The last six weeks have been wild thunderstorm, perhaps even more so for my poor family who never quite knew from moment to moment if I was going to be sane or incoherent. I swung from giddy, to exhausted, to mean, to distracted, to controlling, to someone who shouldn’t have been allowed behind a steering wheel. But I did it—I stared my Fear down. Not mere quick glimpses from the corner of my eye. A full-faced stare, unblinking, right in the eye.
The process wasn’t easy. I had heachaches; my hair fell out in small handfuls. I couldn’t sleep at night; I fought sleep during the day. Nightmares, nausea, rashes, intestinal distress. Mental incompetence, frenzies of hyper-rational intellectualism (mostly arguing on other people’s blogs). Depression, repression, denial, shame, and rage. Finally, the grace of grief.
Forty years of living, reacting, deciding from a position of fear (sometimes more, sometimes less, but never none) dissolving in the healing rain of grief. When I could recognize what Fear had cost me, what I had lost by making so many choices from fear, without the blame, shame, and loathing I had been hurling at myself, I could finally acknowledge the pain and begin letting it go. The grief came over me like a gentle but insistent summer rain after a long period of heavy, hot humidity, grumbling thunder and jagged heat lightning.
Desert summers often produce heavy rainless storms that leave the land more miserable afterwards than it was before. When at last a monsoon arrives with enough water left in it to rain on the desert, the relief is palpable in the cleansed air, on the flooding streets and swollen washes, in the soul. Grief poured through me with the same healing touch as an August rain.
I am left weary and sore in body, bruised and aching in spirit, but whole and reborn. The recuperative, rebuilding of body and soul will not be quick or easy, either, but at least I know I have been purged of my demons and, with proper care and feeding, the prognosis looks grand.