“A past filled with panic attack symptoms, major depressive disorder, and separation anxiety. If you think I’m going back to where it all began, you’re crazier than I was. I don’t even want to think about it. Go there? Not a chance.”
Well, our friend is certainly adament. And you know what? I get it. I mean, who really wants to return to scenes of emotional and mental “crimes?” Pretty treacherous turf, actually. But I gotta’ tell ya’, journeys to our shattered past are well worth the time and expense for a bucket of reasons.
You guessed it. I took such a journey this past weekend. Oh, it was a quick one, but the positive impact will be looong lasting.
I’d like to tell you about it.
To your left is Holden Hall, on the campus of Michigan State University. That dormitory is “back where it all began” for me. But, let me bang home a point. No doubt, it’s “back where it all began” in terms of the explosion of my particular emotional/mental volcano; however, it all truly began many years prior. Hmmm, all that gathering seismic activity before the glorious eruption.
So to the dorm. I wasn’t a drinker until I attended a “kegger” there on my very first day on campus. Boom! And then there was my first (and last) dance with cannabis, and the all-out panic with derealization that followed. And Lord knows how many times I sat at my dorm room desk with a mind so scattered I stood no chance of tending to the academic business at hand. Absolutely shattering to the max – with no clue as to what was going down.
And the lava continued to flow as my pals and I moved off campus going into our junior year. Double Boom!! Now it was about epic panic attacks, E.R. visits, more derealization, depersonalization, drowning in alcohol, and – well – all out hell. It was definitely on.
Think the M.S.U. campus is one of my shattered past landmarks? Good golly, Ms. Molly!
So, okay, it was some 40 years ago. Still, I would choose to take a quick journey back? In fact, I did. I remain a Spartan at heart, and decided to attend the spring intrasquad football game. It was only going to be an afternoon trip, but the memories of my shattered past paid a visit. Dang, our brains are amazing, aren’t they? And never forget, it all goes back to our cave-dwelling ancestors and the liabilities of forgetting perilous situations. Those saber-toothed cats could be downright unforgiving.
Well, the first order of business was the hour-and-a-half drive there. No sweat. And this is just one of the reasons it’s so important to embark upon such journeys. I can’t tell you the number of times anxiety overwhelmed me on those countless trips to school and home. Pure torture! Um, but not this time around.
Upon arriving on campus, I made my way to Spartan Stadium. All clear there, as well. But, really, why not? Heck, I was drunk out of my mind anytime I made the stadium scene during my college years. Anxiety wasn’t an issue.
After the game, it was on to other past-significant sites on campus. There was Holden Hall, the Audiology and Speech Pathology building, and several halls where I attended classes. All places of mega-shatter. However, now, all places of reflection and comfort.
Finally, the drive home – and the feeling of a job well done. I suspect I knew all along things would turn-out just fine. But, hey, nothing wrong with confirmation.
Gotta’ ask. Do you have landmarks of your shattered past? Could be places where panic attack symptoms ripped you apart, or the darkness of major depressive disorder enveloped you. Maybe where that lump-in-the-throat separation anxiety left you feeling woefully homesick.
Have you ever ventured a quick journey back?
Scared? I understand. But I also understand unfinished business can be haunting.
If you haven’t already done so, think about taking a journey to your shattered past. There’s so much to be gained. You’ll do just fine, and you’ll be all the better for it.
And now to all those Chipur articles of the past. Take your time – peruse.