Following last week’s blog, I received a variety of e-mails. My favorite was sent from a man in Texas. He said, “What is all this I am Woman Hear Me Roar bullshit? Bring back the funny! Lol!” Omg. Did we not read the same blog? I am fucking hilarious. Having said that, I would like to respond. In a blog.
I never considered myself a to be an “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar.” But, maybe you are right. Maybe, I am finally acknowledging the power that has been in me all along. I come from a long line of powerful women. Women who have been through some serious shit. Women both living and dead, who are giving me strength to write my truths and expose myself to a world that has taught me to do the opposite.
When I was growing up, my house was filled with constant chaos and tension. Being “good” was my chosen survival technique. I was always on high alert because I never knew what to expect at home. Yet, every morning, I would shut the front door behind me, put on a smile, and present to the world that everything was perfect. I was in control. I hid my pain.
I became a wife and a mother, I started taking medication to control my anxiety. Each time I felt pain creeping up, I would call my doctor and increase my dose. I am not being patronizing, I am grateful. I started going to therapy and my pills provided the safety net I needed to delve into my past and begin to process, uncover, and feel.
I began writing and realized that laughter soothed me. I could hide behind my computer and at the same time, stare my pain straight in the eye. Each time I wrote about my marriage, mothering, my childhood, friends, family, feelings, being human, having one boob or even pooping, I would take my pain’s power away and relish in the beauty of its wake. I was exposing my true self.
But the Universe is creative in its teachings and sometimes these lessons hurt. In a world of perpetual change, I have to make decisions to transform and evolve or face the alternative, which consists of dwelling in a past that no longer exists except in my mind. I have spent the last few months choosing transformation.
A few days after my knee surgery I was in my bed. I had carelessly fallen and because of this, I had inconvenienced everyone…Mike, my mom, my sister, my dad, Lisa. I let them down. I couldn’t get up, make dinner, shower, or even use the bathroom without help. I couldn’t take care of my children. Guilt and shame washed over me, tears poured down my face. I tried to maneuver my way out of bed to take a valium that the doctors had prescribed for my physical discomfort. I just wanted to numb my mental anguish. Unfortunately, I realized I was stuck; I literally could not get up. My mom was picking my kids up from school and I was home alone.
I screamed, “FUUUUUCK!” and slammed my fists down onto my pillows in a fit of rage. I started to sob, waves of emotion relentlessly pounding into me over and over until I became utterly exhausted. I laid there in silence, completely spent and probably severely dehydrated, “Okay Universe, I give up. I surrender. I am going to experience feeling uncomfortable and out of control. I am going to trust that you have a plan. Please give me grace. I am scared, but I will serve you. Please.”
I continued to allow myself feel uncomfortable everyday. I made no plans other than to go to physical therapy and complete the simple tasks I could around the house. I grudgingly allowed people to help me. I didn’t feel like writing a funny blog, or volunteering, or shopping. I stopped worrying about what was going to happen tomorrow because I was focused on getting through the day. In a relatively short period of time, I had become more of an observer of life, rather than a participant.
My knee began to heal and yet, I remained resolute in my promise. I worked hard in physical therapy. I took a meditation course. I began having acupuncture sessions. I exercised my body in some way every single day. I kept a notebook with me because I had started to receive insights from the Universe. I was quiet. I was finally listening to Her. I wrote with insatiable hunger and I published nothing.
Months passed and I could feel a noticeable shift in my energy. I had visible muscles for the first time in my life. I felt sore everywhere, but in a way that affirmed for me I was becoming stronger. I also began to notice I was absolutely drained by 2:00 everyday. I would nap any chance I could, including but not limited to: a school bus on a field trip, the carpool lane, in a cold bath, and on the hardwood floor next to my dogs. I would count down the hours until bedtime. I assumed my thyroid had crapped out, so I had my bloodwork done. Nothing. And then it occurred to me. Omg. What if it was my medicine?
What if somewhere along my path, I discovered I could survive pain? What if my body had begun to produce chemicals on its own? What if I no longer needed my tiny, white pills to the same degree I did eight years ago? Was I really strong enough to let them go?
The day I tripped was a gift. Calm your shit down. I am not saying go fall down so you too can have a great spiritual awakening. What I am saying, is this experience brought me to a place of surrender and I was now experiencing the unfathomable beauty of its wake.
I have spent my entire life trying to avoid, minimize, ignore, or numb pain. At a very young age, I learned to hide my humanness. I look at the world around me now and realize I am not alone. We will literally do anything to avoid feeling pain. We drink, take drugs, lie, write humor blogs, become martyrs, have sex, work obsessively, shop, have affairs, overexercise, starve ourselves, have plastic surgery, overeat…shit, we will even die for this cause. What we fail to comprehend is that with the pain life brings, there are also gifts of immeasurable value waiting to be opened.
Yesterday, I sat on the white paper covered exam table in my doctor’s office so that I could learn how to wean myself off my medication. My stomach was in knots, my heart racing. I told my doctor and beloved friend my story, my symptoms, and how I was ready to feel again. I had done the work to get me this far and I will not hide me any longer.
I acknowledge I am extremely sensitive person living in a world that doesn’t always cater to my kind. I accept I might always need to take a low dose of medicine and am grateful it is accessible to me. But, I also know I am stronger than I ever thought I was.
So to answer your question…I will always find humor in being human, and sometimes I will write about funny stuff. And at the very same time, there is a duality to me, because I have always been an “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar.” XO