Years ago I spent some time with a cardiologist. My heart was doing these weird rhythms that didn't make sense and when it would suddenly start to trip along drunkenly, other odd things would happen. For instance, the whole world would suddenly feel like it had slowed down while I appeared to be moving lightening fast. I remember once watching my hand move rapidly across a test paper while my classmates seemed to be moving through molasses, my heart skipping and stumbling in my chest. And the cardiologist could find nothing wrong with me. Mostly because my heart refused to cooperate whenever he was looking, much like your car refusing to make that horrid noise once the mechanic lifts the hood.
And then it just stopped. Gone. Like that.
Recently these little attacks have come back, though this time the symptoms are more defined. My heart races more often than it skips and the only other thing that happens is that I become incredibly emotional. I feel every last thing, deeply, fully, and to the tips of my fingers. These emotional bursts seem to linger a bit. I had one yesterday and curled up in my favorite chair with a blanket, watching TV while breathing deeply to settle down the racing heart. Everything within me calmed and out we went for a friends birthday dinner, then off to book club for me. But later that night I found myself facing my Mister in bed, my hand on his chest, unable to look away from that connection. I was endlessly fascinated with that touch, the feel of his own heart under my palm. It completely distracted me from all other things, this tiny bit of space where my hand met his skin.
This morning when I woke I stood in my bedroom doorway watching the girls through the big living room window. Lily spun circles in the middle of the room then turned suddenly to chase Anya around the couch. Both were laughing when they crashed into each other in the fiercest of hugs, collapsing to the carpet, Lily practically carrying Anya down and squeezing her with the devotion of an older sister. Anya caught sight of me and waved, big loopy arm movements and a face full of sunshine. All the while they clutched each other, clearly so happy for their own connection. I thought my heart might burst.
A friend suggested that these are anxiety attacks, and that certainly could be the case. My life is in a bit of a stressful place right now, and yet, I don't feel all that freaked out about it. Nothing stressful or scary precedes these little episodes and they don't take me out of a functioning place. I can go on with work or caring for the girls if I need to. Getting to curl up and ride one out like I did yesterday is a luxury I rarely get to enjoy. I don't know what to think about this stuff, the heart racing or the emotional depth. Sometimes seeing the world so deeply shows me a side of "lucky" I'm not often aware of otherwise. To fall into a riot of love over that connection I witness between my girls or between me and the Mister is a gift. Though, it's admittedly harder to see that gift when it swings to the other side and I'm suddenly bawling at a TV show. The video below brings me to tears every single time I see it (and you have to see it, too), but with a greater depth of something akin to sorrow when I watch it during one of these episodes. What does it do to you?
If you don't already know about RadioLab, I urge you to go check them out.
Anyone out there with a theory as to what's happening to cause these occasional emotional overloads? I'm curious. Anyone else want to tell me what the above video brings up in them? Totally curious about that as well.