The year is almost here. I can feel the date in the diary heading my way fast. It is still only a month away but I worry that I will become all encompassed, all enthralled, lost, and unable to be found ever again. I fear this mark like I would fear a break up or surgery…it’s something I know needs to come, happen, and then pass, so I can move on and things can keep on getting better. But the build up, the lead up, the suspense is worse than the actual date. I know that. Yet why do I feel the fear building and building in my mind, and my body, when rationally I know that everything is going to be okay?
Because, at this date, it really wasn’t…that’s why. Rationality becomes a stranger in this field.
My feet, so far, are staying grounded and present though. My mind is bringing so many memories of all my time in Cali before the overdose happened. Almost like, as the date is coming to hit, there is now space to bring these memories to the front of my mind so I can remember them clearly and well, and then say farewell and make space for all these new memories to come. Memories that I’m creating every day. Memories that are just moments from my life away from the turmoil and the pain that I was living in. this life that I am healing it, not living it.
These are the memories I want space for in my mind. But the memories that are surfacing right now aren’t sad or horrible….they are just what was. They are full of fondness and familiarity of my life I led in Cali. Moments I have not remembered since they were here for real. My mind’s been so full of survival and getting through this year, that now is the only time there seems to be space to remember these things with a fondness not a fright. This must be healing, right? Because with these memories that are surfacing comes a pain, a longing, a grief that has only been here in snippets before. These feelings bring healing and closure.
Something new that has been coming these weeks is really specific regret, shame, self-hatred, for specific parts of what happened that turmoil filled week. This is a new one. I have felt these emotions around the whole thing, but not just about one thing specifically. But now I have these moments in my day where a memory surfaces and immediately following is the voice of my critic, bringing with it the regret, shame and self-hatred….and a shit tonne of judgement.
I’ve taken to talking right back to it…bringing in the compassionate part of me I have been working so hard on developing these past couple of months, and more. When the critic pipes up I explain why I did what I did…why I needed to ask for help when I did….why I was so helpless and explain how so so strong and courageous I was too. Maybe this is healing too? It sure as hell must be. These moments hit so hard and leave me crippled at the knees, sometimes literally, but what follows is my ability to reassure myself with the why I did what I did, and to let that judgement fall.
The past just lingers like a dopey ghost determined to stir up a fuss, but in actual fact it just needs to be able to gently sit here. It doesn’t need anything else. It doesn’t even need to necessarily always be looked at. The more it is feared, the more it is ignored, the more it is stuffed as though it didn’t happen or doesn’t exist in your bank of memories, the stronger it becomes. So this is my aim for this month that is to come – let the dopey (and seemingly terrifying) ghost of the past – of that week – be here for all that it is. To hold the hand of the fear and walk with it. Or just get really mad at it, and show this all-consuming fear just how different things are now.
Looking around myself with eyes wide open to the now, holding onto the routine I have recently created, spending time with friends when the urge is to retreat into these memories and isolate myself with this world of the past, to breathe with the memories that surface instead of jumping a mile from them, to use up this anxious energy and not fear it, to mindfully mediate in the woods or by the river, to dance and be really bloody silly, to allow myself to be free, to just continually self-talk about where I am now, to share share share, to listen to my needs, is what is going to get me through. And is what is getting me through.
Because, after all, everything will be okay. And in a weird way, it always has been.