I was on a trip to Cincinnati. It would be the first time I met with the brand new counselor. The closer I got, the harder it was to breathe. My lips were starting to turn numb, and my feet are tingling. My mind wasn't racing though like a usual panic attack. I called my mentor and ask her to pray with me. Then tried to distract myself with an audio book documentary on the life of Laura Bush. The traffic was closing in on rush hour and I began fearing an accident as my eyes saw some black and white static. I pulled off the highway and into a CarMax parking lot.
Things didn't improve with walking it out, lying down, or drinking water. I called my mom who is an ER nurse. At this point in my processing, I hadn't really seen my parents for a number of months. But I still needed to know from my mom that I would be ok. She was using her calm ER nurse voice and said she could be there in 45 minutes...to go to the nearest hospital. I stood there in a sea asphalt parking lot - CarMax ahead of me, Marathon gas station to my left, and oblivious drivers coming and going to my right.
I had always wondered what it would feel I like when it was my time to die. This was it, and it was surreal. I called my hubby who was on a veterinary call. I realized I was saying "I love you" for the last time. I locked the doors to my Suburban and slipped the key ring around my finger and into my hand so if someone found me, they could find my personal effects.
A fire truck pulled in to the Marathon. It seemed to be a sign. I walked over and calmly told them I was pretty sure I was just having a panic attack, but I couldn't breathe and needed help. They called an ambulance. It got busy from there...
As I sat hooked up to monitors and dripping IVs, I sent Daron a pic to show him I was alright. I still wasn't sure though. Later, I could identify this was my brave face. I've seen it different times throughout my life - tentative, shy smile, hoping...wishing...to believe everything will be ok, not wanting my people to worry.
That day I was diagnosed with what was anxiety-related prolonged QT...my heart was off-rhythm. The next few months were a terrible season of deep anxiety in my healing. But my medical doctor and homeopathic doctor worked together to help me find the supplements needed to regulate my body. My counselor continued to help me work through my mental health. And, my pastor father-in-law (also GraceStory Conference Pastor) helped me understand God as Father.
This experience is just one that informs GraceStory's commitment to Wholeperson healing. We are not one dimensional human beings. If you find yourself wearing your own "brave face", please message me! One of my greatest honors is walking with you in your own journey of restoration.