There was an old lady who swallowed a fly (almost)

I don't know how many folks reading this are my age or older, but perhaps you remember a very fun song from the Sharon, Lois and Bram Elephant Show. If not, it goes something like this....

There was an old lady who swallowed a fly

I don't know why she swallowed the fly

I guess she'll die....

The song goes on to talk about all the other things that the lady swallowed in order to deal with the fly, before proceeding to die.

Well! This lady didn't swallow the fly, but it sure was hiding at the bottom of my breakfast tea. AHHHHHHH You see it down there at the bottom of the cup? Drowned and sad?

This pretty much sums up the emotions of today. A little sad, a little drowned and otherwise crushed by something that should have been enjoyable. There is no need to go into depth about what brought on the sadness, but the fly at the bottom of my tea certainly enhanced it. Let me take a moment to talk about something that does not get as much attention as it should. Dealing with the sad, unpredictable stuff that comes along to send an otherwise responsible person into an anxiety attack and the support or lack of support that may help pull that person back together.

Starting with the tea. I pulled out the electric kettle this morning and filled it with enough water for 2 cups. Why 2 cups? I was wishful thinking. I washed my stainless steel travel mug and whipped out the super fancy herbal hibiscus and black tea blend that I make for myself. Into my brew cup the loose teas went. The click of the electric kettle finishing the heating process was joy to my ears. Pouring the hot water over the loose leaves made them dance in the cup. If you have never paused to watch tea dance as it embraces the hot liquid, you should. A therapist might say that watching those tea leaves is a mindful moment, so if you need a mindful moment..... tea leaves. HA!

Bread placed in the toaster and tea steeping on the counter, I looked through my list of things to do today. One thing on the list sent me into panic mode (not an MRI, but something on par with that stress level). Not full blown panic, but that almost anxiety attack that comes with having to interact with a person, place or thing that has caused me distress in the past. Very similar to what happens in my brain every time I have to go into an MRI machine. You see, Multiple Sclerosis is the gift that just keeps on giving and MRIs year after year have firmly brought my brain to the panic mode. It could also be in part to the Multiple Sclerosis stealing little bits of my brain as it attacks my myelin sheath, but we will ignore that possibility for now.

The non-logical thought process that screams that I am going to die, sends my heart racing, weakens my legs, brings on many of my old MS symptoms just to give my already bad day a boost of extra bad. My brain instantly sends crazy illogical thoughts. "You are going to get trapped inside the machine while you are bolted to the table and no one will remember that you are there." My brain laughs at my sudden distress and doubles down on the chaos. "No one is coming to rescue you because you are not worth rescuing. Last time was a fluke, this time you are going to suffer and die." If you haven't figured out, this part of my brain is into torturing the rest of me.

I am an adult, I have talked to doctors about this, I know that it is a one in a gazillion chance that I will get stuck and die in the MRI machine, and my logical brain knows this too. The non-logical part of my brain forgets we are human and goes straight for chimpanzee mode, screaming and thrashing around in my brain. I have talked to doctors about the internal war, the instant and overwhelming panic that follows these episodes. Whether from the MRI machine or from an interaction with someone or something else. If you have been reading along.... Mindfulness is one of the medical professionals recommendations. Sometimes it helps, sometimes like flies in tea, it doesn't.

To calm down, I made a lovely cup of tea. I was mindful in watching it brew, enjoying the dance and rain of color as the red hibiscus petals bled throughout the water leaving swirling tails. I added a generous 2 teaspoons of evaporated cane syrup to my delicious tea and inhaled its glorious scent. I stumbled down the driveway to my office on a mission to make the day better and get things done. Then emails assaulted my brain and brought the panic back on. Was I good enough, could I do it, where did I go wrong.

I told myself it would be ok, to focus on my tea. Enjoy the morning and take pride in what was starting to look really good. Then BOOM, a $%^#$^&*(*&^%$##@# fly at the bottom of my cup! (that gibberish is all the bad words I said seeing the fly) I took a deep breath. Looked around my office. Said a prayer thanking my friend Kristina who came to help me organize yesterday and tried to be mindful of the fact that I had room to walk and was no longer swamped by projects needing done. Then I did the next logical thing.... I wimped out.

So this is me telling you, my friends, my readers, my family and those folks who love me, hate me, or don't even know me. Sometimes in life you just have to wimp out. Waive the white flag, yell to the support staff that you are giving up. Beg the knight in shining armor to save the day, and go hide back in your personal hidey hole. Then wash out your cup, make a new pot of tea, and start all over again. Hopefully without a new fly invading the serene comfort of leaves dancing in water.

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