Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My Parachute

There are times—lately it seems like they’re popping up quite frequently—when stress and anxiety wrap around me so tightly, I think I’m going to suffocate. No matter how much yoga breathing I do, no matter how loud I crank up the Xanadu soundtrack, no matter how many M&Ms I stuff in my mouth, I can’t shake the feeling that I’m literally going to have a heart attack. I get so overwhelmed by obligations or anger at someone’s terrible wrongdoings or my own lack of downtime, I feel I could crack. Like looney farm crack.

Running always helps, but unless I take to just constantly jogging in place at work and home, it’s inevitable that the stress is going to get me again. And again.

So I vent. And thanks to the wonders of technology, I don’t need a blinking, breathing human being in front of me. I can vent over IM. All day. To Mr. Wonderful. And then if I see him in person later, I can spew out some more.

And every time, the most incredible thing happens: He pulls me out of my tailspin and lands me softly on solid ground.

I’m not one of those girls who only wants to vent to vent. I actually don’t mind having someone suggest to me what I should do to fix the problem. So when Mr. W says, “How about trying this?” I find myself feeling grateful.

A couple weeks ago, he and I went to dinner and I was very out of sorts. I was worrying about several different friends; I had a long day at work; I was overtired. And there across the table, he listened to each of my gripes, even saying, “What else, pumpkin?” when I’d finish one story. He offered advice and rubbed my neck. He cushioned what could’ve been a painful fall.

And he does this every time I turn to him.

When I was about 18, I was in my parents’ backyard filling the bird feeder or watering plants or some other inane task, and my mind was wandering to daydreams of travel and how great I thought my life would be when I was older and worldly. When suddenly something clicked. I realized that maybe that was why people got married. Because the fun stuff is even better when you have someone to share it with. I know, I know, I should’ve figured that one out by that age, but I was a late bloomer.

What I realize now, is that it’s not just the fun stuff that's better. It’s the hard stuff, too. The right person is there for you, at your back, willing to take over your descent with one yank of the ripcord. Because they don’t want to see you crash. And that's pretty amazing.


Dingo said...

Sometimes at night when I can't shut my mind off and sleep, I'll look at the clock and say 3am isn't too early/late for a run, is it?

I am so glad you have Mr. W. It's easy to be supportive and a good listener when things are going well. It's when things are not going well or are overwhelming that our go-to people really come through. I am glad you have Mr. W.

Anonymous said...

yes! and you're not afraid to share the negative stuff because you know he'll help you, not judge you. awesome!

Just a Girl said...

Xanadu? You like Xanadu?
I've never met another who likes Xanadu!

Mandy said...

It's definitely worth the wait, isn't it?

I read once, "Sometimes you have to love a bad man in order to appreciate when a good one comes around."

Or something like that.

I'm glad you appreciate him and it sounds like you deserve him, baby.

Michael C said...

It's very timely for me reading this when I did. I have spent the last several days in a darkened downward spiral emotionally and mentally.

I can agree with you that it is great having someone near you who wants to listen and cares. it's also nice for me to be able to go running, take the dog for a walk or stand outside tending the grill. Those are all my 'getaway' places.

Nilsa S. said...

And the "right" person is often someone who offers a different perspective while still being supportive. Isn't it amazing feeling when you've found it?!

The Coconut Diaries said... I have to go home and "hug" The Hubster. (He'll thank you for that later)

egan said...

Great ode to marriage here. For me this is a huge benefit to having a caring spouse. They really do have your back in any situation, but keep you on track when you've gone overboard. Nice first post to read.

P.S. I read your comment on Sizzle's blog today. I felt the same way after the 2004 elections. I put so much energy into the Kerry campaign I was distraught for a decent amount of time. I was troubled how Americans could give Mr. Bush another four years after his first four were so lackluster. And there you have it, I've said my bit.

brandy said...

There was one word I kept saying when reading this. That word? "Awww". Seriously. It's so great to have good listeners in life isn't?!

Hannah said...

I am so happy you have found someone who can make everythng feel right in the wolrd. You are very lucky.

Anonymous said...

Nice. It sounds like he's added a lot of balance to your life, and you're lucky for it.

Big Sister said...

Can I borrow him when I need to vent?

JustRun said...

I'm so glad you have that, and I think you're right on. Just having someone doesn't make things better, but having the right someone can.

Anonymous said...

The best part about being in a relationship is having someone there to pick you up after you crash and burn. Whether it's a best friend or a boyfriend, it's one of the best qualities a person can have.

brookem said...

it's really a special feeling to know that you have people you can depend on during life's ups AND downs, isn't it?

jen tarara said...

Mr. W is the best! As for your worrying, take a deep breath and relax and remember - It's Allllll Goooood!