pairofgenes

The Space Between Chaos and Shape

In Uncategorized on September 8, 2013 at 4:01 pm

 

A 'before' picture

A ‘before’ picture

To begin, I got up off of the forest floor.  The first step in doing that was most likely writing about having been down there.  The reaction I got from so many of you was overwhelming- it buoyed me back into the land of the living.  Not only the love and support, but the candid honesty from so many about your inability to move forward, to make it better, to make it stop.  Thank you for giving me love and empathy when it was so sorely needed.

The second step was starting therapy.  I was operating under the assumption that I was depressed based on circumstance.  My sister experienced the same thing while going through her treatments for breast cancer when her doctors said that based on what she was going through, it would be weird if she wasn’t depressed.  But I think that response is far too cavalier.  Just because circumstance makes us entitled to our depression doesn’t mean we want to live in it indefinitely.  So while my financial situation made it impossible, the ‘family foundation’ (a term I use metaphorically, hence the quotes) offered to help me seek some help.

I treated finding a shrink much like online dating.  I read a bunch of profiles, picked a handful of people and set up ‘first dates’.  It’s an eye-opening experience.   After every meeting I was struck with the aspects of my life on which I chose to focus.  The surgeries and illness were introduced much like exposition.  They only served as set up.  It turns out I am seriously pissed off about a bunch of shit.  And having learned in my 20’s that no one else is to blame for the garbage you carry with you (sorry about that boyfriend from my 20’s) I need to lighten the load and learn to be content with what is.

I finally settled on a woman (I was sure I’d choose a male therapist) who treated me with gentle kindness (I was sure I wanted a drill sergeant to kick my ass)- much like my choice in who I dated (when I dated) the right person for me was not who I thought I was looking for and is, in fact, exactly right for me.  The thing she said that convinced me she could help was that I have a lot to mourn.  There are things I have lost, physical and emotional and I need to feel sad for those losses before I can move on.  So I’m going to sit with her and see if I can’t sort out some of this shit.  If it gets better, it will make for far less juicy reading in regards to the blog, but I can live with that.

But I would be remiss if I gave all the credit to starting therapy.  After the post about the forest floor I stopped eating flour and sugar and while my weight hasn’t budged all that much, my self-hatred has started to leave the building.  I don’t know why it is, what it is in those foods, but along with making me fat they make me sad, mean, impatient, exhausted and intolerant.  Have you ever tried that personality combination with a nine year old?  The last week or so I have let a little bit of sugar in for a visit.  There just isn’t room for it anymore, so the all or nothing button has to be reset.  I believe that we all have a certain reservoir within us and there’s a lot of space to fill.  But once it’s at capacity, there’s no room for anything else- bad or good.  Food has taken up too much space in mine.  It was intentional, because leaving it empty was too painful.  But now I want that space back.

During Rosh Hashanah there’s a ritual known as Taschlit.  You gather stones that represent the sorrows, disappointments, regrets of the year behind you.  You say a prayer for those things you have carried and then cast the stones into the ocean, allowing them to be washed away with the tide.  It’s a ritual I love and Santiago and I couldn’t go today so this post is my ocean and this despair that I have shared is the stone I am casting.  It’s time to make room.

In the space between chaos and shape there was another chance.  —Jeanette Winterson

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  1. I’m so glad to read this! I’m on the GAPS diet to heal my celiac damage to my system, but it stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet. Your mood and mental well being can be very closely tied with what you eat and the health of your digestive system. I hope you continue to see improvements. I love you very much!

  2. You? Pissed off? (Well… I sincerely hope over time you can lighten that load on yourself. It’s always been more than you should need to carry. I’m sure that, as with most other things you dedicate yourself, you are capable of achieving some genuine success.)

  3. Love this!!!

  4. Amilah, this is so wonderful to read. I am with you 100% and will support you here at work! No going into the kitchen! xoxox

  5. I recall someone who I loved and respected tremendously looking at me in my early 20’s in shock at one of my multiple daily anger outbursts and very gently saying to me “I can only imagine the person you could be if you could let go of your anger.” That was a kick in the head and the heart. Sadly, my answer to him was it was all I knew and I was too scared. Somewhere between there and here, (and a whole lot of counseling later) I changed. I don’t know if I let it go, if it was changing my perspective on life, having my daughter, or what changed. Life is definitely better on this side, but the anger still comes especially these days and I still work with someone who is much like the person you found. But I hold that better close to my heart. I believe you have taken steps that will lead to your better my friend and thank you for sharing that with the world.

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