Last night, I had a slightly scary moment while out with a co-worker in the French Quarter. (Everyone is safe so don’t worry!) We’d wandered around the French Quarter as a group for about 30 minutes before going to eat dinner at a restaurant called St Lawrence, which is a small but tasty little place. We were seated at a tall table and had dinner and a drink. I had a strawberry Abita, but my friend had a mixed drink that was pretty strong. When we got up to leave (a group of 11 of us), I noticed my friend stumble and actually fall to the ground when we got outside the restaurant. I’m glad I noticed what was happening as I was able to brace her a bit to keep her from truly falling! Instead, I sort of helped guide her against the window and to the ground. She didn’t pass out but was definitely disoriented for about 45 seconds and it took a few minutes before any of us felt like she should try to get up. I think it was just a mixture of not enough water, a potent drink and sitting at a tall table where her legs were in a weird position, screwing up blood flow a bit. She was able to get up and walk, slowly, after a while and seems fine today, so there’s no lasting damage done.
Aside from being worried about my friend, this had me thinking back to a fear I had back when I was overweight. I was always so worried I’d fall and hurt myself (a real risk given the klutz I am) or that I’d pass out or something and no one would be able to pick me up. I know, in any of those situations, that embarrassment would be the last thing I SHOULD be worried about and yet it would consume a part of my brain any time I did anything with the remote-ist possibility of that happening. It kept me from going out with other people and kept me from trying things where I might get hurt. The enormity of that fear of humiliation if I fell on someone or if no one could lift me or move me was almost smothering. I would seriously pray that I’d be unconscious if that ever happened so I wouldn’t have to be aware of the embarrassment.
My friend is a larger person. I don’t know if that fear was anywhere in her mind before or after this episode, but it definitely triggered those memories and those fears for me. I called my husband as soon as I left the group to tell him about this, both because he knows and likes this co-worker and because I needed someone to distract me from the urge to binge that was brought on by this old, recalled fear. It’s amazing how some things stick in your mind. Even now, when I logically know that I’m liftable (albeit heavier than I look), I still have that fear of “what if someone had to pick me up.”
Do you have irrational fears that just stick with you? Send good thoughts and prayers for my friend. While she seems fine today, I’m still worried about her.