Same old shoes same old feet .
She gasped, choked on her being and sighed a sigh that only she understood
Genevieve had spent so long living in fear that she didn’t recognise this person that hugged her bones, the box that encased her heart, the person that she now was beginning to understand was her – Genevieve may Jones.
Sitting in her room hiding not from the Elements but from herself, Genevieve had grown to be used to her existence, one of fear. She felt her every move but not with her feet but with the rhythm of her pounding heart, she’d count every beat waiting for that missed beat so she could then say “see I am ill”, this isn’t all in my head, that head that tells me the stories the ones that always end with a girl in a bed saying goodbye with no control anymore. Genevieve had been suffering with anxiety relating to her health since she was a small child, believing , that’s right it was a belief but one that felt as real as that moment when you open your eyes in the morning, that is if you were lucky enough to have closed them in the first place that was, Genevieve never slept she was too busy, her thoughts racing, palms sweating listening to her body as if it impounded her, on this particular night the air was still, her husband slept beside her the only comfort that she had was to listen to the heavy breathing of the person she knew so well lying next to her she knew only too well that many woman found their husbands snoring unbearable and she only wished she could join this normality and feel the urge to shove him but she didn’t for the noise of his breath was the only way that she could regulate her breathing Genevieve would use his rhythm, stealing it desperately to breath at the same pace thinking that if she did this she would be ok. The nights were long, sometimes she would walk around not knowing what she was doing and find herself looking in the mirror staring at herself wondering if she looked right, trying and always succeeding to throw herself in to panic just by looking at herself in the mirror, she no longer saw what everyone else saw, The anxiety had eaten away at her allowing her to only see a fragile, weak, ill person, no one could tell her different because in her head she was dying, she was born to die, no matter how many people desperately try to disprove her it wouldn’t work ,the anxiety would win, Genevieve found the panic start to grow she sat up right and said “repeatedly “oh No oh No” this is this the moment, the panic attack capsulated her body, owning it ,not allowing her to escape, like a python that stopped its victim from breathing by wrapping itself tighter and tighter around what eventually be a lifeless body, the fear to run is unbearable, but yet she would do it, up down from the bed she sprung yelling “help me help me” her husband George had seen this so many times before and it would never be easiest thing to be woken to, but he tried his best as he always did to bring Genevieve out of her panic but this was something that could he never quite achieve and he was growing frustrated and almost angry with her as he could see so clear what was happening but none of this mattered Genevieve was shaking now riddled with fear and wondering, always wondering why her George wasn’t worried “ George Can’t you see it? look at me” “stop it G you’re fine please believe me” he almost looked disappointed in her and tried to get close to but she couldn’t let him touch her, she knew he could never understand “you don’t do you?” her body still trembling, “what G What?” “you’ll never understand” the panic attacks often left the couple in a confused bundle of hopelessness, George would deal with this as only he knew how and this was drift back off to sleep leaving Genevieve sobbing and weak at this point and for a very small moment she would join the many “Normal” women and feel like thumping George hard for being able to sleep after her suffering and still suffering, but George worked hard who could blame him for being tired. The next day would come and G would beg George not to go to work as by now her body ached and then her mind would tell her stories about why she ached leaving out the rational thoughts. George couldn’t stay but would always be nearby as he worked as a self-employed gardener. She held on to his arm “ I can’t do this George” every world burning his ears as if they were fire from a dragons mouth he feared that he was not her Galahad he had no sword or strength and could not bear to see her like this anymore, “you must get Help G, this has to stop” but she had got help in past, Drugs that just left her mouth dry, and therapists that just made her head hurt and her body weak as she recalled painful childhood memories that didn’t quite seem to have any relevance , Where was she to go? Did he think that she wanted to be like this? He left that morning, and she sat as she always did barely moving only if she had to and then she would hold her breath till she could sit down again, moving only meant that she would have to feel more activity in her body leaving her with more questions that would arrive at the same answers and what ifs! Genevieve would find help, she sat at the computer- Facebook a link to the outside world like a bridge connecting their worlds with her own, she bravely typed in her doubting finger tips aching as she did so as they almost typed in slow motion, Anxiety/panic attacks Geneviève had never seeked out any kind of self-help through fear of what she might read, words equally could throw her in to panic having spent years not even being able to read the word “ cancer” as for some reason it would it make it more real. Her heart pounded a feeling she knew too well, she was opening up a world that she was unaware of, let’s face it the fear of the unknown was her main problem, A page of words and people’s lives appeared before her she started to read feeling nervously as she went like watching a scary movie with a cushion in front of your face, hiding but desperately wanting to watch at the same time. Her heart beating faster as she read in almost excitement now but the same adrenaline released as if it was fear, she was excited because as she read she realised “Oh my Goodness” this is real, these people feel how I feel, She rambled through the pages imagining flicking through a book of her, the computer screen was alive with words, people screaming and crying as they wrote and Genevieve feeling every word they had written. When George returned home to check on G that day, he noticed she didn’t respond to him as he walked through he door ,normally she runs to him holding on to him, pulling him down and sometimes crying in relief that she had him there for a moment and she could share her fear, but now she could hardly lift her glance from the screen she was transfixed, captured ,so unlike her, should he worry? Then wrenching her attention from the screen, she looked up at him “George Look what I’ve found I can’t believe it, Im not Alone” excitedly she recalled what she had read, George listened intently enjoying her newly found comfort that for once didn’t put any strain on him. From that day on this is where you’d find her, although she was careful with things she wrote and read what she read with a slight bit of fear, but not for herself you understand but for the people on the other side of the screens the lives of the people she was slowly beginning to see was not quite right and from the small things she’d learnt as she went along and knowing herself and her anxiety so well she knew the things that she was reading mainly the advice could not possibly be helping some of the desperate soles out there. She had been going out less and less lately it was too scary too much of a challenge so this page had become her life, using it when the panic attacks were too hard to bear, sharing them with others that seemed to relate to her, she gained strength from them even though they probably felt weak. It helped her worrying for others and to give them her thoughts and advice even though her own advice was something she rarely listened to. It was here that she found some help from someone that she can only describe to others as an angel she wasn’t a religious person but very spiritual and truly believed that if guardian angels were true she had found hers, Elaine had suffered but seemed a whole person, a real person and over the next few months Elaine was to help Genevieve through a technique that found G finding strength that she never she knew she had, courage that she thought only existed in others and realising that the fear she had was fear itself and that if she wasn’t scared of the feeling then the feeling couldn’t exist. IT was the hardest time ever, Genevieve had to be brave so brave no words can describe the courage that it took but she had now found an incomparable source of comfort and support someone to hold her hand with knowledge, after all Knowledge is and was power, The panic attacks were many and her vision was at times blurred but her focus was clear, she wasn’t turning back although at times and on many occasions she did. The words of this poem she’d written was now how she felt.
I walked willingly the tracks i use to fear
Following the stains of an anxiety drenched tear
With the same old shoes but different feet
Instead of down trodden now up beat
My heart beats to a different tune inside and out
...wearing a coat that once dressed me with only self-doubt
Still pushing the boundaries and finding my feet
Same old shoes, same Old Street
Noticing the flower i use to think was a weed
Every confident step is nourishment for the seed
Food for the soul that was once in a cage
On a walk that use to take fearful age
Looking through the eyes that only use to see fear
The same very eyes that cried the anxiety drenched tear
With the same old shoes but different feet
Dancing to the tune of a different beat.
She was no longer scared; she had found a silence, a “Hush”
Every day, in every way Genevieve was getting better.