Friday, December 16, 2011

Spider Webs: Realizing Connection

I'm taking part in The Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday.  The topic issued was "Connected".  So, for 5 minutes I am going to write about whatever comes to mind (perfect for Mind of Me) regarding "Connected."  Here goes. . .

There are moments when you realize just how connected you are to the people around you whether by choice or by accident, and how even the smallest connection(s) can change your life.  I had this realization on Wednesday when I was lying on the floor of my office, my head resting on a backpack, ice packs on my hands and behind my neck.  The office was dark, my laptop closed, piles of paperwork on my desk.  I layed there, trying to catch my breath, staring out the window above me pretending I was in the cloudy, grey sky, flying. 

A few moments before I had barged into my boss's office.  He said something funny and normally I would have laughed. Instead I sat down and croaked, "I think I need to go to a hospital."  He shut his laptop and seriousness entered the room.  For hours I had been struggling to breathe and my chest was growing tighter and tighter until finally I went to the one person who would understand what was happening to me.  The one person who wouldn't think I was crazy or dying, who knew what anxiety can do to a person.  He knew because he had been in the same situation three years ago.  Except that when he went through it, we all freaked out and called an ambulance, which was probably best, but the doctor's ended up giving him a shot of something, told him he has terrible anxiety and to try to de-stress his life. 

My boss, I will call him West for purposes of anonymity, started talking me down, made sure I was taking deep, slow breaths, and was calm.  He quickly brought me ice packs, scrounged up an empty backpack as a make-shift pillow, and created a place on my office floor where I could lay back and relax.  He shut my phone and computer off, turned a fan near where I was laying and calmly told me not to worry about work, just to allow myself to calm down.  He sat, in a suit, next to me on the floor for a few minutes, I assume making sure I was steadily breathing.  We were connected. Connected not just in that moment, but in the shared experiences with anxiety and the realization that work is not everything.  Even during the busiest of days or when faced with deadlines, it the person who matters and ultimately his or her health.

In the hours followed, West scheduled a massage appointment for me (and paid for it!) with a mutual acquanitance of ours.  I went to the appointment the following day and felt nearly 100% better afterward.  As it turns out the massage therapist is married to our financial advisor, who is best friends with one of our owners (the brother of West), who's wife is my best friend and who is also West's sister in law.  Deep connections and small connections collided and I had the help I needed when I needed it.

There is nothing quite so humbling as finding yourself on the floor, in a dress, at work trying to recover from an anxiety attack except for when you find that people really care and will pull strings to help you.  I like envisioning my many connections in this world as a spider web:  symmetrical, delicate, beautiful and purposeful.

We're all connected.  We can use our spider webs for personal gain or we can use them to support and lift one another up in a time of need.  I choose the latter.  I'm glad my connections did too.


  1. I like this Friday idea. And thank you for sharing this story.

  2. I just want you to know how blessed I feel that you are a part of my spider web. :)