Look Closer…

One year ago today….

This was a picture perfect day as captured from the rooftop deck at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I remember the first part of the day being a lovely family outing. And there are dozens of other pictures taken that morning which support my memory. 

But shortly after this picture was taken, our son had his first debilitating panic attack. In the middle of the aquarium, we all had our first experience with the wave of panic washing over him and sending him to the floor in a fetal position. It was possibly the most frightening moment of my life. And was certainly a turning point in my son’s story. 

Just 2 days before this picture was taken, we had made an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss the possibility of medication. If there was any doubt left lingering that our boy needed the support of medication, that disappeared as we helplessly watched him first huddling on the floor in the middle of a crowd and then watched as he ran searching for an exit from the building. 

That day marked the beginning of a long series of days and weeks and months that were colored by fear and exhaustion for all of us. Because even though medication was only weeks away from this date, it took a long time for us to see and feel the effect. 

Everything you just read? That’s what all flashed through my head as I saw this picture pop up in Timehop this morning. It was an awful lot of emotion and memory before 7am. 

But then I looked closer. I looked at the picture again, and I saw how far we’ve come this year. On that day we didn’t even yet have an actual diagnosis. We were still searching and trying desperately to get to an answer before something went terribly wrong. On this day, a year later, we have the diagnoses and answers and experience to better handle whatever his brain or life might throw at us. We are so much better equipped. And while we know there are likely more dark days to come (that will masquerade as sunny and picture perfect), we also know we can fight that darkness. 

So look closer. Look closer and you can see both the broken and the beautiful. 

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3 thoughts on “Look Closer…

  1. Your post reminded me of my experience with panic attacks, and also my daughter’s. I know how scary it is, as a parent, and as the one with the panic. I relate to the panic and the urge to run out of the place I’m panicking. Hope your son is doing better!

    Like

    • Thanks! He’s in a far better place than he was this time last year. The combination of medicine and some maturity are helping him to recognize the warning signs and manage the panic when it comes. He still has panic attacks occasionally, but they are far less frequent and far less intense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s wonderful! I was so happy when the medicine worked for my daughter, and she was able to go back to school and her normal life. But there were still setbacks, but she had more control over the panic. So glad he’s doing better!

        Liked by 1 person

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