Sitting on the damp chair, feeling a breeze blowing through my hair, looking at the drops of petals scattered on the table freshly fallen from the storm last night. Feeling the fog of being up for hours during the night, leading to me sleeping until 9 AM instead of my normal 6 AM wake up call. Unable to fully wrap my head around things this morning, and suddenly like the lightning that blew out our electricity last night, a thought strikes me.
I survived a crisis last night without anger.
If you've followed my blog for sometime, or me on any social media outlet, you'll know that anger is my emotion of choice. Most of us have an emotion that overwhelms the other emotions. For example, when I was sad about Steve's diagnosis I in turn got mad at everyone around me, because I couldn't process the sadness properly.
Of course after years of inner work I am proud of how I handle my emotions most days, but crisis is always the true test. Here's a view into how I was able to do crisis management.
My sleep is so light these days, the sudden jolt of the power turning off, had me jump out of bed. Reaching for my glasses, I hear Steve's vent and oxygen machine start to beep waking Steve up to discover the power was out. As he's typing on the tobii, I'm immediately off to the kitchen to grab O2 tanks and get him comfortable. As I'm on the phone with the power company, I feel the tears coming down my face.
Sniffling, I inform the guy on the phone, how we are dependent on the vent and O2 and he replies, "It's a rather large outage, call back in an hour and we can give you more details on the length it will be out."
Hanging up, I give into the fear, and cry it out. For a minute fully feeling the fear and releasing it, which apparently happens with tears no matter the emotion these days. Taking a deep breath before walking into the room, "Okay if you can get settled to sleep, I'll be up and I'll wake you up if we need a back up plan, we have at least 5 hours of reliable life here."
His anxiety was overwhelming his eyes, so as he frantically was darting from letter to letter, the tobii was spelling out nothing but jibberish fear made up words. "Do you need some anxiety?" I ask looking at his bright red face.
One blink, yes.
As I'm pushing the crushed meds through his feeding tube I say, "Look we will be okay no matter what happens, whether it's home a few hours in the dark, or getting emergency help if it's longer than 5 hours," really feeling the words, Steve slowly drifted back to sleep.
Crouching down in the hallway with a flashlight pointed at a journal I decided to write while I waited it out. The anxiety was still there, as I had to pace a few times to release it, but it didn't lead to anger.
Our last few crisis situations, have been hospital visits, where I'm in what I call caregiver back up mode, to where I completely function without truly being present. This being the first non health related crisis in some time, I was fully there. I just sat and waited, as I was about to call the company after a little over two hours without power, the first ring was interrupted by the thump of the power turning back on.
Feeling so overwhelmed with gratitude I walk into a wide awake smiling Steve. Hooking him back up to his machines and turning on his sleeping movie, I fall right to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. Sitting here waiting for a delayed wound care to let him sleep off his missed sleep, I feel a sense of accomplishment. I used to feel silly to pause and recognize being able to control my emotions. In my mind I would think, 'Well, I should just naturally do that, so what am I celebrating?'
These days, however, I'll celebrate it all. Because truth is we should be celebrating this stuff. If I've learned anything in this almost 32 years, it's that celebrating the little things, leads up to celebrating massive things. It should all be celebrated. So today i'll be in celebration of the blessings of electricity, a diligent company who worked hard in that storm last night to give us power, and for my crisis management skills kicking in last night.
What are you celebrating today? :)