Stuff I Talk About

by Christina Ledbetter

Jumping Rope and Skipping Town

Bumpy few days for no single reason I can put my finger on. Right out of the blue yesterday a span of four hours in which the sole purpose was to avoid a panic attack.

Strategy numero uno: Physcially shoo it away.

Away with you! I metaphorically shout, reaching for a dumbbell. I am just like the motivational posters. I stop for nothing.

‘Til I do.

As soon as I lift the weight, my body seizes up – “oh no you don’t go putting weights on me when I’m trying to find the nearest fetal position.” This battle goes on until I eventually drop it and instead pick up my jump rope. And it’s amazing how almost immediately my body loosens up.  

So there’s a journal entry for today: When I’m fighting a panic attack, don’t worry about weightlifting. Try jumping rope. 

They don’t tell you this on the posters, people.

(Are posters a thing anymore? I kinda don’t think so. Memes. Are those the thing now?) 

I’m so much better than I was two years ago. Worlds. But many days are still days to navigate and not days to slay like those folks on the meme posters do.

This worked. That didn’t. Jot down some notes on what to do differently when A happens and B doesn’t and C sneaks its head in and D won’t make an appearance and E is my only option. Now what the F do I do? (I can’t be the first to make that joke, right?)

Benson and I took the month of December off. He from work, me from my part time gig. Back in November when we plotted our plan, I envisioned our five carefree weeks filled with exploring new restaurants and maybe even travelling Texas. 

Look at us! Wearing fancy country clothes and touring this fine land! Heck, we might even ride a horse!

Turns out, our bodies and brains needed something very different, and save for two nights in Fredericksburg (more on that in a bit), we passed our time honing our Scrabble skills.  

So like I said: Fredericksburg. A quaint little town an hour from here. Our first trip since my falling apart over two years ago. Do the math and the numbers will tell you that we so got this.

Except.  

Except.  

Sometimes my brain doesn’t care that it’s been over two years and we’re only an hour from home and I’m safe. Sometimes my brain doesn’t give a damn.  

We found ourselves in a loud eatery the first night. My seat beneath a fan, the fan beneath a light, translating to constant flashes in my vision. By the time we made it back to our cabin I was crumbling. We pulled out the Scrabble board in efforts to keep my total collapse at bay, but even my dainty letter tiles weren’t strong enough to prop me up.

Me in a ball on the sofa. Benson rubbing my shoulder and telling me we can go home.  

Thankfully my fear of him falling asleep behind the wheel kept me from packing my bags. (Later he told me he’d planned to brew a pot of coffee, but looking back, I’m glad I didn’t know that.)

Day 2: A wobbly morning (sunrises after panic attacks are always accompanied by a hangover of sorts). We drove out to Enchanted Rock where we intended to hike for the day.  

In the truck I rephrased, “God help me. God help me.” Sometimes it’s the most eloquent prayer I can muster, and often the most profitable.

The clouds literally and figuratively parted when we pulled into the gravel parking lot and for the first time in years I hiked with my husband. We summitted our tiny rock and laughed at the wind and found a flat spot to eat our apples and cheese. On our way down we chatted with a family from the Netherlands. We’d been there two Octobers ago and told them as much. Also told them this was our first vacation since.

The man assumed our staying put was due to Covid and the government. We nodded along, not needing to spill our guts there on the side of a pink granite rock in the middle of Texas.

After a half day of hiking we poked through some shops and spent most of our time in a storefront laden with Indian goods.  

And in a sweet turn of events, Benson bought a travel bag.  

Categories: This and That

3 replies

  1. Bless you, Christina.

  2. Way to push, through! Christ in you! Thanks for sharing. I know this will be an encouragement for others. It is for me!

  3. Hi Christina. I went to school at Ranburne with Benson. My wife and I live in Burnet not too far from Wimberley. Be great to meet up with you both for a hike or some grub. Great blog by the way. My wife writes content as well for her Health and Wellness business. Chelsieward.com and on her Facebook page Chelsie Ward Wellness
    I sent Benson a friend request from her Facebook since I do not have one.

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