The beautiful trees in the photo above are located on Meridian Road. I often stop and marvel at their beauty. Each season they showed up reminding me of how things change. How nature has a way of being a valuable teacher, if you sit in it. I love these trees along the side of Meridian Road. They are forever etched in my heart.
How Did I Get Here?
September 30, 2022|12:30 pm
On Friday, September 30, 2022 the school I teach at celebrated, "DAY OF AWESOMENESS." It's exactly that, AWESOME! Students are excited, staff are slightly terrified (fun = long day). There's ice cream, prizes, bouncy houses, music, and a little chaos. With way too much energy, my students and I entered the area where the bouncy houses were set up. Before I could say, "take your shoes off," they were off and running. This meant I was off and running as well, and I was following one off them into a maze. Within seconds I could feel my heart racing, my chest getting tighter as I lost site of her, and found myself paralyzed with fear. I was trapped. I could see the tiniest light that appeared to be an exit, but as I approached it, it was just another wall. I dropped to my knees. How did I get here?
How did I get here? This is the question I've been asking myself for the past 75 days. I've allowed that question to consume all of me, and the truth is I will never have the answer. Or at least the answer I want to hear. So, here I am, 75 days later, entering a new month, and telling myself, "this is the month you cross over, attraversamo." If you receive my TANA newsletters, you know I said that same thing last month. It was, my wishful way of thinking a new month could magically teleport me out of the dark tunnel. It is October 1, 2022 and I'm wishing it all over again, and that is okay.
You will test me. I am ready.
Each season reminds me of how things change. The trees on Meridian Road never looked the same. They would weather the seasonal changes with strength and beauty. Their roots were strong. Like weather, we change. The weather can never be the same, so why would we think we should be? That's just not how the world works. It can't rain all day everyday, we'd flood. I am in a season of change. If it never rained the plants would not grow, but nobody loves the rain, it's not giving. But some people do love the rain. Some people find a way to be happy in the rain, so what are you doing in the rain? Are you just standing there?
I dislike being wet. Soggy morning grass, dampness, wet socks, all of it makes me uncomfortable. I love a warm blanket, soft pajamas, fuzzy slippers and hot coffee. I will not sit out in the rain, so why would I opt to sit in this storm for the last 75 days? The truth is depression, grief, sadness, shame, guilt, anxiety, they're real. You can be the strongest MOTHER f345^& in the world, appear to have it all together, but on the inside your paralyzed, suffocating in the worst thoughts, convinced you deserve this, shameful, and incapable of doing the simplest of task without feeling exhausted. It's a f@#$* BEAST I know well. It's a beast I've denied, resisted, succumb to and waged a war with it for far too long. It's a beast that separates me from the people I love because when it's walking with me, it's whispering in my ear,"you do not deserve love, happiness, and peace." It's a beast that convinces me I have not accomplished anything, that I'm washed up, and worthless. It's a beast that tells me I'm annoying and a burden to my children. It's a beast that sneaks up on me and pummels me into a long, dark, tunnel with no exit. It's a beast that tells me, you are alone.
July 16, 2022
It was July 16, 2022 when the beast returned. I was kicked into the dark tunnel. I did not want it, I fought tooth and nail to get away from it, but it was too late. Today, is October 1, 2022 and at 5:00 am this morning I said, "the mourning period is over." It's been 75 days. Saying that number out loud brought me to my knees. Not even those who align with Judaism or Muslim faith mourn the death of someone that long. It was time to end the mourning process. I say this cautious optimism, because grief is not linear, and you can't predict when it will rear its ugly head. I'm confident more tunnels will be on my journey. But for now, on this day in October I am done mourning.
I finally saw a crack in the tunnel and through it the tiniest light. I grabbed onto it. My awakening didn't come because I had some big ah ha moment, it came from shear exhaustion, and a lot of frustration with myself. I did not want to feel this way anymore. I didn't want to be trapped in that maze, paralyzed and unable to get out. I simply couldn't continue to walk through this tunnel alone anymore. It was time to stop mourning. It was time to take the beast off my back.
The Exit Sign
I'll see myself out is partially true. In the past I would find a way to do get out of the tunnel, but walk very close to it. The truth is, I often returned to my old patterns. This time things had to be different. This time I asked for help. A much different approach and so hard to do when the beast is telling you otherwise. This month with the support of a therapist, wellness coach and my own determination to shift, I will be releasing the beast, or at least putting it in a cage with a new lock. The days will not be easy, and like the weather, always changing. Some days it might rain, a lot, but I know it can't rain forever, we'd flood. So instead of feeling soggy and wet, which I hate, I will work on loving the rain knowing it will not last forever. 🤍