God Bless My Mother

November 17th, 2019

God bless my mother. At the crack of dawn, when I was terrifyingly alone in an unimaginably painful place during one of the most horrific moments of my life that I felt would never end, she gave me one of the greatest gifts of my 28 years: 28 minutes of calming, meditative affirmations from her heart into my ear, my brain, my soul, every cell of my body.

I was lying in bed at 5-something in the morning, when PTSD sent me into a fit the likes of which I didn’t know I was capable of enduring. My chest vibrated forcefully, feeling as if it were caving in with pressure. My heart raced and pulsed throughout my entire body. Extreme nausea overtook me. I was shivering, then perspiring. My extremities went completely numb. I grew frightfully dizzy. The pain in my eye, tooth and beyond rocked both my musculoskeletal and nervous systems. It was unstoppable, inescapable, terrorizing. Triggered by a single visual image, I was somehow able to keep anxiety at bay for a few hours with the techniques and meditations I have been learning, but then became unable to stave off its increasing weight any longer — and the all-consuming panic attack took vicious hold of my physicality and psyche. Nothing helped, all intensified. I kept breathing and kept writing, my only minor hopes. I concentrated, I fought, I wept. I tried to draw upon wisdom, ground myself in truth, tap into relaxed energies, utilize new skillsets — to no avail whatsoever, despite earnest, repeated, hopeful attempts.

I contemplated dialing 911, but settled upon a text to my mother. And without reply, one hour later, I made a desperate middle of the night phonecall to her. Prior to my accident, neither she nor I have ever had to deal with serious mental or emotional issues at close proximity, thus never acquiring adequate tools for handling anxiety, panic or trauma until it was thrust upon us in an instant with such severity, amid a multitude of health challenges. The learnings have been experiential, personal, intense, challenging, contradictory, unclear, incomplete though undeniable, without reprieve, often unwelcome, yet true and unavoidable. And our lines of communication have opened to new depths out of dire necessity, wherein I struggle to find words to articulate what I am facing, feeling, fearing and needing from her, from myself, from doctors and from other sources.

And today, her actions were a lifesaving blessing. I wish I could fully capture and share the transformative power of her words on the phone, but I can say this: she spoke with patience, pure love and positivity about the ocean, warmth, sunflowers, kind people, travels, Jamaica, Paris, Anchor Wat, Cuba, vegan food, Shabbat dinners, farms, friends, secret gardens, smiles, colors, hugs, fairies, pride, embrace; only elevating thoughts, only good things, only beautiful imagery, only gentle language; ever reminding me to feel her presence, her arms wrapped protectively around my body and soul, her love, and that of community and the whole world, surrounding me.

And just then, the sun literally began to rise, sending small yet mighty beams of light through my windows in Los Angeles and my mom's windows in the Bay Area. Tears streamed down my cheeks, as I felt the oxygen from my next inhale and the energy from her words penetrate deep into my system. After hours of unrelenting physical and emotional panic and paralysis, trauma’s stranglehold on my chest, my limbs, my core, my mind began to loosen ever so slightly. It took hours yet before I could bring myself to a state where I was finally able to sleep, for the first time all night, but her lovingkindness and gift of presence in that moment did what I could not do by myself, even with the growing toolbelt of skills I have been gaining from professionals across disciplines throughout recovery and slow healing. I am still seriously shaken, yet in awe and eternally grateful — for with her on this earth, I know I cannot and will not ever be left alone. My mother is a miracle.

Read more of my journey here. 

© 2020 Erin Schrode. About Erin. Contact.

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