We have all had embarrassing moments right? I am sure as you are reading that sentence your most embarrassing moment is running across your mind. You may even have multiple moments. I think there are certain people who just attract embarrassing moments. I say that because I am a very very outgoing individual and that lends itself to some very interesting/semi-embarrassing moments.
While I have ran into a flag pole, fallen on stage during a dance performance, played a variety of food throwing games at youth retreats, accidentally posted private stuff on Xanga in high school (o yes, I just went there); I will say what happened to me not so long ago is the worst. It wasn’t even embarrassing. It was mortifying. Yet, ad mist all that embarrassment, I learned new things about my friends and learned how to be more honest with who I am.
My husband and I have made friends with two other couples in our neighborhoods. All roughly the same age and mostly in the same area of life. After months of lacking sisterhood with women, and longing for companionship outside of my dog Winston and my husband, I have meet two incredible women and their husbands. Even all the husbands get along. We celebrated New Years together, we hang out on the porch while the three year old of one of the couples runs in the yard with Winston. You might call us the Claire Lane Gang.
Two Friday nights ago we decided to get out of the house and all go out. So what do you do in a small town with no bars? Go bowling of course! And not just any bowling alley a true 1970-1980s bowling alley. We arrive at the ever so early hour of 7:30. Get our awesome bowling shoes and pick our bowling nicknames for our score sheet. My lovely other half gives me $3 to go pick songs on the jukebox (a nice mix of Hootie and the Blowfish, JT, Gagnam Style, Bon Jovi, Sublime, Foreigner, Old Crow Medicine Show, ACDC), all of us are ready to throwdown.
First game is on. All of us are having a good time laughing and cutting up. Most of us girls are doing fair while the men are killing it. I am getting upset and determined to win (though I am in last place) because I am all way too competitive. After that is all said and done we start game two. Two frames in…I…GET…A…STRIKE!!!!!!!!!! I jump for joy and BAM! I fall to the ground very un-ballerina like. I hobble back to my seat brushing it off. Inside I am dying. My whole body is hurting. I have to relieve myself because I am nervous but I can’t walk. I want to throw up because I am nervous but I can’t walk. I am stuck on my chair feeling helpless, restless, and uneasy. My hubby notices that I am about to have an anxiety attack and comes over to me. Looks at my foot and tries to calm me down. I tell him I need to go to the bathroom to vomit. One of the ladies comes with me. I start crying, my head goes light, the rooms spins, and DOWN…I…GO. I fall over and hit my head on an arcade machine before one of my friends catches me. I passed out momentarily. When I woke my friend asked me if I have anxiety. To which, I honestly replied, yes. But then I hear the words, “I do too. I know how you feel.” While that hasn’t really registered with me, husband dearest sees me fall and rushes over to me. I start bawling hysterically because I can’t walk, I looked like a fool, and now someone knows I have anxiety/panic attacks. I CRAWL on all fours to the closest door and just flop like a rug onto the cold concrete stop outside the bowling alley. My head over the edge puking, no shoes on, hair a mess, I am shivering from the cold weather and my anxiety.
The love of my life follows me outside. Cuddles me and gently coaxes me into a softer state. In between sobs I agree to go home though I hate to leave. I even talk about how everyone now knows I have anxiety. I try to keep it from happening in public but I felt as if I failed hiding it. That is made me weak. To which my husband said that was not the case. Especially since one of the ladies has anxiety too and talked to me about it. Still not wanting to believe him (because what wife with a mental illness who has a busted foot that is turning black really wants to listen to her husband who happens to be correct?), we get home (at the ever so early hour of 9:30) and nurse me back to health.
The following day while RICE’ing my poor foot, I was texting the woman who confided in me that she has anxiety. The more we talked the more we had in common. Battling similar battles, our thoughts on therapy and medication. She even said that I can start talking to her when I am starting to deal with Melvin (my ED) and and GAD symptoms. Instead of embarrassment, I felt relief. Here is someone who knows my dark side and relates to it! I have someone next door (not just a phone call away like other people on my support team), but I can just walk right over there and say, “Help me.” Or say. “I am struggling. Can you talk?”. What a wonderful thing!
To make this even better, and only in my life would this happen, I read a passage in Soulprint about embarrassment that morning at work: “Embarrassing moments are horrible, no doubt. But they are also wonderful. Few things are as freeing as a little embarrassment. It frees us from the burden of pretense, and it forces us to stop taking ourselves so seriously. In a sense, embarrassment is one way we die to self. And dying to self is one way we come to life….One dimension of humility is the ability to laugh at ourselves, and I’m convinced that the happiest, healthiest, and holiest people on the planet are those who laugh at themselves the most (pg. 95).”
I will have to agree with Mr. Mark Batterson, embarrassment is freeing and it helps open ourselves up to receive the gift/blessing/intimacy of others.
Question: Do you have an embarrassing moment? If so what was it? Did you learn anything from it? I would LOVE to hear from you!