Saturday, November 3, 2012

Erin - 1, TD Garden - 0

It's like I have two people living inside me. The fun Erin who loves going to basketball games and concerts and being with people. Who lives in the moment and absorbs the energy of an excited crowd like a sponge. Who really loves being a part of something larger than myself with every fiber of my being.
Then there's the other Erin who is still riddled with anxiety even though I now have it under control. I'm not going to have a panic attack, but that doesn't mean I feel great and can stay fully present at all times when I'm put to the test.

I gave myself a big test yesterday. Jacob texted me early in the afternoon and said the Celtics were having their season opener tonight and would I want to go? Of COURSE I want to go! I love basketball games and the Celtics are my fave pro team! Kevin Garnett! Live and huge and in person! (And yes, he's even larger in real life!) Jacob wanted to take the plunge. He stumbled on incredible seats for a great price on Craigslist. Third row, center court, right behind where the announcers do their thing. Amazing. I'd never been to a professional athletic event before. I grew up on UConn mens basketball and developed a love of the game, the players, the spectacle, the crowd, the whole shebang. Love it.

However, being the Panic Queen of the Universe has kind of limited my access to it for many years. The TD Garden in Boston is one of my "hot spots" - a place I have attempted to go in the past but was unable due to crippling panic. Years ago, when Jacob and I first got together we decided to take a mini trip to Boston to do some sight seeing and go to a Bruins game. He is a huge Bruins fan but had never been to a game. He was beyond excited and honestly, so was I.

There we were, barely dating a month, but already a unit. He had splurged big time and gotten the Bobby Orr seats which, if I remember, come complete with a lap dance from Claude, the Canadian coach, and a Zamboni ride. However, that day, a water pipe had burst, flooding the train station beneath the Garden and condensing the crowd, creating for me, a feel of things not being safe. We had gotten there very early and unfortunately, that's my red zone. The time leading up to an event is my absolute worst for panic. What happened next was quite possibly the largest panic attack I had ever had. I was convinced I wasn't safe, I was going to die, Jacob was going to hate me and dump me, I was going to throw up. Diarrhea rocked my body as cold sweats and hot flashes slammed through me and even after spending 20 minutes outside in the car, I could not, would not, go back in there. Jacob was furious. He didn't know me fully at the time. He didn't know what to do. He was scared and disappointed and rightfully so.

He did, however, drive me home. He didn't break up with me despite certainly considering it after seeing the truth of my crazy. Was he upset? Yes. Apparently, however, it wasn't a deal breaker. Something that should have comforted me, and it did, but it also terrified me because what if this happened again? He's a social guy. He loves going places and doing things. Sporting events are his crack. The man loves it. What guy wants to be with a girl who can't go to anything with him?

Anyway, clearly, we worked things out what with getting married and everything. The TD Garden, however, remained my Everest.

Last night, I conquered it. Mostly. I even had the complication of having eaten a bad bagel earlier in the day and seriously feeling like crap.

BUT survived the 90-minute drive and the epic traffic that made us miss the entire first quarter and all the cool stuff leading up to tip off. Survived the game despite the fact they played like crap. Enjoyed seeing David Ortiz about 20 feet away from me the entire game as he sat on the sidelines. Really enjoyed the time-outs when they play music and put people on the big screen. Seeing people absolutely filled with joy, dancing like fools, dressing up in crazy costumes, that was awesome.

I'm not 100%. I'm not dying to go back to the TD Garden. But I am thrilled I went there, had fun, spent time with my hubby, and did something even a year ago,  I never thought I could do. It's a marathon, not a sprint when you're an anxiety and panic sufferer. This stuff doesn't go away overnight. Living actual, concrete proof last night that I can do it, I will continue to face my fears, I will not be kept in a box by my anxiety is precious to me. I have every right to live my life. I deserve to be free and I intend to fight for that right without end. Because at the end of day, it's really me I'm fighting for. And I am worth it.

Hey Paul Pierce! You're RIGHT THERE!

Amazing seats, I totally felt like a celebrity!

No comments:

Post a Comment