our love. There was nothing, but our love behind her. Well and some prayer, science, and a lot of money. 

On February 26,2014, it was the end of life as we knew it. After losses, tears, hard work, prayers, procedures, medicines, bed rest, etc., we had ourselves a beautiful baby girl. Our fighter. Our miracle.  She is bigger than we will ever be. I see her and I see James. I see a love that is so grand, I don’t believe anything in this world can top it. She is the perfect combination of us. The first words that nurses and drs said about her were, “wow she is something else!” I have continued to say that daily. She is special. She is one of a kind. She is ours. I love her so much I could eat her face!!!