Car accidents are most frightening, perhaps because they are unexpected. Now that I've calmed down, and the shock has subsided a bit, I lay in bed, physically stiff, but in a mental state of reflection. As I first inspected the damage to the car, I couldn't help but think, 'Great, look what I've done. This is going to be so expensive to fix'. My dad's car, the one I was driving, was just inspected and fixed two days ago, and I've already managed to undo what was refurbished. As I stood outside the car, legs trembling, hands shaking and body aching, I felt a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Guilt and failure took hold of every thought and emotion. I thought I had let my dad down, even though I knew the accident wasn't my fault. 'Why me?! Why can't I catch a break?' I cried. Suddenly a familiar voice rang in my ear. ED decided this was the perfect opportunity to make his first appearance of the day. The sounds of the sirens dimmed as ED's voice crescendo'd deeming messages including, 'You fucked up. Your day is ruined. The stress, anxiety and guilt you feel will make you forget about your hunger, because you don't deserve to be fed'. I froze. Was I really going to let an unavoidable car accident prevent me from eating lunch? Do the two even correlate?
car accident= no lunch
I think not.
The fear of the unknown daunts me with pain and panic. The state I was in after the crash greatly resembles the state of my panic attacks, which provokes a thought-- and perhaps a method to the madness. Anxiety exists in many forms, and panic attacks arise in a plethora of situations. Whether it's attributed to the stress of a final exam, moving, eating a piece of cake, or being involved in a car accidnet, the physical sensations are exactly the same:
shortness of breath
While I may be faced with such sensations in diverse situations, how I cope must remain consistent. Starving myself won't help, shutting down and isolating sure won't make the situation better and binging and purging will only add to the loss of control I already feel. I must breathe in. And breathe out. I must assess the situation, rationally, tearing myself away from the dichotomous (all or nothing) thoughts. Then, I must pro-act, rather than react.
So what did I do? I called my dad, talked to the police and waited-- anxiously. My dad picked me up, brought me home and called the insurance company to file the claim. Now, I'm left with a choice to make. I can either dwell on what happened, how it could have been avoided and what I did wrong. Or I can accept the accident for what it is, remind myself that it was, after-all, just an accident in which no one was hurt, and enjoy a mindful and grateful lunch with my family.
(courtesy of CountryHarvest)
Take that, ED.