I'm deathly afraid of heights. One nightmare that keeps playing over and over in my head is a true account, yet I am dreaming about it almost nightly. Growing up my sister and I were very close to a neighbor, one of the nicest widows you would ever want to meet. She was considered family.
In the summertime she joined the local swim club and my sister and I would go with her for the afternoon. It was a treat. My sister was fearless. She was also athletic. She climbed up to the high dive and jumped. I preferred the low dive or even better, just reading a book under the shade of a tree. (And you want to know why the kids thought you were strange? Could that be it?)
One day I was double dog dared to jump off the high dive by my sister. So I did. Or tried to. I went up it, no problem. It wasn't until I was looking down, I suffered my first attack of vertigo. I turned around as if to climb back down, but there was a whole line of kids waiting to jump in that cool water. I had to. It was the scariest thing I have ever did with my life.
In a lot of ways it still is.
The last six years of my life, I have been paralyzed with fear as I look down on the pool. I can't jump, I can't go down. I'm just on the high dive scared as if death was near. Frozen. I'm not making any progress, but I am not failing. I just am stagnant. I just am breathing, but I am not living.
I am paralyzed.
Let's put it in another way. I'm stuck in my life. I'm not happy where I am right now. I know what to do to fix it but I can't take the first steps. Once again, I am cursed with a depression so severe I can barely get out of bed to do anything but use the toilet or feed the cat. I just don't see a point to get out of the bed.
Through my blinds I can see some of the children that live in the apartment complex playing a make-shift game of soccer in the parking lot. They are laughing and smiling as they chase the black and white ball, happy that school hasn't started, happy to be alive.
I lie in bed, surrounded by un-fluffed pillows and wish I was that eager. Wish I was that happy. I haven't been. Not in almost a decade. Let's face it. The last six years, I am not even living. I am existing. It's my heart that's beating because the primal brain is telling it to beat, my lungs are breathing because my brain is telling them to do that. Every day when I go to sleep I wish I could die in my sleep. Of course I don't. I don't have the energy to do anything other than stay in bed and sleep.
Was this the reason I developed agoraphobia? Did the depression transmogrify to something more serious?
I should know better. I'm too old for all this nonsense. Still I cannot move. I can't leave the apartment. I don't want to leave the bed.
I want nothing more to have the good fairy wave her wand and i will be cured. i can get out of bed, and go back to the land of the living.
Good fairies don't exist. I can't get better like that. I got to do the work. I have the tools, I know the steps.
I just can't get out of bed.
Today is my birthday. It's the birthday I've been dreading for the last month or so. All I know is I can't have another six years of existing not living. I need to start living, or if I can't get off the proverbial pot, I will start dying.
I just hope this birthday year things will get better. I'm sick and tired of waiting on the high dive to find the courage to jump. I have to find the courage or someone has to push me.