Wednesday, February 13, 2013

“I Took A Deep Breath And Listened To The Old Brag Of My Heart. I Am, I Am, I Am.” - Sylvia Plath

My body lets me in on the things my subconscious mind will not.

Recurrent sore throats, for example.
It’s like I’ve got words stuck in there or something.

One day I woke up with my ankles mysteriously, severely, and deeply bruised.
Every step was excruciating. I could hardly walk.
It’s like my body was saying:
If you’re not ready to move forward
Then don’t.

I thought I was going to die.

Here I was sitting in the waiting room next to my Mom. I managed to get to the doctor on my own before the nurses called my parents due to my disorientated state of mind. Anxiety piling as high as my list of work emails left unattended that morning. I started telling my Mom all the passwords to my social media accounts and protected documents on my computer, all my bank pin numbers, all my instructions and last wishes. Please pay my last credit card bill. There are unused gift certificates in my wallet. The Marble Slab stamp card just needs one more and you'll get a free ice cream. There's two-for-one coupons for the movies that expire at the end of the month. I still owe Patrick a copy of our play from highschool, "Something About A Closet", make sure it gets to him.

It's funny now that it's over...

I brought the nurses flowers a few weeks later to thank them/apologize for putting up with me in my delirium.

Through blood tests, biopsies, xrays and being endlessly poked and prodded, doctors still couldn't tell me what exactly this mystery disease was or what caused it. So: here's some addictive and life-ruining medication to ease the pain, see ya later!

I tried so hard. I tried to ignore the pain and heaviness with each step, but I ultimately found myself in bed surrendering to this mystery. It happened shortly after I had moved back to Edmonton so I was very grateful that it happened when I was near my family who could help me. My brother delivered food and water to my room, and sometimes stayed with me as I drifted in and out of a medicated-sleep.

I had just started my new job in my new city and tried my best to maintain normalcy. My job sometimes requires long and active days running around. I'd do what I had to do to make it through. A few clients caught on to my problem but I made it. I remember going on a date once and holding on to this gentleman's arm -- not because I was trying to be affectionate but because I truly could have collapsed at any moment.

I tried mind-over-matter, convincing myself that I was pain-free and didn't need the medication. I refused to get the prescription refilled and on my first day without taking the medication... I didn't even make it to noon without giving in. That's when I discovered that my Grandfather was on the same medication so he was generous enough to spot me for the day. Great. I'm on Grandpa-medication.

One evening at one of my regular hangouts, I met a man who practices Reiki. He noticed my struggle walking and asked if he could help me. I was in the worst discomfort of my life. Desperate and willing to try anything, I let him. I think he worked on me for about 15 minutes... He sent healing energy to the parts of my body that needed it. He told me that through visualization he placed a kyanite crystal in my foot. I felt it pulsing and I still can today. And that was the last day I took my medication. I was praying for a miracle, to overcome my struggle and take the lesson from it.

I still can't put a name to what I experienced for three months this past summer, but now that it's over I see how much quality time I had by myself going through this. In those times, I learned how much I love to be alone, and how necessary it was for me to be alone despite feeling obligated to meet the requests and desires of other people.

That was what I needed to learn how to say no. And how to ask for help. And how to be strong by revealing my weakness and vulnerability. I dealt with a lot of internal emotions during that time. I didn't have the rush and busyness of daily life to distract me from it anymore. I had to say no to people that wanted my time because I couldn't get out of bed. I had to ask for help because otherwise I was truly useless and couldn't do much for myself. I had nothing to keep me from dealing with neglected inner-work that was calling to be acknowledged. I'm better. Thank God for this experience.

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