The Way Back

Riding my resolve is like riding a boomerange. Here it is February, and I declared to myself back in December that I would continue to write and post even if I had to go old school . Intentions. Now there’s a topic.

Here’s what happened: January 3rd, I journaled an ode to a friend lost to time–will post later. The subsequent entries plummet into depression and self-centered fear. And why post that shit? A sponsor once advised me against the old adage: When you don’t know what to do, do nothing. She said, “Just keep moving.” Kind of like, Don’t stay so still in Hell that the Devil finds you. So through a month of stultifying fear, negative thinking, and high anxiety, I walked through yet another certification process, joined a social club (NOT viral), and watched as my savings frittered. That I turned my will and my life over to the care of the Creator. . . . Well, I forgot completely that there is a spiritual net for me. I ended my day as soon as possible, got in bed, turned on whatever violent crime episode I’d DVR’d, and watched until my own night terrors took over. When I get like this, waking is painful. I am tennacled to the bed, and my thoughts, like bats out of the cave, whirl and race with scenarios that scare the hell out of me. I’ve seen too many demonic films, and the monsters live in my mind. I forget to breathe. Worse are the dark visions of a future completely ruled by an ego that viciously wants me back. Financial insecurity rules my heartbeat. I am professionally paralyzed. Worthless. I see myself in a chicken suit pathetically waving a sign to passing cars; it says: Best Wings In Town, and shame sweats through the suit as the assault of horns demonstrate the Doppler effect. I feel the suck of consequence, that all that had been gifted to me, I threw away and can no longer keep. Bodily, I hurt. I fear the unrelenting, electric waves of pain pulsing through my tailbone to flower down my leg becoming a looming illness. No insurance intensifies the vortex. I feel the tachycardia in my throat. Nothing will save me.

Warped perception coupled with wicked hormones. I succumb at times. And it is devastating.

Recovery, for me began with tears which flowed when I opened my mouth to share at a meeting. It had to be with a small gathering of women who would understand. The larger, more boisterous and familiar circle that I call home sees a facade, and I do not yet have the courage to bring it down. I could not pray in January. I began again. I could not focus in January. I am reading again. January frightened me. I asked for help in February. First from the group, then from an old mentor. She volleyed and chased tennis balls with me one morning not long ago. My lungs burned, but I could not let the oncoming neon globe go unchallenged. Breathing air at last, I felt some weight lift. Google Earth could’ve spotted my smile popping out of a face so red it took hours to calm down. There’s something about tethering the body and mind with exercise. And it is not until I do it that I re-get it.

I drove down the mountain and found Portola comforting. I was a kid here. I still see the road winding around Silver Spur Ranch through 12 year old eyes new to cactus and Palm trees, thoroughly amazed that at night they light up in lavender and lime. Haystack. Grapevine. Shadow Mountain. On this slope I knew rich children lived in real homes with yards. As my mother drove, I’d scour the street for clues. What would it feel like to be safe? Normal? So my experience with the hills of Palm Desert elicit a sense of OK-ness, albeit wistfully elusive. But it’s there. And as my head recovers its place in reality, the jaberwocky of the future retreats. I remember that if I neglect to take care of my physical being, the ego is back in control with all its attendant tortures to keep me sick. Soul sickness is the sickest. Like it or not, I have some issues that are sometimes exaerbated by the chemical, electrical, hormonal creature that houses my soul. When I remember that the past is the programming not the reality, I remember the present is my gift. When I remember and act accordingly, I can live life on life’s terms. And be OK.

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