Little pink pills. Don’t lay down on the left side. Turn your head slowly. Try not to lay flat. Be real careful in yoga class.
Mostly, though, it’s shaken up the simple things I take for granted…like that when you turn your head, the world doesn’t turn with it. My first earthquake in Anahiem a few years back did the same thing – the ground moves? And so what else is this fragile that can change one morning when you wake up and find out things aren’t what you thought they are?
Pretty much everything. I’m not sure I like this realization. Some days, everything in my life seems clear. It makes sense, fits together. Never perfect, but completely manageable. And then, all of a sudden something shifts, and everything is spinning.
There’s nothing quite like the room spinning to make you feel out of control. We’re taught to believe that the world is both in orbit and spinning – but you can’t feel it. Yet the first sensation I felt the morning I experienced my bedroom spinning like I was sitting on an LP on a life-sized turntable was –Is this really happening? I see the earth spinning!
For most bits of pain or discomfort, there’s a pretty easy answer. Headaches – take Tylenol, have a nap. Upset stomach – lay flat, breathe easy, pepto bismo. Fever – cool cloth, more Tylenol, go to bed.
The room is spinning? I’ve got nothing. Get up? Oh, not good. Lay back down. Nope. Close my eyes. Can still see the room spinning. This is not okay. It’s like I’m ten years old and on the ride at the county fair that just keeps going a few turns past the fun. You can yell, “Make it stop, I need to get off!” all you want, but the operator just stares and smiles and it keeps on spinning.
So it is with life. There are so many things we can’t control. There’s the choices people make – spouses, friends, children, workmates. The economy. The competition. Even the neighbor’s dogs.
Some days, I know I’m just along for the ride – it’s usually short – and it’s exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. Everything is spinning out of control and you can’t make it stop. So let go.
With the vertigo, I’ve lost some of the gripping fear that came in the beginning – I now know it will stop, usually pretty quickly – and that for some reason, it doesn’t make me nauseous. So, when it hits, I pause, breathe, and know it’s going to be okay. The fear of something seriously wrong is gone. (Usually there’s a little expletive, and I’m okay.)
Maybe I can apply this when life goes spinning? Can’t make it stop, so what happens if I just breathe, let go, and hold on for the ride? Feel the moment of exhilaration? Let fly a little expletive…and bring it.