When my life started a downward spiral in the spring of 2017 I allowed it to increase speed in trying to grip control of elements of life best left alone. I became an annoying micro manager of my own life. The kind that always annoyed me in my wide ranging list of part time jobs. For example, when my boss at a motel (and by motel I mean motel: complete with coin operated vibrating beds) flipped his shit because I placed pens on the left and not the right hand side of the keyboard. In discovery of my actions his hands shook, his lips tightened, and I shrank. Fear of misplacing one small thing, missing one last detail confounded me and led to low job performance— my nerves were racked with thoughts that my unconscious actions would upset his delicate system.
Returning to 2017....I knew what I wanted. I knew that so many of my self destructive behaviors would lead me down the wrong path, but interrupting a spiraling self is a difficult task. Luckily I had this blessing named Helen, a PhD student who didnt put up with any shit, but had compassion to push me along. Two solid years of therapy led me out of this spiral and into a whole new way of living, but also a way of living that brings unity to my life and work, making me feel whole. One aspect we tackled was actually feeling pain, being let down, disappointment and being ok with it. Learning how to give my whole self to something and how to let it hurt when things do not pan out. The key item on this list of feeling pain was in regards to relationships, one that was not serving me. Sans details this was a romantic partnership, one that lasted over a decade, thus letting go was not a simple: rebound, bottle of wine, weekend away with self journey to healing. This is one that felt like a trap, for if I left the pain was too much, but if I stayed I knew it was self betrayal and destructive for both parties. Inevitably the end came. The end was not a clean cut, but one that took about 2 years to really establish finality. Once that had been achieved, pain was allowed to migrate into me.
Like I said, Helen was a PhD student, thus I was more or less a guinea pig in that I paid a nominal rate for first class care. The catch was there would be an end, and like the imperfection of life it came a few weeks after that real pain of loss set in, and I wasn't going back to him. One of our last sessions she pushed some serious buttons in me. A line that came out of her mouth that stung was 'He crushed your dreams.' And my god it was true. Years with something hopeful on our horizon filled me with what a future will look like, rather than the life I was living presently. Her words I will never forget, and will stay with me for the better.
This week I hope to be posting a recipe for something similar to a scone. The ideas came from wanting to have something more wholesome for breakfast, but still indulgent and also resourceful. The dough is currently fermenting in my fridge. While I was shaping the dough Helens words came to my head again 'He crushed your dreams' and yes he did, but what I honestly believe she was helping me see is that in crushing my dreams it is giving me the opportunity to build my own.