Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Brain in a Holding Pattern

Have you ever experienced what feels like the suspension of time?  I'm sure there are countless circumstances that could render this sensation.  For me, this comes every time I await pathology reports.  

I've been in this for a week now.  I feel myself turn into an airplane in a holding a pattern.  Truly. Get the visual going- I can feel myself turning stiff with fear, not wanting to say anything but the uttering of a groan (that's sort of airplane-ish). I can feel it come on, a couple of days after a surgery...and each day that I wait, I sense the building of doom from within.  

A holding pattern is the only way I can explain this with a visual twist.  Here is the evolution of this temporary transformation: It's me, the aircraft, flying through life, doing what I need to do, moving forward, taking care of myself (the surgery).  Then a short-lived sense of relief...ya know, from surviving the surgery.  With this comes bunches of gratitude, smiles, joy....for a day or two.  Then comes the announcement from air traffic control (which is really just my brain.  ugh.), telling me that at this time, I will need to go into a holding pattern, until otherwise notified (pathology results come).  And right there, the direction of moving forward gets bent...into a circular motion.  Circling.  

While swirling through this suspended state of being, lots of stuff arises in the mind.  It's an interesting place for thought.  It's where I revamp my bucket list, hang out in the Kubler-Ross model a little bit, with some bargaining with God.  It's where I vow to enjoy every moment if I am given more moments.  It's where I talk to myself about eating more healthfully, treating my body like a temple.  It's also where the doldrums set in and a tinge of listlessness may come.  

So, technically, while in a holding pattern, one awaits clearance to land.  In my brain, I'm waiting to hear if I will get clearance to make a smooth landing, or if I will just crash.  Circling and waiting.  

I know.  There are tools to employ during times like this.  And I do.  I pray, and breathe, and try to keep my daily routine going, but the mind, MY mind, does this.  And then the day comes.  The call comes from those in air traffic control (my surgeon), and I hear the words.  Today I heard the words "NO malignancy", which is my permission to land...safely.  

And down I come.  Back to earth; back to life.  The smile comes back, gratitude overflows, and with a renewed mind, I am back on the ground.  Glad to be back!

"Forever is composed of nows."

~Emily Dickinson 

Getting ready for eye surgery...at the party store.  Making it a family affair...all members wearing eye patches.

Coming down from the holding pattern!


  1. Sort of like living in a play. Nothing is very real. Defense mechanisms kick in, keeping the mind from wandering too far in a direction you don't want it to go.

    Denial(boarding the plane)
    Numbness,fear,more panic,tears(holding pattern)
    WTF! I'm ok??!! Are you sure?(bumpy landing)
    Joy...but never quite the same person (cab ride home)