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There is a movie called Johnny Handsome about a very ugly man who is treated badly and then has surgery and becomes… handsome enough, and the same people who treated him badly now treat him well. And of course it all turns to custard at some point, and his surgery somehow comes undone and he is ugly again. Which is where I find myself. A difficult morning.

It is quite easy— as a friend pointed out the other day— to have equanimity or at least be cheerful in a fortress of solitude. Quite another when so much is not in my control or even to my taste, with all the unknowns and unknowables to come.

So it seems this morning I had my first bonafide panic attack. I texted Jilli, and she called me and it was such a relief. Difficult though that is to admit, more difficult to ask, and even so, my text was “I think I am having a panic attack. Weird. But don’t worry, I’ll be ok.”

How did I go from someone who in her teens wanted nothing more to be mothered, and solicited that from anyone who might serve, to someone, approaching 60, who finds it almost impossible to ask for help, and finds it painful to even admit to myself that I might be in need of a hand?

I will do my level best to lean into this moment.

Om gate gate, para gate, parasam gate, bodhi svaha.