I Wish I Was A Unicorn

Always be yourself, unless you can be a unicorn, then ALWAYS be a unicorn!

Cant go forward, can’t go back…

on June 18, 2013

A few months ago I surprised my husband with an overnight trip to Stirling for his birthday. Part of our stay involved a trip to The Wallace Monument. This is a tall Gothic 150 year old tower on a hill which visitors can climb  via the original spiral staircase. I was apprehensive, but wanted to give it a go. When we almost reached the first level in the tower we heard other people coming down the staircase and had to quickly decide to either stand at the narrowest central point of the spiral staircase or at the broadest part against the outer wall to allow them to pass.

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I chose the widest part and squeezed into the wall, which in turn made me look down into the staircase and I suddenly a mixture of vertigo and claustrophobia making my body go rigid. My lungs began to only take shallow breaths and I felt like every muscle I had went to jelly. I became rooted to the spot, my mind filling endlessly with thoughts of slipping, falling, tumbling forever down and around in the stairway. All I could do was close my eyes and try to hold onto any part of the wall my fingers could grip. I heard my husband say “Are you ok?”, I could only squeak back “I can’t move!”. He began to encourage me to keep going, telling me we were only a few steps from the first level, but in my mind I could not bear to move. Going higher up meant further to fall, going back down meant looking down into that spiral, feeling dizzy and my shaking body slipping on the stairs. I was stuck.

Obviously, I am not still stuck there. My husband eventually gently persuaded me to quickly climb the few stairs up and there we viewed Wallace’s Sword. All the while my attention was consumed by the fact that the staircase was below us and needed to be descended. There was no question that we were going up any further together, I urged him to go up alone & I would wait, but he refused and I felt like I let him down, but I physically, psychologically and emotional couldn’t do it.

That was almost 5 months ago, but for some reason that image kept coming back into my mind last night as I was preparing for an appointment with a doctor this morning. The panic and the fear kept resurfacing and I was confused, what does that day have to do with this day?

Well now I am sitting in the car in the hospital car-park feeling the exact same panic. My lungs are doing the same shallow breaths, my muscles are like jelly, I’m shaking from head to toe and my mind is filling with worst case scenarios of failure and disappointment. I feel like I can’t get out of the car and walk into this appointment, but I also can’t turn the car around and go home and give up. This time I don’t even have my husband just ahead of me saying “A few more steps”. But I also know that this time I can’t let him down.

So here I go….

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