I have had a rough time lately. I have had frequent panic attacks, usually centered around pain. Panic attacks like this are a new thing for me, and have been very difficult to get used to. And then, in the midst of having panic attacks, I took a couple vacations that were so painful and scary that they completely overwhelmed my ability to cope. That’s why I haven’t posted in a while.
But today, during a bout of panic, I remembered one trick after a long period of disuse: singing.
Even if I feel absolutely miserable, I can actually sing a song about it. A stupid, improvised song. Like: Hey! This sucks and I feel bad, I don’t want to feel bad! My right knee hurts really bad! And I don’t think that I’ll make it through! Panic is coming down the tracks and I don’t think I will ever get back! To a normal life! Hey! Hey! Hey!
Even if the song is one long moaning lament, it helps. It helps me find a lighter way of relating to what’s happening, even if it’s intense pain and panic and my mind is shutting down. If I remember to, I can actually sing within that. It’s also a nice way to avoid being a downer to my pregnant wife, because it’s hard for her not to laugh when I’m shamelessly singing a stupid song about my knee pain.
With that said, I am shocked at how hard life can get. Even for someone like me, with all my tools and strategies to cope with pain, all my Zen training, all my privileges and financial stability and loving relationships with my wife and friends.
So I’m writing this to reach out from my place of darkness. To tell others who are really suffering, really struggling, that you are not alone. In your brokenness, I am with you.
We may feel broken, but we can feel broken together.
I am singing for you.