It hasn’t happened before...life has never dealt me anything that I couldn’t or wouldn’t write about. But yesterday, I couldn’t write. Not even just for myself. The devastating news I received on Friday night just stopped me in my tracks, and I didn’t want to be intimate with even my own thoughts. They were dark and hard, painful and visceral. I needed no more time in my head, instead I zombie walked through my day, trying to be of service because I desperately needed something to ease the pain.
I have been writing since I could write. I have every journal I have ever written since I was like 10. There has always been this need in me, to purge the emotional torrent that runs within me. Some sort of emotional release valve for my soul.
And yesterday, I was so overwhelmed that I just couldn’t even talk to myself, or God, which is really what my writing is every day. A conversation that goes on inside my head between myself and God, that I decided a few years ago to share with others. And yesterday, I couldn’t participate in it and I certainly couldn’t share it. I had no words and for me, that is kind of a critical moment.
There is a lot going on in my life right now. Some I can share and some I cannot. I want to share all of it because it seems to be the act of sharing that provides me relief and also creates an opportunity to help someone else. But right now, there is so much going on that is painful, hard, terrifying and sad, that I just can’t do it. Some of it is not my news to share so it shall remain hidden as I will not betray the confidence of another in order to make myself feel better. Some of it is mine and in good time, I will share that. Discernment is such a good new companion.
But I have to admit that when I sat down to write yesterday and couldn’t, couldn’t bring myself to allow the flow to begin, I was alarmed. I was scared. What if I never write again? What if I falter here and am held captive by my own thoughts forever? I mean I am a good alcoholic, so when pressed, I always go to never and forever and back again. This time was no different.
So I didn’t write. Not for me, not for you. No words on the screen for any of us. And it worried me. This daily drivel has become my salvation. My confessional. My solace and comfort for my struggles with intimacy.
So while I couldn’t write, I could reach out to my people, the women in my life who are stalwart figures, who are my guard rails, my comfort, my sisters. I reached out to only a few, grateful to have so many to choose from, but I just could only manage a couple of calls. And they all answered and then checked on me all day. And I am grateful. I was not ok yesterday, and most alarming was my resistance to writing, my fear to go there in my head. Of not knowing or having the words to say what I needed to say because I was so disconnected to feeling much of anything except divine sadness, anger and fear.
I guess today is the day I get back on the horse that I jumped off yesterday. Not being one to wait for a good bucking off, I leaped yesterday from the bronco of my mind, and left the stallion standing in the field, left to wander home alone. Today, I have saddled up and am taking my seat aloft the steed. Willing myself to allow the process of writing to be like riding. Praying that the old adage applied here that when you have a day that you cannot write the best thing you can do, is to write again as soon as possible and care not at all if it is good, it is worthwhile, caring only that it is real and authentic and honest.
My mind is swirling so fast lately. So much heartbreak going on, so much suffering in the ones I love. So much of a hard path right now. But I am grateful to be able to trudge. Grateful for all the times I trudged before, because they provide me solace and comfort now. I can do this, because I have done it before. Even when I saw no future, even when I had no good ideas on how to move forward. Even when I was so lost that I was sure that I would never be found. I was. Every single time.
Yesterday was a chop wood, carry water day. It was arduously hard labor just to make it from my eyes opening at first light to my eyes closing, relieved to have made it through the day.
And right now I am so grateful for the river of vocabulary that appears on this screen in front of me. So grateful. So happy that I am not going to allow the carnage of the moment to seal me off, shut me down and carry me away. So grateful.
I will be the first to admit, I do not know what I am doing. I haven’t a clue. I have no idea. I just know that there are some things in this life that are not tolerable one more second and that the only thing to do is to step out on faith and trust that taking care of my self and my kids can never be a wrong choice. So that is what I choose today. Retreat. Time to write, reflect, meditate. Garner some support from the powers that be to give me strength to go forward with a little grace, a little dignity, a little faith.
I am not sure how to move forward but I know that I cannot go back. Too much has changed inside me that I am no longer the same person. I am no longer the me I was that was capable of stuffing, accommodating and appeasing. I am different and while this new me is as foreign to me as some of you are, I am happy to be this new, unknown version of myself. It allows for me to do things I have never done before and to show up for the people I love mostly in a shape and form that was previously not available.
Not writing yesterday gave me a little intimacy with myself. One that was not immediately shareable with others. And I am grateful that the process of writing, of allowing the intuitive flow to be ebbed only for a moment. Today my sanity chasing process returns and I can write again about all the shit I am never supposed to say, all the secrets I am asked to keep. Today, courage replaces fear and I am able to move forward in my life, one word, one line at a time. Writing it all down, if only for myself, healing the wounds of life that seems so prevalent right now. Loving the process of writing, be ever grateful for this process as it is my becoming.
Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing, just sit down at your typewriter and bleed.”
Truer words have never been said for me.