"if you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough wil change a fact, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system"(Dr. Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones).
When should we detach? When we can't stop thinking, talking about, or worrying about someone or something; when our emotions are churning and boiling; when we feel like we have to do something about someone because we can't stand it for another minute; when we're hanging on by a thread, and it feels like that single thread is frayed; and we when we believe we can no longer live with the problem we are trying to live with. It is time to detach!...A good rule of thumb is: you need to detach most when it seems the least likely or possible thing to do (Beattie, 65).
I've understood the practices of quieting the mind, detaching, watching the thinker etc., for some time. I even fathomed that maybe I was slightly enlightened about the world because of all the knowledge I had. The truth is, I know nothing. I have truly been humbled by the recent events in my life. I've never been one to serve up platitudes such as,"It all happens for a reason," or "God has a plan," but suddenly I feel like perhaps I can abide by the idea that there are no coincidences.
I suppose in any time of our lives when things seem deep, dark, and dire, we try to search for some sort of meaning in it all. Isn't that what Viktor Frankl wrote about, Man's Search for Meaning; from the murkiest of places we can find some sort of salvation (and I don't mean that in a complete Christian sense, but whatever floats your boat)?
So here I am, clamoring out of this fucking hole I fell into and I am searching for some sort of meaning in it all. My mind constantly bubbles with "what if," "if only," "I should have," and "why why why?" This thinking is getting me nowhere except for more mired where I am, stuck and miserable.
So the idea of detachment is one I am trying to get into. And in that, I feel that I need to start learning how to let go of fear. Once I am able to quiet my mind for just a few moments (not easy), I can actually see, smell even, the fear steaming out of me. I live and breathe it. I have often believed if I was diligent enough with my worry that I could "protect" people. I had to be diligent, because one failed moment of forgetting and BAM! something awful might happen. DOes this make me sound nuts? Well, I think maybe I am.
It makes me cry when I type this that I feel I've found the place for answers. The least likely place (I thought). Alanon. yup. My mom convinced me I might just give it a go, and I did. I walked in the first night ready to spew the story if my vile fucked up life all over everyone there. I wanted to feel better about my fucked up life because they all had a fucked up life too. and they did. so many of my feelings were validated: wishing death on a person (now you've seen my true evil nature), driving down the road and thinking of never going home, blaming myself for every little thing. Except, some people there no longer saw their lives as fucked up, even if they were living in an active alcoholic home (which I am no longer. Mi esposo tiene one month sober!). They had discovered ways to live with some medium of peace despite. Not without struggle and work, of course, but achievable.
I was raised Episopalian though I officially stopped declaring myself Christian around 2001 when my step sister was killed in an accident.
When I look back at the major spiritual struggles I feel I have faced in my life, I see three. Two followed a death and the third, this most recent also follows a death of sorts - the death of the life I thought I knew before January 14th of this year.
In 1994 my nine year old cousin was killed in a boating accident. At the same time I had a pretty good relationship going on with pot and older boys. Lots older sometimes. After my cousin died I started to fear for my own mortality. I spoke with the priest at my church, began to read daily prayer books and really immersed myself in the faith I was raised in. At the time, this broght comfort and - meaning.
Then, right before my sister was killed I'd begun to study yoga and more "new age-y" teachings. I looked into the ideas behind cosmology and quantum physics, the Gnostic bible. I could no longer blindly believe in "god" as I knew it. I had never, even as a child, been a big Jesus person, but always had (and still do) believed in God. I just started to change my ideas of what god meant. I wasn't sure where I saw meaning any longer, but I knew I wasn't finding it in the pews at the church I was raised in. This lasted until recently.
I have not changed my idea of god. I haven't started bible thumping or anything or the sort. I have just allowed myself to believe that my god might actually have the ability to control things better than I can, so why not give up the fucking fight for a while and try to relax?
I cannot change ANYTHING - what happened in the past and what may happen in the future. I don't mean this as complacency, and this is somewhat of a new uniform I am trying on here. The ideas behind AA and Alanon are a nice combo of the religion I was raised in mixed with the principles and practices I found worked for me when studying yoga and other Eastern spiritualities.
So I won't start prosthelizying (sp), I swear! I am not some serene person walking around praising god and letting the universe lead me where it may (at least, not yet). But I want, want, want nothing more than a little bit of inner peace. I am exhausted by living right now, but not ready to let go just yet.
All that said, I have one confession to make. Should I stumble upon a certain someone before my metamorphisis is complete and my anger and rage have subsided, I am going to hock a green pistachio CF pudding loogey on that bitches face so fucking quick she won't know what hit her pretty litte bitch eye. Well, maybe I wouldn't. But I enjoy the fantasy.
so yeah, there is still work to do. :)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I have a new reader. Someone very special. I can't say how thrilled I am with that. It's the smallest of things that often mean the very most. Thank you; thank you for seeing it was important to me and caring enough to take a peek.
