They say the storm is calmest at the eye. I believe such is life as well. When we are centered within ourselves the chaos, the struggles, the fears, the realities; they can all swirl around us. The calm within affords a peace of mind and focus that prevents the storm from ruining us.
As it has been often documented in the past couple years through this here blog, the storm around me was beating me. The storm was fearless and merciless and it was all consuming and painful. It was trying and constant. I told you stories of great pain, great discovery and great focus. I told you about major life decisions, major life changes and major life struggles. I documented my emotional health and the journey I was on to make it different, to make it better. I shared my fears of motherhood and my sadness through divorce. I shared it all one word at a time.
Here’s the catch; the more I shared, the more I focused, the more I discovered, the more I lost myself. I stopped living and started battling. I stopped listening to my gut, to the eye of my storm and I kept trying to survive the fury of the storm in it’s trenches. It had gone so far that I felt completely depressed, completely broken, completely lost. I felt like I was unfixable, as if my journey down the rabbits hole was never ending and like I was forever a failure at this thing called life. I started feeling like my life was never going to recover from my divorce, from the short sale of my home, from the loss of my dear pup Lucky, from the financial struggles that never seemed to end. And it got so bad I went so far as to head to the doctor to get a prescription for “happy” pills. I was convinced that without medication I was never going to feel happy again. I felt like I was lost in a storm and there was never a break in my clouds. I cried easily. I struggled often. I worried constantly. I was lost.
I headed to the doctor filled with shame. A girl so happy, so simple, so positive, how did my life come to this? How did I fall so far down the rabbits hole that I could not climb out? How did my positive demeanor turn to negative focus? How did my crying daughter turn into my worst enemy? How did my hungry dog turn into my biggest burden? How did everything I wanted turn into everything I dreaded? Doc, you NEED to SAVE me! And so the conversation was simple… Doc: “Melanie, we often face life at a sprint and we have no fear that we are able to complete the run. We face struggles and hardship with focus and attention and we have no fear the we will get through it. And then we get through it and we don’t realize just how much the sprint took out of us. We don’t realize just how hard the struggle is, just how much it impacts us. And then we are through it and we fear asking for help now, now that we’re through it. But, we need help. We are human. We need to recover from our sprint, from our journey.” Me: “Ok”. The doc provided me the doc warnings, what side effects lie ahead, how long I was to be on them and next steps. And like that, I had a prescription for “happy” pills. I was looking forward to not hurting, but I still felt incredible shame for exploring an option of survival that I never believed in.
Three days later, three pills in, I was done. I no longer wanted to be taking pills. I no longer wanted to be masking my feelings. I no longer wanted to be lost in the storm. And like that two years of therapy, months and months and months of group and it all clicked. All in a moment, it all clicked. And I realize that is not true… I realize it’s a lifetime of journey, years of therapy and months of group that got me to the top of my Everest. I wasn’t transported to the “click”, I finally let all that work sink in. All that time, all those moments, all the words, all the tears, all the lessons. I let it all sink it and after fighting through the storm I made it to my center.
At my core I know this to be true… My gut is great. My heart is always in the right place. My challenges are real. My story is incredible. My hurts are deep. My journey hasn’t been easy. My life is good. My focus is appropriate. My mistakes are lessons. My choices have put me on my current path. My ability to forgive is honorable. My capability to love is endless. My life is my life.
And so now I stop trying to fight the storm within the storm. Instead I will go to my center, look out amongst the trial, tribulations, struggles and storm and make decisions from the calm location deep within. The location where I know what is true, where I know what is right, where “I KNOW”. Taking lessons from the past two years of therapy and group, taking realizations, taking with me the person I WANT to be, not the person I had been. And I will continue my journey through therapy and group, just no longer at the expense of living a healthy life. It is not healthy to make every free moment one in which you are fighting for your health and not practicing living in health. Now, there will be balance. Balance between keeping myself healthy and living healthy. I am calm and I am centered and it feels good.
A new, more peaceful journey has begun. I am delighted to be on this path, at this time.