Thursday, November 14, 2013

On overcoming fear and anxiety

There are legitimately only a handful of things that truly freak me the fuck out.

They include:
-Getting kidnapped
-My dog getting murdered
-The thought of my niece making poor life decisions
-Zombie clowns

But the one thing that shakes me to my core in the worst way possible is the thought of having to live the rest of my life without Husband in it.

He is one of those guys who has a very different view on life. His job forced him to see things from a different perspective. He is unable to stop and smell the flowers, like I can. I guess once you see things, do things, have certain experiences- your whole mindset about the world changes. That is pretty much him in a nutshell. He's gone a lot- for work. And when he's home the lack of heart pounding every day activities leaves him unsatisfied. When your body and your mind is constantly working with high levels of adrenalin for an extended period of time, it makes sense that you wouldn't be able to just sit and be still... and be happy. Comfort is uncomfortable to him. He is an adrenalin junkie.

His hobbies include things that make me squirm. I'm not a pansy by any means, but I don't get my jollies off on the side of a mountain, 8 pitches up, with nothing but sheer vertical rock below me.
A couple of days ago, Husband and two of his friends set out to do a day climb about an hour and half northwest. I was excited for him. It is a pretty difficult route, 9 pitches total. Nothing they couldn't handle because they are motivated, smart, but most of all experienced. The morning of his climb, the wind was insane down here in the flats. It sort of tipped me off that their climb would be more challenging today. But again, they are smart- after the 3 hour hike just to get to the base of the rock the weather could change and the wind could die down. Nothing to worry about. 

It wasn't until 7pm when they missed their check in time. Still, for me- I wasn't worried. I just figured they had a rough day, they're having dinner and few a beers. Then 10pm rolls around and the other wife called me. She wasn't too worried either, just mildly concerned. It wasn't like her husband to not call after a climb let alone 3 hours later. So, for the first time ever in my life I called a guy in ten minute increments for two hours straight. Side note, I did not like this.

At midnight, and after zero contact with any of them; that's when I started to panic. I've dealt with situations like this and I know not to freak out and that the best way to handle it is to keep a calm, positive head. 12:01, Kimber calls me- she's not as calm as I am... not even close. So, we made the executive decision for me to head over to her house so that we can go over the location information and to call in a search party. Fucken great. 42.9 seconds after I've got real pants on and I'm sitting in my car- fighting back the urge to vomit... Kimber calls. They made contact. Knowing that Husband was going to call soon we got off the phone with each other immediately. Husband calls, and his words verbatim "I'm so sorry. Everyone is alive. We're on our way home now."
I sat in my car for ten minutes. Speechless. Numb.

Husband is my best friend, my absolute favorite person in the entire world. He makes me laugh, he makes smile, he keeps me safe and loves me like no other. He enhances my life in so many ways and as cliche as it may sound- my life on this earth without him in it just doesn't make any sense to me. He exemplifies everything strong and brave, smart and courageous, chivalrous and romantic. Husband is the epitome of my idea of perfection.

The next day, we sat together and just talked about what happened. As difficult as it was for me to listen to, I can only imagine how much harder it was for him to have to tell it.  There was nothing that could stop the tears streaming down my face. His fear was real. The tears were not sadness, but of relief and gratitude that I got to hear the story from his mouth- two feet away from me.

Being prepared and understanding how to deal with fear and anxiety is easier said than done. I've lived through many close calls and it never gets easier. I doubt it ever will. The fear doesn't lose intensity just because your brain demands you stay calm. I know I came off as calloused and unconcerned to Kimber but what she fails to see is that I'm just as afraid of losing the man I love as she is. But the outward emotion makes no difference in the reality of the situation, in my mind. My tears won't bring them back down the mountain faster. My panic and stress doesn't shield them from the nearly freezing temperatures. Me sobbing on the phone doesn't bring the feeling back into his hands and feet any faster. All it does it make him feel worse and I won't ever put that added weight on him.

Bottom line: Husband is doing good. He's not quite back to 100% but he's already planning his next climb and that is admirable. Overcoming fear and anxiety to pursue what makes you truly happy is the only way to live your life. I applaud this man and respect his passion. "Climb mountains, fuck bitches." Husband is OAF after all.

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