It is a cold, dark and sullen day outside. Perhaps it is just enhanced by my mood, after walking past the field and the solar panels and the lake where I used to walk my dog. It doesn't help that I moved further into the neighborhood where I walked him and it is one of the five things in my life which I feel deep remorse and guilt over losing.
I know myself pretty well. I pride myself on the work which I have been carrying on with on my self since I got hurt in 1999, both the physical recuperation and the much needed balance in my mental state. Shedding the only emotion which I lived closely with - anger - for so many years, may constant companion which I was unaware of until I completely lost it in fits of rage!
Anger and a mask. My two companions. Thankfully, when I was in multiple car accidents in the late 90's, I was referred to the Pain Clinic, who made me sign an agreement to follow their treatment - treatment of drugs many drugs - under protest I masked my symptoms and ate their poison for too many years, slight improvement with neck surgery, still medicated all those long and horrible years, ending abruptly in 2008 - painfully so.
The only good thing which came from the pain clinic was a great counselor to talk to until she had to leave due to medical reasons, sadly. Betsy one day said "Perhaps your accident is a good thing, so you can work on yourself." Realizing she was correct, I have been.
Part of it relearning emotions. Everyone has them. Easy you think, ha ha, you would be wrong. When you live with constant anger and denial and tremendous pain you do not have love and peace and contentment, happiness, sadness each need to be relearned. Learning how to acknowledge and accept emotions other than anger and fear and all of those other things that came with my "growing up" and learning how to love myself and what that even meant is an on going process.
Asking for help was another big one. Something which I never did but which became a necessity as I was a single parent of three young boys, whom I managed very well, having a job in marketing which if I had the opportunity to work out of town at a show I would do in a heartbeat as it was one of my tools I used in order to live back home - by being away as much as possible; I was usually home on weeknights by dinner and on the weekends the boys were usually at friends or at Dad's (Bruce was always there for me as far as the boys went, treating all my sons as if they were his own and not just one) and still is!
We had just lost my step father and my Mom lived downstairs so I had been having her up for dinner each night, as she didn't cook. I asked her to help me with the dishes one night and she never ate at my house again. Not the result I was hoping for! Thankfully, Jeffrey would carry the laundry to the cellar and I would have Thomas (who was 6 years old) help me up and down the vast stairs to the cellar and Patrick would make me tea in the morning perfectly every morning because I could not get out of bed - wrecked with pain, unable to move, afraid to drive, even as a passenger!
My Chiropractor, physical therapy and drugs helped me be able to function slightly easier after a lot of hard work. My boys and their help, although, not our normal way of living, helped. Betsy and my faith and trust in her led me to the Brien Center where I got a replacement doctor, Lydia, who I worked with for many years, developing trust and who got me into Anger Management (which I was too angry for) and DBT which teaches you new behavior and communication skills which I took twice on my own. I say that because most people are court ordered to go there. I was not. Skills, tools, learning. Information is the key.
Lydia helped me through so many crisis and I grew so much as a person while I worked with her. It was one of the hugest abandonment's in my life when she too had to leave for a medical 5 or 6 years ago. I made her a promise though. I promised Lydia that I would not revert back into my angry self, devoid of emotions. She knew that I always had plans since I was a teenager to write a book and it is my long term goal to do that (hence this blog is also a stepping stone for me in that arena). I told her someday and I would hate to disappoint one of the very few people who meant so much to me.
I am somewhat on a cliff at the moment looking out over a high drop...below it you can see land and trees and green, sprawling land - open, unknown, and behind me a safe open door and a warm fire burning in the fireplace. In my heart I want to retreat into that cozy room and be warm and safe by the fire, in my dreams I want to go explore the open lands and what lays before me.
Retreat or carry on, that seems to be the question on this day! I think that I will pack up Christmas and pray for the sun to come out and for me to distract myself enough from thinking of retreating! I guess if a path were easy I would not be on it!