I laid on my dad’s sage green couch and breathed in the fear and the unknown as it overtook me wave by wave. My chest felt tight with each breath and the only real noise in the room was the crackle of the fire and the buzz of my guy snoring. There was a comfort in being in my dad’s home. It felt safe and it felt like the comfort I needed in the moment.
But my chest burned with fear as I ran my hand over my guy’s perfectly buzzed head. I knew in less than 24 hours his head would be opened and his brain would be exposed to the air. The image of this moment was debilitatingly fearful. I knew the flight or fight response was real. I have always. I grew up with and continue to live with contamination OCD. My world and the people in it are invisibly labeled as “safe” and “not safe”. When that fear rises up my brain pleas with me, “not safe”. It is in this moment I recognize I have two options.
Thankfully, I have gone through behavioral therapy and I know this is the point where I fight or flight. What are the benefits and the risks? That night the risks were too great and felt insurmountable. My guy on the operating table. I wanted to pick flight. I wanted to run. I wanted to be anywhere but where we were.
I called my lifelong friend and I whispered into the phone, “I can’t do this.” She whispered back, “you can’t not, besides you already are.” I couldn’t opt of this fight. It never really was my battle to fight. It is his and he needed relief. But as the next 48 hours went on I mentally drug my feet the whole time. Thankfully, my friend on the other end she sat next to me then too.
Here is the thing…I am there again. I don’t know why. This part of the weight loss feels similar. The process is slow and I feel like I am dragging my feet. Sometimes I want to give up. I am not sure what keeps me in especially when my body is tired and beaten down. I look in the mirror and want more. I want smaller, thinner and less sag. I know ultimately I will choose fight, but sometimes the battle is so hard and I just want a break. But I refuse to go two steps back because it is hard. Life is hard.
Besides, I can’t opt out of this one because I am already doing it.