Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What are you afraid of?

Personally, I'm afraid of everything. It may not necessarily be fear, but its anxiety over impending doom. Yea I know, I sound like a loon but I can't help it.
As a kid I lived in constant anxiety over angering my father and getting introuble, or the fear that my parents would fight yet again. At that time it wasn't a "condition" but a fact of life, we were constantly walking on eggshells with our mentally abusive alcoholic father. So now, as an adult, could this anxiety be growing from the seed planted so many years ago? After my father left, I don't remember feeling anxious or worried about things until a few years ago. For the most part I was fearless and indestructable as teenagers and young adults can be. I drank a lot, drove drunk, partied, and rode quads like I'd never die. These days I really truely only get anxious when I feel out of control of a situation, like being a passenger in a car or riding my horse. Sometimes I can control my anxiety and other times its paralyzing. I not only get anxious over things, but I'll actually play out little horrifying scenes in my head. For instance, the car careening around the corner and slamming into a tree when all we're doing is cornering just a little too fast. These scenarios play out all the time, and its uncontrollable. I imagine my horse climbing a hill, losing her footing and both of us stumbling to our death. Or jumping a log and I fly out of the saddle to split open the other side of my head. How do I stop this? Should I medicate myself to slow my heart rate, stop the shaking in my legs and the horrible visions in my head? Something needs to be done. It just isn't a trust issue anymore, its downright scary and I can't live this way.
Saturday and Sunday were not my best days. I feel bad for Summer. She's a great horse But I'm a nutcase and she feeds off of it. Saturday morning my friend Kirsten and her friend Katie came out to my barn and we loaded the horses up and headed for Florence. I have always wanted to ride horses at the beach so I was really excited. Summer loaded just fine and the drive to the coast went well. We got to Baker Beach Road and unloaded all three horses and let them munch on some hay before we tacked up for our ride. I was a little nervous but not my usual anxiousness so I tried to settle in and ignore it for a bit. Once we were saddled up, I found a rock to stand on and swung into the saddle. Immediately my heart started pounding, my legs became water and all over I was just uneasy. It was like a wave hit me. Summer felt it too. Her whole body tensed up underneath me and another wave slammed into my body. We went forward anyways.
Out on the trail, Summer's head flung up, her ears perked forward and her eyes bugged out. The wind was howling around us and everything looked like it might possibly like to eat her for dinner. I think we were both pretty close to turning tail and running back to the trailer for safety. We followed Katie and Kirsten down the trail and Summer insisted on trying to trot everywhere in the sand. I tried to stop her and back her up to get her attention but she'd grab the bit and run right through it. She was NOT about to get left behind and gave me a great big hell no on the whoa request. Kirsten and Katie could see what a hard time I was having so we stopped and Kirsten jumped on her for a few minutes. She circled her and backed her and tried to get her attention but her head was somewhere else apparently. Kati jumped on and took her down the trail to wear her out. Kirsten and I waited, and waited, oh and waited some more. Did I forget to mention that I've been riding Summer practically 6 days a week so she isn't that easy to tire out now? Especially when she's amped up like she was. As we sat there Kirsten suggested I get on her great big black and white paint gelding Dakota and see if I felt comfortable enough on him. I was trying to get out of it but finally walked him over to a tree stump and got in the saddle. His nickname is Stretch, and boy did he earn that. He was extremely comfortable though and I rode him around in a few circles and relaxed. Kirsten swung up onto Jazz, Katie's chocolate palomino mare, and we set off to find Katie and Summer.