Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The fall that I wrote about yesterday happened because I was trying to do too many things at once, but that happened because my mind was heavy from something that happened earlier in the day.

Remember, it was the first day of my "retreat." I was trying to do something so simple -- change some habits, create better ways of doing and being for myself.

I have come so far from depression and anxiety as my norm. I have finally gotten to a point in my life where I awake in the morning and feel...excited to be up and about and engaged.

Yet I have retained a lot of old habits from the days of DepressedChick. Just muscle memory type stuff, ingrained ways of approaching the day that I know are holding me back from so much more Good and Happy.

Last Monday afternoon I was getting pretty nervous to teach my new Kundalini Energy Yoga class, but now that I have defeated severe and chronic depression, I am able to remember that my nervousness is my partner in this particular dance. It gives me energy; it reminds me that the work that I am doing is super important to me.

Instead, then, of allowing it to "put me down," I now have ways to use it. Typically this means I will put on some of my favorite music and just dance. If I get really sweaty and lose myself for about a half hour, I completely remember myself and then I can tell that the nerves are mostly about excitement.

After dancing, I went upstairs for a bit. When I got back downstairs, there was a pile of moving boxes on my front stoop.

Now this would be a great metaphor but it wasn't that. It was real.

A pile of boxes from my parent's house containing all sorts of random things from my childhood, including all my report cards that so painfully show the results of a childhood like the one that I had.

Teachers now would ask themselves (and the child) why they are capable of A work but suddenly are getting C's and D's and why this roller coaster happens over and over. Back then, teachers didn't think about those things.

Looking through those report cards brought up a lot of anger and then a lot of grief.

That was why I fell after class: I was still trying to hold that anger and grief inside. Tell myself that I was "fine." That I was so past all of that.

But we never are.

We can work hard. We can get better. We can build lives full of love and beauty and purpose and joy.

But we will always and forever be unpacking boxes.

Wait! Before you protest!

I am not saying that we are stuck forever in the past. No WAY! You know ME! I believe 100% in the possibility of healing or I wouldn't be here.

But grief is not on a time line. Grief does not follow any set of rules. Grief can come back to you in a box on your front stoop, catching you completely unawares.

It's what you do with it that matters. I tried not to look at it and my body immediately told me, "No, that will not do. Sit your ass down and think and feel this through."

See? Body way smarter than Brain!

It took a day of sitting with that ankle, of being pretty quiet in myself, before I could let it out, but the purging was good.

My ankle, my ass, and my heart are all healing, and because of the strength I have built lately, they are all healing much more rapidly than I ever could have imagined before.


tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

A physical fall that is really a manifestation of what's going on inside. Our bodies still process what our minds and hearts seem unable to ~ body never forgets. Hope you are well.

Svasti said...

Heh, are we having some parallel experiences lately or what?

On Mother's Day (a couple of Sundays back - and you know how I feel about Mother's Day in relation to my own mother) my mother very abruptly handed me a report card. Just a single one from 9th grade, telling me she found it while she was cleaning up. Why she thought she had to give it to me, I have no idea.

But like your's, my report card showed the mixed results of a very intelligent and capable girl who was deeply troubled. In a couple of subjects, the teacher even mentions how my performance got much worse in the second half of the year.

Now, this was the year of, or the year after (I can't remember) this event.

Any yet, nothing was done to support or help me.

Just reading that report card made me feel a little weak and sad, not to mention resentful. It just seemed like another passive-aggressive act courtesy of my mother. So I know where you're coming from.

I sort of see it like a sculpture we're slowly chipping away at to reveal the beauty inside. All those rough parts need to be removed, and the work gets more detailed the closer we get to the final piece of art. And like all artists, we ask if we're ever really finished. And maybe we are, maybe we're not.

But it's good to keep on questioning. And it's also good to step back and be proud of our own progress :)

Eco Yogini said...

this is so true. grief has no timeline...

but slowly and surely those boxes will be unpacked and nurtured.

Megan Matthieson said...

or unpacked and tossed. I'm not a saver! But as I have a tendency (i wrote TENDANCY by mistake...which means...well...you get it!) to throw the baby out w the bath water...so sitting and 'being with' is such good advice for me. i read somewhere to 'sit next to' the grief. peacefully. you are amazing with all that you do!!

Heather Plett said...

Full of wisdom, this post.

I think the universe sends us little bits of our old baggage that we still need to work on at intervals through our lives when we're ready to grow through them. I've been dealing with some of that lately too - trying to excavate old stories.

Carolynn said...

So true. So wise. So powerful.

I have finally accepted the reality that that 'stuff' will never go away. It sneaks up on me unawares sometimes, not unlike boxes on my front stoop. Recognizing it for what it is, is the first step for me. And, the way I choose to deal with it, makes all the difference in the world.

Much love to you for a speedy recovery from your wake-up fall.


claire said...

Grief is not on a timeline...

How true. What an absolutely beautiful post you wrote there.

How precious you are for those who come and follow your thoughts and life.

Thank you. Blessings.

Linnea said...

**hugs you tight**

Bless you. I so sympathize. I feel as if I have been a constant disappointment to my mother (not to my father, but he's no longer with us and that's grief of a different stripe, and as you've said in so many words on this blog, I can live with the sadness of not having him for the privilege of having been his daughter).

She was almost always there for me, and she never lets me forget it. She also thinks it's a free pass to subtly dig at me every time she gets a chance. Just happened an hour ago, as a matter of fact. Synchronicity again.

As a mother now myself, the thought I would bring this kind of grief on my own children terrifies me. It has shadowed nearly everything I have done as a parent.

You have so much courage of body AND spirit -- never forget that.