Waiting for the Storm to Pass

Waiting for the Storm to Pass

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, then you’ve heard about Matthew. He’s the trusty category 3 hurricane knocking at the door of the eastern coast of my state and threatening to wreak havoc on a few other nearby Atlantic coastal neighbors including Georgia and South Carolina. Last time around, it was our coast, the West side of the state awaiting its impact. This time around, we expect to feel the radiating effects of the storm but not bear the worst of it. Once you’ve lived in Florida for at least 10  years of your life, hurricanes become yet another mainstay that you become accumstomed to like lovebugs in May and September, and pesky mosquitoes and tourists…pretty much all of the time.

 

This has felt like a tumultuous year for a lot of us. I have some friends right now going through some pretty serious transitions in their lives — babies to come,  losses to overcome, career changes, health battles. My year hasn’t been any easier or harder than theirs, it is only mine and what may be tough for some of us could be a piece of cake for the next person. But that doesn’t matter because these are ours..our new arrivals, our departures, our professional changes or personal challenges. No one else could possibly understand them as we do because the filter through which we view them and experience them is our past and no one else has experienced exactly what we have. No one.

 

Our days are comprised of sunshine and cool breezes and calm and serenity, and sometimes, it’s made up of a cyclone of … well, crap. Crap of all colors, shapes and sizes. A storm of it. I suppose a shitstorm of reality. I’m partial to the sunshine and cool breezes, but they don’t teach us very much about ourselves. They may energize or balance us, or if we’re really lucky, help us regenerate where we may be missing a few pieces of ourselves that have been knicked or lacerated in the wages of our emotional wars. But they don’t provide the same lessons. Not like the shitstorms do, do they?

 

For me, this year has felt like a new cyclone has been gathering its plethora of particles and projectiles slowly swirling and constructing this massive funnel cloud of fuzzied-head anxiety about so much going on (or not going on) in my life. I know I am not the only one who feels that storm brewing inside of them. We do our best to find strategies to temper it — we might read or exercise, hibernate or overschedule, meditate or medicate, but it doesn’t change the fact that a storm of tentativeness and tantrum is building as we contemplate what isn’t going quite as planned in our lives and especially when we do not see much chance of a change in outlook ahead.

 

So we wait it out. Just as we wait for Matthew or Hermine or Andrew or any of those other storms of various degrees to see what destruction they will leave behind. And as we do, we may experience turmoil, frustration, agitation and uneasiness. I know I have been feeling uneasy for much of this year — not always understanding what is going on inside of me anymore both medically and emotionally. And for this reason, I have found that I’m not going out of my way to see people or interact as I once did. Not that I was a social butterfly before. I wasn’t. Far from it. But I feel myself reeling myself inward as I try to come to terms with whatever the hell is going on inside of me. But that is my safety mechanism. I’m an internalizer. That is how I cope. Some people have other means. But it sucks to feel at war with yourself. Most of us have experienced that at some point in our lives. We are the one place we should feel at home, at rest, at peace. With ourselves. But many of us have so many things racing through our minds and our hearts, and due to our various ailments, so many chemicals flooding our bodies, it influences everything we think and say and do, doesn’t it? It does make you wonder how much of it is really our thinking or the chemicals, emotions and hormones talking.

 

I know I have felt myself go from an already sensitive person to a virtual puddle at just about every possible emotionally charged intersection I have crossed in my travels this year. Some people who have only gotten to know me during this time probably think I’m a teary-eyed sap. That’s partly true but it is only one dimension of me. I know that since I went from taking only one medication to several, it has absolutely changed my personality. And as I get older, my own body’s chemistry will test my patience and fortitude, too, emotionally speaking. Oh boy, fun times ahead. My husband will looooooove that.

 

Aah, yes, these storms that rage inside of us for so many reasons — they can push us to places and emotional landscapes we do not want to visit. But we stockpile our support supplies as best we can and hope we do not run out of anything while the storm rages. And after it passes, we take a deep breath and assess the damage. Restock and wait for the next storm to pass.  And we know it will, we just don’t look forward to its next visit. Such is this unique hurricane season that never ends.  xo ~ Chris

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