Chapter Two:  The Second Worst Thing I Can Imagine.

After discovering cataclysmic predictions (last post – Tree of Life & the CIA), I thought I had moved past the “worst thing I can imagine” and was happily moving forward in my life.

Then I was faced with the second worst thing I can imagine.  And frankly, I didn’t actually imagine it.  It just happened.

I received a diagnosis on my rear end.  At first report, my rear end was heading towards a catastrophic failure.

I sought a second opinion.  Thank God.

What I really want to look at is my reaction to the beginning of the story – the catastrophic diagnosis.

Reaction to a Catastrophic Diagnosis

It wasn’t pretty.  I was a nervous wreck just getting things checked out.  First, it’s a lot of inconvenient preparation.  Second, I feel very vulnerable because I don’t really understand how all the parts work.  And finally, I have to depend on male strangers to check things out and make the diagnosis.

When the phone rang and I started receiving the post-examination report, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop (big mistake in a quantum reality).  The shoe dropped like a ton of bricks.  My blood pressure shot through the roof, and my stomach was immediately in knots.

I called my friend, Bill, who had agreed to take me in once I got the call.  He wanted to come in and hear the detailed explanation because he understands rear ends much better than I.

The nice man, an expert in his field, explained in detail what he found in the examination.  He also informed me they didn’t have the equipment to deal with this kind of issue.  I had plenty of questions, and so did Bill.

The man described the risk factors if I chose to do nothing.  The worst-case was potentially very bad.  Finally, he provided some referrals to other experts who are better equipped.

I was in knots.  My mind was running through terrible scenarios.  I felt like life as I know it may be threatened.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  I needed better news.

I called one of the referrals and made an appointment for two days later.

My sleep wasn’t great, but the next day, I definitely had a healthier perspective.  I reviewed the shit storm of thoughts from the previous day.

The world was actually NOT coming to an end in this case, but my mind had been creating thoughts of equal magnitude.

Yes, these thoughts had been completely irrational.  I had no control over them at the time.

My body had been in an anxiety attack, and my imagination joined in the fun creating awful stories of death and dismemberment.  Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but close.

Making Mountains out of Molehills

Why did my mind take a non-life threatening situation and blow it up to be AWFUL?

Perhaps this is a good time to explain that the rear end in question belongs to my 1997 Motorhome.  I admit.  I was having fun telling this one.

And that offers some perspective – why have a heart attack over a rear end potentially having to be rebuilt?  First, it didn’t sound like there was a mechanic anywhere in the region that could do the work because of the heavy duty nature of an RV chassis.  Second, it would take a long time and be VERY expensive.  Third, what if they couldn’t find the parts?  This is my home after all.

Otherwise, I could chance driving it and having it seize up or come apart while cruising down the highway with my car in tow.

I had been immediately overwhelmed and went into near panic mode.

I was actually pretty fascinated in day two by my own irrationality.  Of course I had to pick it all apart.  I think my nervous system was and is still a little on edge after the cataclysmic experience I wrote about in the previous post.

The experience taught me some pretty important lessons.  I won’t record the process of getting to these realizations, but the lessons themselves are worth sharing.

Life Always Reveals the Path of Least Resistance

No matter what happened, even the worst case – losing my home because it couldn’t be fixed – I would be shown the path through this situation.

A rational look at the series of events:

1. Observe a sign and Act on it. I see fluid on rear differential and decide it should be checked out.

It’s checked by a skilled mechanic who does not specialize in heavy-duty trucks.  He detects a potentially serious problem and refers me on.

2. Following the path of least resistance, I talk to first referral who I was going to visit anyway to get propane (RV dealer). The very helpful service manager informs me that they also cannot work on heavy Class A motorhome chassis.  Then he calls the second referral for me, explains the situation to them, and gets confirmation they CAN work on my rig.

Appointment is made.

3. Following the path of least resistance, I go to appointment. Easy access (not common with a bigger rig), and another very helpful mechanic and owner of the shop who happens to be a Montana native!

He lets me go under the rig on my own creeper so he can show me what he’s testing and looking for.  He finds nothing but a leaking rear seal and dirty fluid – all to be expected in an older rear end!

Follow-up appointment made for the repair, and I now have a mechanic who can work on my rig as it’s needed.  As a single woman on the road, this is a huge relief.

The people who showed up in this adventure felt like angels.  Once my mind came around in day two, and I could actually see the positive things that were transpiring, I was actually pretty amazed.

Between friends and strangers, I’ve been handed what I need.

My anxiety attack and catastrophic thinking passed in less than 24 hours.  During the anxiety, I had lost all trust and faith in life.  I felt cornered with no obvious way out.

Even though I didn’t know what to do, the angels on my trail led me along.  I simply had to agree to go.

Parallel Catastrophic Patterns

I think the previous paragraph sums up what I learned from this experience, and what can be applied to any real or imagined catastrophe:

Even though I didn’t know what to do, the angels on my trail led me along.  I simply had to agree to go.

I really think the next time life presents an unexpected challenge, my trust and faith in life will be stronger and I’ll be able to take things more in stride.

Even though on the surface this challenge was pretty benign, I did go through the emotions of catastrophe.  Then, I was shown the way through it with gentle ease.  Now my mind and body have the experience of knowing that even in the scariest moments, helpers in their many forms arrive to guide us through.  We simply have to agree to go.

And in the end, I’ll have a new seal in my rear end to keep things tight for years to come.  After all, no one likes to have a leaky rear end!

 

What does any of this have to do with the Tree of Life?  It’s related to following the path of least resistance.  That’s coming next, but I wanted to tell this story first!