Trigger

You can’t help but go down the rabbit hole.  Again.  You warned yourself, set caution, but you just don’t listen.  The hole is too big and your vision too blind.  There is no time to grab your crayons, or start a lavender bath.  If you sit and breathe, you will implode.

Bam.  You pull the trigger and you don’t even know it.  You’re firing bullets at the world around you, colored in sepia and black and white.  There is fear clawing at your insides, turning  to rage as it seeps out in froth, sweat, and screams.  All reason is gone.  You are on your own, without a life vest, drowning in the vast ocean of emotions too familiar.  You put yourself on pause and hit fast rewind.

The victim comes out and begs to be heard.  You are so very misunderstood – a walking lunatic, repeating the same cycles.  But to you, everyone is a predator and you’re fighting for your very own life, to save or forget a memory.

You are young again, asking for help in the form of rebellion because now you can.  Now, expression is possible, speak-able, yell-able, and sometimes, even fucking throw-able.  Now is your chance to set things straight.  To make things right.  To be seen.  You have resurfaced and you want to speak your truth; truth that at one point was stuck in your throat and hairballed out, only to be tucked away behind the medicine cabinet filled with anti-depressants, or the liquor cabinet, filled with fine wine.  You are not self-medicating.  Only clearing yourself of the past.  Your runaway plan is accepted because everyone else is running too.  They like you calm and thunder-less and only ask for the occasional ocean breeze.  Just so they know you’re still here.

You only want to know that it’s ok.  You want to hear it.  You yearn for them to see right through you, to see the plea in your eyes to be held.  You silently beg for their compassion.  You are literally fighting for love.  Sometimes, you’re even flighting for love.

You breathe the past, digest it, and store it away in your fat cells.  Your belly grows on memories, but you don’t remember.  There is only the now and the history of the world happens in this moment, in the now-to-now present.  You summon yourself back, shining the light down the hole where you found no rabbits.

As you crawl back up, you’re hoping that they’ll understand, that they will love you and embrace your return, no matter what.  You pray that you have not yet pushed them away.  You pray that the wounds will heal.  Next time, you will know, your promise.  Next time, you will see the bigger picture.  Next time, you will be in time.  In the meantime, you will try to remember.

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Rocky Road

As if the grief itself wasn’t enough, I have now been diagnosed with postpartum depression.   I was feeling the intensity of the grief gradually lessening and slowly peeling away, and now this whole new level of emotional complexity has slapped me in the face.  It’s not the kind of depression that makes me want to stay in bed, close the curtains, and become a vampire.  It’s the kind that makes me swing ever so high and low.  I alternate between bliss and gloom.  The highs are out of control, where life appears to be full of amazing options and possibilities, and I can’t wait to jump on all of them.  The world vibrates with color and yumminess.  The lows, on the other hand, are not as fun.  The fire of the drive gets extinguished and I become a lump of misery full of stagnation, surrounded by the theme of death and abandonment.  And to think that this is just the hormones playing their devious games!

I used to hold a theory that we are all moving in an upward spiral.  I say “used to” because these days I find myself running in circles, and even frequently spiraling downwards.  It’s as if I am turning back into a child; one that’s in a constant state of a tantrum.  Then for a minute, I snap out of it, become an adult once more, shake my head at my immature behaviors, and remind myself that this is a process.  Until again, the tantrums come on and I degrade one more level, back to where I started some years back.

I have always been a sensitive person but sensitivity has now gained a whole new meaning in my life.  I cry when someone gives me a bad look, or when I accidentally kill an ant in my attempt to bring it outside to safety.  I scream in my car when someone cuts me off or when the traffic is not moving.  I cry for being an angry person.  I yell at my partner for not being there for me, when I don’t even know how to be there for myself.  Again, I cry.  I push him away.  I pull him in.  I throw lamps, kick walls, break things.  And then I sob, uncontrollably.  In the midst of my tantrums, I turn into a wild animal.  There is no reasoning with my mind in that state because my mind has been emptied of reasons.  The only reasons that are left are the ones worth crying over.

Where are these crazy emotions coming from?  I was told that anger is one of those forces that once expressed, gains power instead of dissipating.  I also read somewhere that the more I reject a part of myself, the stronger it becomes.  But I am having a really hard time accepting this “new” me because it’s ruining my life.  And like I would never do to a child, I scold the one in me, afraid to accept it and love it.  Sometimes I think that I’ve created a child in my emotional being so that there is someone to take care of, in the face of losing Leif.  I’m constantly trying to find some sort of tangible explanation for my madness.  The hormones don’t always resonate with the mind that seeks a more solid explanation.  Where the hell is the off button?

I have chosen the naturopathic path to recovery, hoping to bring back some balance into my life through good old herbs and acupuncture.  I’m tired of running into the wall, and just  really want harmony present in my life.  This has been a bumpy ride on a rocky road, to say the least.  But I’m still learning through it all.  Perhaps the learning is the upward spiral, after all.  The mind/heart space is a deep and complex space and experiencing new depths of it, as hard as the experience might be, is always in some way enlightening, even when the lights appear to be out.  Onward, I move, to see what exists around the bend…

Waves

Three weeks ago, on my way out to California, night after night, I had repetitive dreams about huge tidal waves.  The dreams were all different.  In some, I was drowning beneath them, while in others, I was simply riding and playing amidst these gigantic swells, but even then, I experienced a sense of fear, dread, and anxiety.  Since I’m a very avid dreamer, remembering up to 15 dreams in full detail per night, I take them quite seriously, especially with their frequent reoccurrence.  And so I looked up what tidal waves in dreams represented, and here is what I found:

“A tidal wave is a very strong symbol and can simply indicate that there is something stronger and more powerful that will just sweep us away without warning. It may symbolize our wish to protect some vulnerable family member.”

The first thing that I thought of while reading this interpretation was little Leif in my belly, whose movements have slowed over that week.  I was worried about him and put my hand on my belly, only to feel him give me a strong kick a few minutes later, as if saying “I’m OK Mom, I’m here.”  At least that’s what I gathered from that interaction.  That same night was the last time I ever felt Leif’s movements.

It’s been so hard to look back and follow the course of events right before Leif’s death because I end up blaming myself, questioning what I could have done differently, or trying to rearrange the past that already happened and can’t be changed.  But as I sat up in bed in the middle of the night last night, I remembered the waves, as I felt myself drowning, not only in my own tears, but in grief.  These past two weeks have been all about dwelling in these waves of emotions, waiting for one wave to end so I can resurface and catch a breath before the next one comes in and crushes on top of me.  Did I actually foresee this coming?

At times I feel that life is trying to drown me, that I won’t have enough strength to get through the next sets of tsunamis coming at me.  I get beat up, held down at the bottom, only to come up with what seems like the last breath left in me, and experience a sea so calm, that all feels like a dream.  I am living my dreams, and I can’t seem to wake up.  Life has become spontaneous, unpredictable, deep,  and  demanding, and though I can’t foresee it lessen in intensity, at least I’m becoming a damn good swimmer.