Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Overcoming Crisis

Seven years ago, I was in crisis. I had just left my eleven-year relationship. I felt like my world had ended, and to make matters worse, I had allowed myself to be severely abused in the relationship in every way, physically, emotionally, mentally. I hadn't left myself any reserves to overcome such a crisis.

I slid downhill at a dangerous speed, going from panic attack to panic attack. I had always imagined that losing your mind would send you into oblivion. A few times, I had even welcomed that oblivion. But this wasn't oblivion. This was terror. This was the most horrible nightmare imaginable.

I didn't want to die, but I couldn't imagine living this way. In the middle of my horror, I would unravel, feel amazingly terrified of coming apart and reach like a drowning victim for anything that looked like a lifeline.

I had never liked drugs, and I'd made the mistake of self-medicating with alcohol once before in my life. I knew that it would only make matters worse. So, I reached for anything but drinking to help me feel better. The doctors gave me Xanex, but even a sliver of one made me feel strange. So I did the one thing I had learned in my Shamanic studies instead. I headed for the river, often several times a day.

I did so every single time it got too much to handle. I would sit on the rocks by the river and stare at the world around me. I couldn't imagine how grief could turn everything around me technicolored. It was like all the color had been sucked from my world. I would pick a rock, and I would let all the terror and horror that had happened flow from me into that stone. And when I didn't have a drop left inside me, I would let the river have my grief. Every day, I did that. Over and over again, I did that. Until, slowly, ever so slowly, the pain became just a little less. It would be a long, long time before I would begin to feel right--but it was a beginning.

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