Are We Out of the Woods Yet?

I’ve been listening to this song often for the last few weeks, and have wanted to post about it. But something always told me to put it off, that I wasn’t quite ready to post about it.

Now, I’m awake at an ungodly hour of the morning, with the sun not even risen yet. And I’m listening to the Les Miserables sound track while I write this. It seems fitting, actually. It was the one theater (stage theater, not movie) event I could ever convince my ex to attend with me.

I love theater. It’s yet another piece of myself that I closed down and submerged, with all good intent. A part of myself that I imprisoned, not because I was asked to but because I convinced myself it was necessary and appropriate.

But that’s not why I’m writing this now. I’m not laying fault at the feet of my ex. I’m looking at me, and choices I’ve made. Things I’ve ignored. Thought processes I had created to protect me, but that eventually became a prison.


This song speaks to that for me. It’s the same cry that Jean Valjean has in Les Mis:

I had one of those breakthroughs last night, right before my sister went to bed. It started out as simply a medication discussion, because for the first time in my life I was curious as to why I have at least 90% of the time woken up completely and totally unable to face solid food until at least 3-4 hours after I wake up. I always thought it was just related to my natural circadian rhythm, that my body just really never woke up until then even if my brain said I had to be awake. Or that it was related to the fact that I rarely actually feel hunger, unless it has been a very long time since I last ate (like almost 24 hours – and even then it’s not pangs, just mild hunger. I don’t get pangs until about 36 hours).

I went searching to find out what physical issues are related to that kind of nausea. And I found a rather extensive list. If I ignore things I know I don’t have (like cancers and serious illnesses of the gastro-intestinal track, because I have been tested for all of those things), what is left is: stress, depression and anxiety.

Now, I do actually take what I call “crazy pills.” Yes, I know, that’s somewhat demeaning if pointed at someone else. But, it helps remind me that my core self, the me who is me, doesn’t have to be ruled by my mental issues. That I don’t have to be controlled by the chaos inside me at times.

One of the things we figured out is that I am on the highest safe dosage of my medication. But I also need to do some self-reporting for the days between today and my next full physical (in about 3 weeks). Without writing things down, I can’t actually see if there is a pattern.
But, after my sister went to bed, I had a full-blown panic attack. And it started right about the same time she made mention of me having made progress in my healing. My mind went straight to: “You want me to do things I’m not capable of yet.” But that’s not what she said. All she said was “progress.” And after 2 years I should hope there would be SOME progress, even it if it’s not at the speed I would like it to be, or the speed my inner critic thinks it should be.

Back to Taylor’s song. I actually started asking myself this question even before I got married. And that should have been an indication that I was making a mistake. I can’t actually think of a day when I didn’t at some point ask that same question: “Are we out of the woods yet? Are we in the clear?”

But it wasn’t until approximately 2008 that the cracks in my facade started to show up. The question become more and more desperate. The crying out to the Divine became more and more screaming in pain. And, I started to realize that I was, in many ways, the only thing keeping our little family together. At the time I called it “peacemaking” or “having compassion for each other.” But when I look back, it was ignoring the signs and warnings that shit was hitting the fan, and I was beating a dead horse.

I’m still working on finding myself. I’m still in the woods, knee deep in mud and crap. But there is a faint smell of the sea on the wind. I don’t yet know how far away from it that I am, but I know I’m getting closer.

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Categories: Body Health, Mental Retraining, Relationships | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Are We Out of the Woods Yet?

  1. We’re never out of the woods. Life is a journey whose only end is death. The only thing that matters are the milestones along the way since there’s no destination. Don’t try to get out of your woods, just try to see as many trees and plants and animals as possible.

    • I suppose it depends upon the connotation one has for that particular idiom.

      I don’t personally believe that our whole life is relegated to only the woods, that our life journey takes us into a plethora of differing environments with their assorted blessings and challenges. It’s only if we refuse to go into a new direction and a new environment that we “fail” at life.

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