************************************Denial covers the pain of the past * A blanket over the world * Lift a corner * Don't be afraid * Your life awaits you*************************************

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Just Up Ahead

As I was driving today, a song by Pink Floyd called “Comfortably Numb” came on the radio. It was a live version that I somehow hadn't heard before and I thought it might be even better than the original. I turned it up and let its colors enfold me. I got home and pulled into the garage, but stayed in the car and closed my eyes, taking in the whole song.

How long I have been comfortably numb. I found a way to keep from feeling anything and lived in that desolate place since I was toddler. I didn't feel hungry. I didn't notice the need to be touched or held or the need to cry. I didn't acknowledge pain. I scoffed at my need for sleep. Sexual feelings were often triggered by something ugly. This left me feeling disgusted by all of it, but I quickly buried those feelings as well. Even when I decided it was time to give up on highly addictive things like cigarettes and cocaine, I easily turned away from the longing because I knew how to ignore any urge that came to me.

This half-life looked okay from the outside. I knew how to pretend. I mimicked the emotions of others, laughing and yelling and shaking my head in indignation at the right times, faking what I couldn't feel. I kept my secrets. I kept myself locked away where no one could find me. I kept myself safe, but I kept thinking, knowing, that something was missing.

“Recovery” is a word that made me very uncomfortable at first. What did this mean? What were they recovering from? What would they get when they were recovered? “The only way out is through,” is a phrase I’ve heard thrown around often by people who are “recovering”. This idea was equally disturbing. How could you get on a path you couldn’t see to a place you didn’t know?

It didn't really matter, though, because going through was something I didn't want to attempt for most of my life. I couldn't see the point. I was doing okay. I was busy all the time. I was volunteering at school and keeping my house clean and making sure my body was trim and my clothes were in style and my hair and nails were perfect. I was raising amazing children and had a wonderful husband and friends and activities and, well, what more could anyone want?

I’m not sure exactly how the fa├žade of this dream-life began to fade. One day I realized that I didn't care if I ever saw my “friends” again. I stopped volunteering; I stopped all my activities. I barely got dressed in time to pick my kids up from school. The house was no longer perfectly clean, I missed hair appointments and it was harder and harder to find clean clothes and have dinner on the table. I didn't know what was happening, but I knew that I felt empty and nothing had any meaning anymore.

With no connection to the side of life I was living on, going through began to make more sense. I still didn't know what was on the other side, but where I was wasn't working for me. Still, I was terrified of what I was going to find on the way through, and rightfully so. I've been passing through a scary place with pits as deep and dark as the bottom of the ocean- and there are monsters along the way.

What I didn't know, what I never could have guessed, what is only now beginning to become clear to me is, what’s on the other side. If people knew what was there, they would be breaking down doors to get on the rough path I've been on.

Beyond the darkness is the thing that’s been missing all along, but it isn't something you can understand until you begin to see it on the horizon. All I can tell you, if you are about to venture on your own path, is that what waits at the end is worth it. What I see ahead is reality. It's connection. Beyond the darkness are authentic sensations, valid ideas and genuine emotions.

What I see is so real, I can feel it wafting in and filling me up and carrying me the rest of the way.

What I see is life.


  1. I guess I would challenge you (in a gentle way) that there seems to be no hope when you don't trust anyone enough to talk about it...
    I'm glad you found someone who genuinely cared for you and whom you trust...
    Take care,
    ~ Grace

  2. Thank you for reading, Grace. I feel powerful being able to share this now. I was worried how it would be to write this, look back at it, but it's really okay now. This feels like another step to complete recovery.

    I was 47 years old when I began my journey towards recovery. I turned 50 this year. I don't believe it is ever too late to learn to trust, to conquer your demons, to begin anew. It is not easy to find the right person... but I hope you are diligent in your search. I hope you find that person soon, and give it all the time it takes to find the trust that is possible.
    I was seeing C for over a year when I got to the day I wrote about in this post - over 60 hours of working towards a connection, and hundreds of emails. She was not my first therapist, but she is the right one.


  3. Shen, it does look like you are in good hands. ((((Shen))))

  4. You should feel powerful.
    I have spent time today reading about your 'journey'...and I guess I have some feeings of 'envy'. I had the relationship w/my until June 2008 - when she was "too busy" to email. I have been seeing her since Aug 2006. And I took about 10000 steps backwards. It continues to resurface. And I'm feeling discouraged right now. But it's going to be alright. I'll just take another ativan...

  5. you are so brave. i'm so glad for you that you were able to go through this process with your therapist. that you've found such healing. and that writing about it showed you how much further you've healed. thank you for sharing this. i think part of why this took me so long to read was because i was afraid and i wanted to wait until i felt safe enough to read it. i'm so glad i read this. i hope it helped you to share it. it helps me to know that you could live through such things and feel so healed.

    i'm wishing you wellness and peace~

  6. MMM I'm glad you took care of yourself. That's why I put the warning up. It's important to know what you can handle from moment to moment.

    Thanks for reading and for your encouraging words. I do feel healed. I never thought I would come this far... it's far more than I asked for.


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Co Creation

Co Creation
We create the life we live

Love your inner child...

...for she holds the key...

...to your personal power.
A lesson is woven into each day.
Together they make up the tapestries of our lives.