Listening to: Joe Satriani – “Always With Me, Always With You”
Once upon a time, there lived a crazy but cool Princess. Princess Consuela BananaHammock, we’ll call her for this story. One Saturday night, Princess Consuela decided that instead of going out, she would have a mellow evening, stay home (alone), eat some mushrooms, and watch “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” Why did she decide this? Who the fuck knows. But, content with this as a plan, she ate a couple of stems, a cap, pressed play, and waited for the ride to start. When that didn’t happen in what she felt to be a reasonable amount of time, she ate a couple more pieces. Then a bit later, a couple more. At some point she realized that not only had she eaten the whole 1/4 ounce of mushrooms, she had her back to the TV, but was seeing in the most vivid, detailed technicolor, some brilliantly bizarre movie, set to the sounds of Fear and Loathing. She in fact realized that she was tripping balls, and shit was about to get real.
For the next 8 hours, Princess Consuela (who’d had the foresight, before things went too far off the deep end, to call a friend to keep her company) talked almost non-stop, found herself unable to sit down, and was feeling every single emotion known to man, and probably some not known, in flashes, lightning bolt style. The highest of highs, the lowest of lows, and everything in between, but to their extreme. Although the Princess knew that everything she was feeling was due to the mushrooms she’d consumed, and wouldn’t be permanent, she was still in moments, a little scared of the intensity of it all. The only thing that brought her comfort in those moments of being in fear of the intensity, was The Goo Goo Dolls song, “Slide.” She would dance around her apartment to the song, and when the “what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful” part of it came on, she would SPPPPIIIIIINNNNNN, like a patchouli wearing hippy chick at a Ratdog show, (She sadly never made it to a Grateful Dead show) remind herself that she just had to ride the snake for a bit, and all was again cool. After 8 hours, the high wore off, she had a snack and a nap, and regained what passes for sanity in her world.
Today marks week 2 of being sick. And day 1 of divorce court, for which I thankfully do not have to be present. It was mentioned to me earlier this week that this “sick” that I’ve been experiencing may have roots more deep than just bronchitis. Not in a physical illness sort of way, but as part of the overall healing I’ve been going through. Which for me, makes sense, so, I’ve begun approaching my healing with that in mind.
When I went back to the Dr on Wednesday, in addition to cough med with codeine, he gave me a steroid to add to the cocktail of drugs I’m already on. I expressed my concern about the possible side effects of steroids, and doc said those are really only a concern at higher doses than what I was going to be taking. He was wrong.
Even in my whiny moments, or moments of tears large and small, over the last weeks, and months, even in the moments where I have found myself in situations that would have in the past triggered me, I’ve been pretty steady, emotionally speaking. That means to say, where in time’s past I might have let insecurity, or fear, or anger, take over, and plunge me into a shitty place, I haven’t done. And let me tell ya, I have been challenged. Not in “bad” ways per se. But really, really challenged to keep checking in with myself to see where I am, what still hurts, what needs work. I’ve been challenged to think about what energy around a situation is mine, or that of someone else, or from a past experience that looks a little bit like a current one, so that I act or react accordingly. I’ve been challenged to keep my momentum in my healing, no matter what is or isn’t happening.
After so many years of letting the outside influence, or control, how I was feeling, I’m very committed to not allowing that to happen again. While I don’t aspire to be one of the floaty, so sweet sugar wouldn’t melt in their mouth, “deeply spiritual” people, (because I find them phony, and insincere, and kinda want to punch them in the neck to break them out of their Stepford style trance) my intention is very much to choose peace, and happiness, in every possible moment.
So, yesterday, having taken 2 doses of the 6 total of the steroids prescribed for me, and being all hopped up on codeine, which helped me to finally be able to sleep for a few hours straight, BAM, fucking steroid side effects slammed me. After waking from weird dreams, during which a few of my ex’s made appearances, I woke up and felt my “vibe” had plummeted to a depth I am no longer used to. Something that had happened hours before, that in the life formerly known as mine, would have triggered my fear and insecurity, but through which I simply breathed without issue, came back to me, and started the voices in my head filling me with negativity, and doubt. My emotions started flashing like lighting bolts, and not one of them was a good emotion. I found myself suddenly crying, and a few minutes later wanting to tell people to fuck off, who hadn’t actually done anything deserving of those words. Or mean words in general. I’d literally said to someone earlier in the day how for the first time in my life I was finally living in the moment, and without fear, or overthinking! Then this happened, and for about 5 minutes I was freaked out that the steroids were going to undo everything I’ve been working so hard to change within myself.
And that’s where Princess Consuela Bananahammock comes in. I remembered her story. Remembered how she’d said she felt, to their most intense degree, as the result of a “drug” in her body, every emotion possible, in brilliant scary flashes, and came through it just fine. So I decided to borrow a page or 2 from her book. First, I smudged the fuck out of myself, and my house, to get rid of anything which may actually have originated with me. Residue of emotions from the life that used to be mine, or anything else for that matter, that no longer serves me. But I also wanted to clear emotions, and energy, that weren’t mine, whether they were from steroids, or ghosts, or whispy strings of karma.
Smudging completed, it was all about me, and the Goo Goo Dolls, and “Slide.” Volume cranked, singing (through coughing, and with stuffy sinuses, which was no doubt horrible for my vocal chords) at the top of my lungs, and DANCING around my kitchen… “…what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful…” I sent love to those I’d earlier felt fake ‘roid anger toward, and to myself as well. I told depression, and sadness, and darkness, that they aren’t allowed to have control of me ever again. I also told steroids to fuck the fuck off, and threw them away. I can get healthy without them! This peace that I feel now, I will not lose to a drug that didn’t even give me the pleasure of a happy buzz!
Just those actions were enough to bring me back, to me. Mind over matter, or whatever you want to call it. That’s a lesson I won’t ever forget. Not just about steroids, but about how I can choose how I will feel. I’ve felt such an amazing sense of freedom lately, not living in fear, or hurt, or anger. I have NO idea what’s going to happen down the road, or tomorrow, but for today, I choose happy, and LOVE, and to be open to the possibility of everything beautiful.
If you’re reading this, and you’re in a place where the dark icky is still around you, I’m not saying choosing happy in the midst of absolute fuckedupness is even a little bit easy. But I am saying, maybe throw the Goo Goo Dolls on, and shake your ass a little bit, as you dance through your house, letting the words, “what you feel is what you are, and what you are is beautiful” wrap themselves around you. Maybe it will help, even just for a minute. Sometimes a minutes peace is enough to make it possible to get through to the next minute!
Listening to: Eric Johnson “Cliffs of Dover”
(Credit dD for this)