Friday, February 8, 2008

A Helping Hand...

I sat in the parking lot of Wal-Mart behind the wheel of my mother's car.  It had been about an hour and I had smoked over three cigarillos.  People came and went from the store, and I had a good time people watching.  Soon, mom came ambling out.  She looked worried and tussled. 

"Feel my hand," she said as she got in the car.

"Your hands are just a shaking," I told her as I cranked up the car.

"I am having one of my panic attacks," she told me. "I saw so many people I knew in Wal-Mart, and I have so much to do.  I just wanted to come and go quietly."

"Never fails," I told her as I drove out of the parking lot and got on highway 29. "Never fails to get caught by a lot of people when you feel ill."

It was a short drive to my father's pharmacy.  Dad was off for the afternoon and mom needed some copies of a living will she was carrying.  Shaking hands and all, she went in the store only to return a few minutes later.

"What makes us do this?" she asked me as I drove to my grandmother's house.  "Why can't we just be normal?"

My heart went out to my mother as I replied, "It is going to be okay.  You've done a lot today and need to lie down."

"I sleep all the time, though," my mother told me.  "I stay in the bed.  I can't even run errands without getting upset."

I knew how my mother felt as I drove us towards home.  I had agreed to drive her because she was having a bad day with her anxieties and panic attacks.  I thought of my own returning to work.  Could I?  Could I be so brash to think I can work with my "busy" mind and my anxieties?  I am going to try.  I am going to be at work 11 PM my time Monday night and hopefully third shift will be far kinder than first or second -- the busiest times of the day for fast food.

There comes a time when you have to face your biggest fears, and try to overcome your most limiting liabilities.  You're only given so many chances in life until they no longer come.  I hope to make the most of this chance to work -- a chance to reinvent the mentally ill man that was always so afraid of change -- so afraid of others and afraid of being independent.  As work draws closer, I grow more resolute that I am doing the right thing -- the most important and life changing thing I've done in years.   


Sharyna said...

Your mother sounds like such a sweetheart. I'm really looking forward to your work and the adventures that it brings.


Sharyna said...

In response to Twitter: What on earth is your father doing with your driver's license!? If your mail is going to their house, get a PO box with your first check!!


Andrew said...


A good citizen found it and knew my parents (small town -- it was stolen with my car and the theif discarded it). They gave it to my parents.

Ally0005 said...

Interesting that you are driving without a license. You could never do that around here if you get stopped without a license, ticket.

Jimy said...

Is that the Super Walmart in Valley? Hiway 29 can be very busy! I get nervous around crowds, too.

Gaviota_mx said...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? … There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do… And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson

jrlmx2 said...

you inspire me, Andrew.

justLacey said...

Tell your mom that Walmart makes me anxious too. Especially if it's crowded. I hope you will be ok at work too. I think you will, you've been doing so well. I had panic attacks at work a few times. It was hard, but the business of it actually helped them to pass. I think 3rd shift will be kind to you and perhaps the two of you will be good friends. Don't let your mind talk your heart out of what it knows you can do. Plus, you'll be so cute in your Mickey D's garb.

Jbeeky said...

I loved this post, Andrew.

KYRIE said...

I have had my share of anxieties as well lately :)
I know u can overcome whtever challenges u will face in the rat race world. The beginning of a new year (chinese new year is still a new year!) and a new chapter in ur life. I am excited for u.
Try to relax and get plenty of sleep this weekend though. U will need it.

Social Skills said...

It is possible to learn how to cope with panic attacks with a lot of hard work and perseverance. You can check out, they have all the information that you will need about panic attacks. It definitely helped me, and I can see an improvement in my condition already.

Anonymous said...

Panic attacks could be linked to Phobia, or a fear of knives, or a fear of insects, which are fear complexes, which can be about something repressed.

My research suggests 80% suffer from anziety.

We are naturally pleasure creatures, and we like to ignore feelings that make us feel worse.