Today I sat in my room after taking a shower, my feet hugged up in cobbler’s pose, my hands outstretched and palms up. I tried to slow my breathing to stop the racing of my heart, my breaths only shallow at first before eventually beginning to calm and deepen.
I don’t like where my head is at, and I’m tired of renting space in my head and heart to people that don’t deserve it. I tried all the tricks I’ve learned in recovery about turning stuff over to God, to let God take care of it all, and to cease being the one in charge.
But these things are stubborn, deeply embedded in my skin. As I kept struggling to slow my breathing, I remembered a hike from many years ago when my dog Bubba was running along with us off the leash and he spotted a porcupine. By the time we caught up to him, he and the porcupine were circling each other. Finally, he barked, and the porcupine responded by whapping Bubba in the face with his tail.
We grabbed Bubba, leashed him, and dragged him away, but it was too late. He already had a dozen barbs in his face and tongue. Luckily, he also had a pit bull’s pain threshold, so we were able to remove the barbs without hurting him too badly.
I had to take the barbs and push them in ever so slightly deeper before slowly backing them out of his skin. This way they wer removed without ripping his skin further, although they bled a bit.
This image is what I finally landed on in my meditation. I imagined all the things I’ve let get under my skin and removed them like porcupine barbs, then threw them into a mental fire so that I could let them burn away.
I think it sort of worked.
This week I cornered a porcupine, by choice. I knew the risk I was running, but I did it anyway. Because I’ve been turning my back to the porcupine for over two years and I was sick and tired of feeling fucking helpless about it.
It probably wasn’t my best plan.
Today, though, I’m shaking it off and letting it go. I’ve prayed for every single person that has hurt me, asking God to help them find joy, good health, peace, love, and success. In recovery I was taught that the best way to release anger and resentment is to pray for those you resent the most, even if the prayers are just words, even if you don’t mean it, even if it hurts more than anything to say those prayers. I was taught to do it every day for two weeks, and that if I did, the resentment would be lifted.
Today is day one, and the prayers were just words, but they are words that I’ve said. My heart feels ever so slightly lighter, and with luck, will feel lighter still tomorrow.
The barbs have been pulled out, but I’m still bleeding from the wounds a bit. But the pain is much less acute.
But for now? I’m working on moving on.
My mom continues to amaze me, although I worry she’s pushing herself too hard. She’s done more around the house in the last day and a half then she’s done in the last nine months. Her balance is nearly perfect, which is so… strange. I’ve gotten so use to tensing up each time she stands up that I don’t know what to do. It’s like reverse helicopter parenting.
Her improved physical ability is nothing compared to her mental clarity. It’s just a fucking miracle, is what it is.
We’re all just so damned relieved. We meet with the surgeon this week to determine next steps.