There has been grey everywhere every day for months now. My mood has also been grey, my overall stress level red hot, yet hidden beneath heavy bedrock. My destination blue and bright, and a powerful opposition to the heavy grey bedrock. Within time the bedrock would crack, letting the red hot stress escape and burst into daylight.
Standing over a turquoise ocean with temperatures as hot as summer, I was in paradise. For months I had endured mundane routine and accumulated stress in preparation for this respite of golden rest and reconnection. The first two days were a period of defrost – an adjustment to the warmth and an unscheduled and easygoing routine. Although not fully adapted, I embraced the vacation lifestyle: a late night margarita or two with fully-loaded nachos on our 18th floor balcony. “Ahhh, this is the life” …until our champagne toasts turned into after-dinner peppermint teas. The day after our late night margaritas and nachos we were out for walk when my husband sighed, “I need to lay down.” This was the turning point in our golden rest and reconnection. A cold was coming on and with it a sweeping red hot eruption. My nervous system kicked into high gear despite any soothing self-talk. I was in ‘survival mode’ regardless of logic and present day circumstances. I had not experienced this upheaval in over two years. It was an unwanted occurrence with no quick fix. Given my familiarity with the panic I knew the symptoms and cycle. I whispered to myself, “You are not alone.” As scary as it was, I allowed my body to cycle through the havoc. I reached out to loved ones and risked being honest about what was happening.
It was a planned vacation that had its own plan. The summer temperatures and bright sunshine brought to light the underlining stress I was harbouring. I had hoped for rest and reconnection but needed to give full attention to my health. I took her to the beach and reassured her that we were safe. I gave her all the time she needed to repair. Bright blue turned to red hot, then back to grey as I returned home – not as rested as I had hoped for but with a renewed perspective.