o.k., for the past 24 hours i have been laid completely flat by the most fire-breathing dragon of a bladder infection known to man. i share this, not in an effort to gross anyone out, but the details become important to understand the frame of mind.
when you never went to sleep the night before because not only do you have to pee so badly you think there is no way you can hold it, and then when you try-every 3-excruciatingly, ant-like(both in pace of movement and pain of entire anthill’s worth of them climbing up inside your urethra) minutes, it feels like shards of glass are exiting from your body–coping skills, including a sense of what is real and what is not start to loose any grip whatsoever on your brain–
that is a time when vulnerability stretches to an all-time high…around about 4:30 in the morning i began thinking of people that i could actually wake-up at such an hour, or that might already be up, or that wouldn’t hate me because of their lost sleep. then i added insult to injury and began thinking about why i was all alone and i couldn’t just lean over to wake somebody up to-at the very least run me a hot bath.
now i’ve had a little distance from those thoughts and a modicum of sleep…ahh, perspective. what does this “chance” for reflection give me? first i thought of what the hell does a bladder infection represent emotionally? am i not seriously, like, the most-fucking willing to deal with my emotions person that i know? do i not wear my heart on my sleeve with the best of them? what the hell is my body trying to tell me that i don’t already delve into on a daily basis? and in the only tone that seems appropriate–that of chandler from friends–could i seriously be any more self-actualized and mature than i already am?
i guess the answer is no… no matter how aware, self-actualized, perfect, amazing and delightful a gal i think i am, it’s all bullshit. this whole mask i adopt that somehow assuages my inner demons, does not dispatch them when i sit on the toilet all night long in agony–the demons reappear. someone asked me today…”do i believe that fear and shame based motivation are temporary and why?” my first answer was a resounding yes, totally temporary and possible to expunge the pain of fear and shame as a belief system. then i went into an internal review and questioned my own smug self…if i thought these beliefs were temporary, and then when i experienced my own crisis i returned to fear myself…just how temporary were they?
i don’t have the answer, not even close, but i do have this…i never felt depressed or pitiful–and still don’t, even as i share such a sad and pitiable story. i did feel grateful that i could draw my own warm bath, and that i had 4 or 5 people that i felt o.k. about waking up by 6:00 a.m., that at least that many people mobilized the next morning to help me get better immediately. and with perspective, i feel a tiny bit grateful that i have this amazing body that sends me an immediate wake-up call, or bullshit detector when i get too immersed in my own bullshit. it happily tells me that i am somehow not buying into to what fears are feeling real to me at the moment and that there is a part of me that is asking to be heard and nurtured, not ignored and toughed out.
i am impatient for perfection, but in the meantime i certainly don’t want to be jesus christ, nor perfection personified on earth; and living this life sometimes punctuated with pain reminds me how mud-lusciously delicious the living can get.