|Jul 04 2012|
"How does one become a butterfly? You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar."
- Trina Paulus
This time last year, I sat home alone watching my son's high school graduation streaming live over the internet. As I had done for the past decade, I convinced myself that that was good enough.
The evening of the graduation, as we sat discussing the surreality of our firstborn's entry into "the real world," my husband said of the ceremony: "I never thought you wouldn't be there with me."
With that one observation, all the sacrifices my husband, kids and I had made to accommodate my agoraphobia over the years came flooding to the fore. I imagined being absent from my daughter's graduation, my son's Fire Academy graduation, both my children's weddings, the births of my grandchildren.
And I was finally - fucking FINALLY - ready to give up being a caterpillar.
And so it was that I gave my physician the go ahead to set up a meeting with the therapist of whom she'd been singing the praises. I soon had my first appointment with Terry, and have been seeing her every week since.
It's very hard work, this ... trying to be normal. But with Terry's careful guidance, I have done more in the last six months than I had done in the previous eight years: I've ridden in a car outside the boundaries of my neighborhood, sat in a car on line at the drive-thru of different fast food joints, walked into the grocery store - among strangers! - sat through an hour long dentist appointment (no cavities!), and attended a family gathering at my mom's - 20 miles away.
I still experience anxiety - panic, even - sometimes, and have spectacularly bad days. I bitch and moan about the process and feel sorry for myself on and off. I still shut down occasionally. But I haven't yet quit trying.
I want to fly so much.
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