Ready to Go
Exactly a month ago, I wrote about the perspective of my entire life, all in one neat package. The only way that was possible was because I did so from a totally honest place. I had never been able to do that before quite in that way. I read it aloud in therapy that same day, and we both were full of emotion, with some tears of joy.
It was certainly a huge healing step for me, yet it was also an internal risk. I did not consider that at the time. I have no regrets. It was necessary. I needed to know it, feel it, and write it.
I quickly found that having all that perspective has nothing to do with arriving at any particular destination. While it may have sounded "feel good", it led to a chain of realizations and internal acceptances as well as some massive conflicts. From a purely human psychological perspective, it was kind of astounding to me how that happened.
A lot started coming at me quickly and I tried my best to hold onto the entire perspective all along. It was not easy. There were a myriad of inputs reverberating throughout.
All parts of me were listening—indeed trusting—and they were all over the place. There were onslaughts of memories from different periods which were coming at me and hitting me in different ways. Parts of me were railing against everything in quite dramatic ways. There was massive acceptance, but also massive denial.
Some of the perspective was about being suicidal and the ways in which I had tried to kill myself long ago. Some was about the ways in which I have hurt myself. So, while there was a total dedication to safety all throughout, there was also a constant internal chatter about suicide and self-harming. Some was also about abusive events I felt I "should" have had control over, which led to guilt and shame.
I kept my focus on containing everything and keeping what was happening somewhat balanced by paying close attention and reality checking. I was constantly trying to assess my safety, which is never easy. When guilt and shame came up, I challenged that through an internal message of forgiveness. When denial took hold, I tried to focus on simple truths. And I practiced self-care all the time.
However, the containment only worked for so long as the internal stressors became greater and greater. It became clear that the containment was at odds with the perspective.
Containment was winning out, so it was decided to face the perspective head on. I pushed. Hard.
Less than a week later, I found myself in the hospital. I got here safely and I knew precisely what the job was I was here to do: "we" had to push harder.
Since I have been coming to the same inpatient unit for over 20 years, and know so many of the incredible people who work here, it was not difficult to get back to perspective. I did it in a very direct way. I was able to focus on trust with others and within. I spent nights in the "quiet room", the room one goes to for a "time out" but also the room ones goes to when "losing it" and needing to be physically restrained. Not all great memories.
I struggled some with opening up enough to where I felt I was close to losing control. It was not really a struggle of willingness but rather a struggle of how to do it. And while I did feel like I lost some control, it was never like it used to be, and I was really in control the whole time. I let rage pour over me. I touched immense sadness. I laughed harder than I had in a long time too, which may sound weird, but sometimes it is better to laugh hard if the alternative is to sob. There were "volcanos" erupting inside me. Physical pain. Mental exhaustion. Inability to ground.
While it may sound odd to some, a significant piece of the work here has been about changing the name of what has always been perceived as the scariest part. This had been something in my consciousness for a while. It has happened once before a few years ago. It is not an easy process. It is not just "done". The goal was to achieve a new name for this part which more accurately reflected the healing that has been accomplished over the past few years as well as the part's true essence. It took 7 days, but it was done. It felt like a part of me was reborn; that I had given all of me a new direction or at least a stronger path.
Then the perspective took on new meaning because of the hard work. Then there were a few more days of settling that in inside. Sort of like the glue drying.
This has been amongst my most healing (and most difficult) hospital stays. And now, I am ready to go.
My apologies to those who posted a comment here. The site has been having spam problems. I changed the settings on the filter too high and could not figure out which of the 40,000 comments marked spam were from real people! I finally solved it. Comments are now working.