I spent twelve hours completely alone this week while Gary went up to meet with a couple of tradespeople. Leading up to the day I tried not to think about it, just like I do with every stressful situation, but it was extremely difficult. You see he had to meet the first trades-person at nine o’clock in the morning, which meant he had to leave no later than four o’clock – while it was still dark – need I say more?
We’d discussed me going along for the ride, but as you all know I’m a horrible passenger and I spend most of the time in the car in a state of hyper-vigilance. Plus, the fact that Gary would be in the bush for three hours and with the record high temperatures, it would be too hot to sit in the car while I waited for him.
The morning in question, I heard Gary’s alarm go off and immediately the anxiety started. My chest felt like it was going to explode and I lay there wondering if I was having a heart attack instead of a panic attack – something you know that I do on a regular basis.
Next every pore in my body opened up and I started to sweat buckets – literally! Usually I get up and walk around so I don’t soak the sheets, but I didn’t want Gary to know I was stressing, because then he would worry about leaving me. Instead I lay there and pretended to be asleep while he made breakfast and got dressed, and when he came to kiss me good-bye, I told him I loved him and managed to hold back to the tears.
…but when he went out the door, and I saw the car lights backing up and out of the driveway, they started to flow. I mustered up all the strength I had, got up and checked to make sure everything was locked up and then climbed into bed to try and go back to sleep, but it reminded me of the last time I had been left alone and that made me cry harder.
The last time I had been alone in the middle of the night was years ago and I had a dog, as well as an alarm. This time however there were neither, and I was terrified and suddenly missing Xena who died not too long ago. I got up again, went to the washroom and grabbed some tissues to dry my eyes and blow my nose before climbing back into bed again.
Once I was back in bed, I rolled over onto my back and listened intently to see if anyone was lurking around outside. I heard a dog barking off in the distance, and a loud bang; almost like a car back-firing and my mind started to race.
I turned onto my side and tried to concentrate on my breathing …breathe in, belly out, exhale out, belly in …breathe in, belly out, exhale out, belly in. I started to sweat again and within minutes I was absolutely soaked. I got out of bed and went back into the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror and gave a little sigh as I stared at the disheveled face staring back at me thinking that the person in the mirror looked like she’d just seen a ghost.
I reached down and grabbed the joint that I had left in the ashtray before bed, lit it, and then inhaled deeply. As I exhaled I tried to release all the negative thoughts that were in my head and replace them with positive thoughts. I spoke out loud and recited what day it was, where I was, and that I as safe – over and over – just like a mantra. I took a couple more hits off the joint, put it out and then climbed back to bed.
As usual the cannabis calmed my mind and the next thing I remember was waking up to the sound of birds and the sun streaming through the windows. I rolled onto my back, looked up at the ceiling and smiled to myself because I had done it. As scary as it was – I had done it - and I hadn’t called Gary for moral support! I made it through another stressful situation without anything bad happening. Plus, that unnerving feeling I get when the sun goes down, and the world falls into darkness, had disappeared and I was feeling quite empowered.
Stay safe, and stay strong. Thanks for following.