When It All Falls Apart
Ok… real talk!! I had a breakdown last week. See what had happened was… let’s actually backtrack just a little bit. Every Monday morning I fly to La Guardia Airport in New York, hop in an uber to work at 2 healthcare facilities in the Bronx, and head back home to Pensacola on Thursday evening.
Now let us go back to last Wednesday when Winter Storm Grayson attacked everyone on the north east coast, cancelling 100% of flights out of La Guardia Airport (LGA) on Thursday. Now… before I regale you with my “harrowing journey home,” I want to first share something else that happened on Wednesday… I have been diagnosed with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for over 10 years. PTSD never goes away, but with the right treatment, you can learn to cope with the triggers, the anxiety, the rage, etc.
For me, reliving the night when I was sexually assaulted, raped, abused, then sent to the hospital via ambulance is my regular flashback night terror. My coping mechanism that I learned from my parents (both counselors) and my trauma therapist was to go to my safe place. Well unfortunately, Tuesday night leading into Wednesday morning, my “safe place” no longer existed… I haven’t had a problem finding a safe place in at least a year, and after crying, and praying and pleading with God, I finally was able to go back to sleep from my night terror… here is the problem, it was about an hour before my alarm would go off.
Now let’s fast forward to my supposedly normal workday, when everything seemingly falls apart on Wednesday. My flights were cancelled, and it looked like I wouldn’t make it home to Pensacola until Saturday evening, with a turnaround time back to New York of Monday morning. Now, usually, flight issues don’t stress me out. I’ve been a healthcare coach/consultant for 4 years, this is by far not the worst issue I have seen with travel. However… factor in maybe 1 hour of sleep, pure physical mental and emotional exhaustion from dealing with my PTSD… and I was done! In my head… I was screaming!! Just screaming for something to just go right. I was screaming to go home, screaming to not have to deal with the bullsh*t that is my PTSD, screaming to just be done…
Well, my co-worker and I were able to book a flight that Wednesday evening that would get us as far south as South Carolina. She needed to get to Georgia, I needed to get to Florida. Silver lining, where we were going in South Carolina just happened to be where one of my brothers, and my adorable niece and her fabulous mom live. THINGS ARE LOOKING UP, but then… our plane breaks. No, we are not going to make it to South Carolina because of weather, it’s because our plane hates us!! (Ok, enough drama).
At this point, my coworker and I are just worn out, and as we are listening to other passengers upset and complaining about what to do next, we ironically enough become everyone’s confidante and advisor. You see when you are a seasoned traveler, sometimes you just can’t help but explain how the airport systems work. You know what else? It’s amazing how your spirits lift, when you start thinking of someone other than yourself. Now, let me be clear, I did not have a divine and humbling “God moment.” I was too tired to think about my situation anymore, and I had a challenging and subtle “God moment.” A “God moment” I didn’t even realize was happening until our plane miraculously was fixed… I kid you not… that plane was not making it out of New York. The amazing gate agents and pilot ran all the way around the airport to find the best mechanics to get us out of there!!
Well, as people are excitedly filing in line to board, a lovely couple (who I truly thought were annoying for most of this journey) told me, and I quote “Thank you for helping us. You have handled yourself so well, and you helped us feel better about this.” Ummmm cue jaw drop, as I know in my head that is not how I felt… it was at that moment, that I learned their story. They were there for the husband’s mother’s funeral, and on their way to the funeral, the husband realized he was having difficulty walking. They went to a doctor and he was diagnosed with a treatable but debilitating disorder. I talked with him about other healthcare options, and he left that night knowing he didn’t have to just succumb to his fate…
Needless to say when we arrived in South Carolina at 1:30am on Thursday morning, I was starting to see God’s message in all of this. Don’t miss out on my calling because you’re too full of your own bullsh*t. Soooo now comes the journey to Florida!! Where I live in Florida is about 7.5 hours, and 4 states (including South Carolina and Florida) from my brother. My dear sweet amazing brother stayed up and waited for myself and my coworker, and we both got our rental cars, and headed to his home for a rest. After what was one of the best nights sleep I have had in a long time, and a quick bonding moment with my brother, niece and her mom, I headed out to Florida!! Usually, I don’ t take pictures at state lines, I don’t blast the music, and I don’t really grab a meal on these type of trips (Yes, I have had to do this before). Mainly because I am too irritated that work, flights, mother nature, etc. have delayed my journey.
However, I was determined to live in this moment. I grabbed breakfast and lunch for the road, blasted the best radio station I could find in South Carolina, and headed out. I took a random picture at each rest stop, stopped and talked to strangers, and turned what was truly a 7.5 hours trip into about an 8.5 hours trip, just so I could be part of the moment. Now, let’s be honest, when I got home, I was exhausted, worn out and bless my sweet boyfriend’s heart, ready to just be done, but… I had an experience that reminded me of this beautiful faith-based song below,
“When everything falls apart your arms hold me together
When everything falls apart you’re the only hope for this heart
When everything falls apart and my strength is gone
I find you mighty and strong, you keep holding on
You keep holding on”~ Everything Falls by Fee