Thoughtful Thursdays – Scary Stories

Alliteration continues for this week anyway – in my titles at least.
I keep thinking about how to write my story – and then I remember it’s not just a story but it’s stories, which makes it seem different somehow – and then I remember I’ve already written a lot of it.
Thursday is not the only thoughtful day. Pretty much any day is open to overthinking – until my mind gets tired, or unless it does.
But now I’m tired enough from all the treatments and the relaxation that came from being cancer free (and very very tired 😉 ) that I feel better and can think for longer without needing to have that “stare at the wall” healing time as often. It was really challenging in the beginning.
Sometimes being tired enough is a good thing.
The last time I experienced this poignantly, I flew inside a wind tunnel. It was October 2014. I went at a time when it was just me, so I got personal instruction. And not a lot of breaks! Indoor skydiving is a workout.
Finally when I was so tired, from trying to hug the air, my arms gave up. Finally, I could fly from my core.
That’s kind of what this feels like.
Sweet, sore freedom from tension. I can fly.
Now we can revisit “scary”.
Sometimes scary is thrilling.
I forget the book now, but it was about anxiety – I vaguely remember the cover, bright and cheerful I think. Anyway, in it the author talks about his mother overcoming anxiety by going into it. Not on purpose. She was on some type of outing with some elderly folks and I think there was some kind of car trouble and she had to step way outside her comfort zone and take charge – and that helped her. She didn’t even have the capacity to be anxious, because she had to focus.
Sometimes I like to put myself in that situation too.
Once I even googled if I had a fear fetish, because I didn’t know why I kept finding myself in these circumstances even while I tried to avoid them. Did I have some kind of fetish that I was conflicted about?
That googling session got interesting. It was kind of inconclusive, but I think the real evidence is always in life – what a person does and their patterns.
This applies to me too … definitely I like to go in to the challenge at some point and go in deep. But it’s important to be in the right condition.
As my therapist reminded me – and I continue to remind myself when this voice comes up in my head that I need to just “soldier on” – it’s important to also have a supply line. You don’t soldier on without proper resources, ideally, and not forever. And if you use up all your resources, you have to get more, so there’s pacing – and letting your beast out for a good run too now and then.
So I’ve learned as I still figure out my new self, what resources I need – we’ll see  if I still, after all this, have a “fear fetish”, haha.
I do love excitement. And having been so fearful for much of my life, there is a certain comforting familiarity with newness – it’s a challenge.
But resting and relaxing is important.
Nowadays that’s my focus. I know what I want to keep moving forward on, but I also know – and can feel now, like many people said – that I’m super duper tired, lol.
But this tiredness is awesome because maybe now my mind will slow down, I’ll just relax into things, and actually tell the stories, scary or not. Like I’m doing now, meandering if I need to – because my focus is on showing up wholeheartedly, being authentic, transparent, getting through, and then paying it forward.
Some things are scarier than scary stories sometimes – like publishing them. Haha.
Even writing them. I felt like the things that I wanted to write mostly about were maybe too scary.
For awhile I couldn’t stand the word “too”. When I heard I was “too” this or “too” that, even when it was from a kind place with good intentions – or at least I believed it was – I would just flip out inside when I heard that.
“You’re too deep.”
I would be stunned momentarily and then … must find my safe place.
When you’re consumed with triggers like that, it’s the scariest of all to me. It’s like being in a land mine (figuratively obviously) where you never know how you’re going to feel and if the nervous system is going to be able to take it.
I thought once for sure I could handle anything with just enough grit. I was right, but it’s a lot easier with heart and with help.
Fear takes a lot of energy though. I thought I knew fear, the kind I could push through – but then I got to know gripping fear.
And shame. That heavy musty cloak. Tons of energy gets trapped with that.
But I think the thing I was afraid of most was anger – or the cocktail that anger and fear and shame could make, seductively empowering, insidious, tricky, deceptive. Anger makes you feel invincible sometimes, the clarity of that feeling. It’s very hard to just sit in it.
I was afraid of anger because I was afraid of harming someone and feeling the pain of not only intentionally harming them, but suffering with them while I felt what I had done – as I should, I felt.
I set the bar so high for myself in some things, that I was in defiance almost at times, of my humanity. I was afraid of revisiting the pain I felt, but I knew if I did it a certain way it would be healthy – and it wasn’t revisiting it to dwell on it that was the goal, but as my loving ritual of releasing it.
Still, sometimes it felt like dwelling. Standing at the bottom of this high standard I had for myself, was how I saw it. Trapped by perfection, supposedly, but then I realized it wasn’t perfection I was trapped by.
Perfection is completion – and I am complete.
I wasn’t trapped by my completeness. I was trapped by the feeling of inadequacy, by my own conditioning to behave a certain way, to think a certain way – because the things we think become the things we do after time – and when you add intensity, the game changes.
I was trapped because I felt trapped, because the things I thought and heard and read, pointed to my inadequacy and it stung. It stung. I followed the threads of those moments deep into my body, into my soul, and recognized fear and anger.
I was not okay with any more conflict. I had so much inner conflict I didn’t know where to begin to sort it out.
Isn’t this the place where people find religion? What if you already have strong beliefs? I didn’t feel like questioning anything.
I just felt like I could hardly breathe, but I looked in the mirror and I could fog it up. I was breathing.
I felt weak but I could do a handstand against the wall. Blood to my brain. Much better. Hold it till it hurts and then hold it some more. Something to shift that feeling of suffocating when I wasn’t actually suffocating.
Suck it up buttercup, I remembered hearing – and I wanted to. But I felt I was unraveling much faster than I could suck it up, and my biggest fear was what I was going to do when I couldn’t contain myself anymore.
When unraveling like that, I felt the best thing to do was give into it.
Big breath. Mind’s eye. Go in.
I knew I was going to die a few times, in very unusual ways, before I would become more alive than ever.
Still, most of the time I was worried about how. And then worrying would feel good, peaceful. Peaceful felt frightening. It was all upside down and backwards.

“Only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible in us be found.”

― Pema Chödrön
Me at Golden Nugget, about to swim alongside sharks as summer 2015 came to an end. Playing with newfound baldness. Flames coming out of my crown chakra! 🙂 

By mikohargett

A rogue consciousness adjusting to her new body.

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