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
They say ("they" being my grandma's friends...as in "they say" you shouldn't do this or "they say" you should always do that). So, "they" say there are 7 stages to grief.
Once I realized that grief was as good an explanation of any for what was happening to me, I started to actually pay attention to what was happening. Being academic and somewhat of a nerd can be helpful when you're so caught up in the hornet's nest in your head and car wreck of your heart that you need a moment to regroup. You do that by being a nerd. You read books on your situation and take notes; you dog ear pages and refer back to other books you've read for a totally unrelated reason. In this research for maning, I came to grief. I was trying to explain to someone that my emotion was coming in waves: sorrow, anger, fear. Each were erupting, sometimes without notice, and often overlapping one another; the push and pull of the emotions playing like the tide on my already damaged heart.
The epiphany of grief lit up as I remembered quoting Joan Didion from her book The Year of Magical Thinking in my thesis (close to being done, but quite railroaded by recent events) as she described the waves her grief came in following the death of her husband.
I realized that in a way, I have suffered a death. The death of all I believed was true up until Jan. 14th 2011. Life now comes in two stages: before and after. If I look at pictures I have to think: was that before, or after? Songs, letters, cards - any memnto, any memory or keepsake all get sorted into those same before and after piles. And from after until now, that was the death. There is no truth in that pile. It's void. It's a mirage, it's shit. So the new pile, the one starting January 15th is the rebirth pile. That's the reincarnation of all that was the before pile. and there isn't much there yet in that new category, a few crumbs maybe, and even those keep getting swept away when the tide rolls in.
Back to grief.
1) shock and denial
2)Pain and guilt
3)anger and bargaining
4)depression, reflection, loneliness
5)The upward turn
6)Reconstruction and working through
7)acceptance and hope
So of course these stages aren't worked through in the order they are necessarily represented here, and they can overlap; some may last longer than others. I am not even sure that I believed in this kind of thing until I was mired in the muck of it. But here I am, and I am desperately trying to reach toward the final idea of hope. Acceptance too, I suppose.
Denial, that came first. That's been a way of life, we know this by now. But denial lasted all the way up until the proof was being smashed into my face like one does with a dog that shits in the house (we don't do that to our new puppy, btw). The shock was immediate. It was an actual physical response. Cold, shaking, unclear thinking. I still think I am in shock. Sometimes when I think about all that has happened, I find my heart beating fast and I feel I might hypervenilate.
The pain was also immediate and it's an ache to the core like nothing I have ever known save for the death of a loved one. I wrote about this as well when I was writing my personal piece for my thesis and I likened it to a cast iron skillet being wedged into my chest.
I wondered over and over, what had I done? Was this my fault? What could I have done better, different? If only I had done this or that this way or that way. I still wonder. I wonder if I am handling things now the way I should. Nothing I do feels right.
Anger. Punching biting kicking scrathing yelling seething spitting cussing despising hating hurting destroying broken finger broken heart broken promises broken life
Despression, relfection, lonliness. I have been in this stage for long before before and after started. I see now with more clarity why I was feeling depressed. A long cycle of things that started when after started. I have always been a bit lonley. I kind of like it that way. Reflection is a daily occuracne for me. The only difference is now my daily activites are interrupted by reflection in a way that isn' very productive. One minute I am shoveling out from three feet of snow, the next I am lost in thought and sent spiraling back through the previous three stages to the point i feel I am back at the startting place all over again.
The upward turn. Every day is an upward turn. Despite all the downward spiraling, the reeling back, the constant feeling like I am a hanster on a wheel spinning and apinning and getting no where, everyday that we're still here, every hour longer I go than I've gone before without completely losing it, those all feel like upward turns. I am still waiting for some moment when I truly feel some kind of "I see the light!" clarity. It's still very very dark here.
Reconstruction and working through is happening as I type and is all integrated into the upward turn. It's slow like molasses, but I pray to god just as sweet.
Acceptance and hope. This one seems the hardest. Not the hope, but the accpetance. Not only of what has happened but of my role in it as well. Because nothing is my fault. But something has to reflect my responsibility to the life both before and after and up until the rebrith, and then including that as well. I didn't make the choices that were made, but I was there when the making was being done. I have to accept that I wasn't there as fully present as I should have been (unless this train of thought means i need to go back to pain and guilt?) oy.
So, there it is. My journey. I never liked the journey metaphor for my life with CF, and I like it even less for my new life reincarnate. But I'm not sure what other idea works for this except to say that I'm there at that fork in the road, the road less traveled, the road not taken. My prayers are raw and deep and yearning. I'm begging for a sign, for the knowledge that I have indeed opted to follow the right road.