Get Up. Get Out of Bed. Take a Shower.
Water is pure magic. The healing properties are undeniable, our bodies are made of 45-65% water. If you haven’t seen the documentary “Secret of Water”, do yourself a favor and stream it. Science has proven the way we treat, use, and transmit water, affects us in ways we take for granted daily. We all know we feel better after a shower, not to mention in or around a body of water. Intuitively, you already know it has the power to heal. I step out of a shower feeling at least 10% better. That may not seem like a lot, but it’s enough to build the foundation of a good day. It’s most definitely enough to create a positive ripple in what might otherwise be another dark era of bedroom hibernation.
About a week ago, I was forced to deal with an EXTREMELY poor choice I thought I had closed the book on three years ago. I had made it through nine months of sobriety…the very thought of alcohol would make me gag. I was riding so high on a wave of instant manifestations, total immersive meditations and energetic early mornings, I felt indestructible.
After the initial shock of said surprise, I had made the decision to open a bottle of red zinfandel. I was certain after all this time, after all the hard work I had put into the detoxification process, after attending many events I thought would tempt me but did not, (I was IN a fricken wedding party for God’s sake), my body would reject the alcohol as soon as it entered. To my surprise, (and a combination of dismay and excitement), I found it quite easy to finish the entire bottle in under two hours. It’s amazing how the brain works. How your subconscious can override physical pain and resurrect old habits that allow for distraction/avoidance in a fight or flight, adrenaline-fueled response. In retrospect, I’m super bummed I chose a crappy bottle of red zin to ruin my streak, instead of an old favorite vintage or a decent round of classic negronis. But I digress…
Pill Party 2
Enter my real go-to method, my avoidance of choice. Sleep all day under the direct orders of whatever benzodiazepine, sedative or hypnotic I could get my hands on. It wasn’t Ambien, I was definitely over that trainwreck, but I had been using a generic brand of Klonopin to wean myself off of nighttime prescriptions and I really wanted it to do the trick. I also ran out and got a prescription of Temazepam, just to make sure I wasn’t going to dry out anytime soon. Truth be told, I tried for a good three days to make it work…using A LOT of pills. Apparently, NOW my body was on board with the whole “rejecting old habits of self-destruction” thing…but I was still stuck in bed, thrown back into a bout of depression I thought was long behind me.
My Loyal, Supportive Heart
If you’re lucky enough, you’ll have one or two loyal/supportive friends that will be with you for most of your life…and loves you not despite your poor choices, but includes that in your beauty. One of the MOST supportive and MOST loyal friends of mine, I’ve nicknamed “My Heart” because that’s what he is made of, a big heart with a handsome face. It was his wedding I was in…and during his father’s wedding speech, it was revealed he was born with severe heart problems. His parents weren’t even sure he would make it. In a strange way, that didn’t surprise me. I’m certain that little baby body wasn’t quite sure what to do with all of that love his big heart contained. Thank God they came to an agreement, or the world would have been robbed of one of the biggest blessings in it.
Every day a text came in…”how ya doin’?”. (It really takes so little to make a BIG difference in someone’s life). On the fourth day, I knew I’d had enough but didn’t know how to pull myself out of the depressive shell I was creating. I’d been through months of this many times before, and I was not going to go down that path again. I don’t have that kind of time to waste anymore. So through various simple suggestions on My Heart’s behalf, I decided to place myself in that shower. Just to move, to get a different scene and generally just to smell better. Often times I tell my yoga students when they’re about to give up on a posture, to just go for the set-up. Then I say, “well, you’re all set up for the posture, you might as well push yourself to go ten percent into it”. Then suddenly they’re doing the whole posture. Sometimes we think so far past the first step, we get overwhelmed. Remember, not only take it one step at a time, but try not to think past one step at time. Or as Anne Lamott would say, “Bird By Bird“. (GREAT book about the same principle).
Keeping with the water theme, I was going to bravely leave the house and join my parents for dinner at an oyster bar. I remained silent until we were seated at the bar itself. I looked at the menu, and dead center was a five-pound seafood boil for two. You have no idea the symbolism this particular menu item had for me. Well, some of you do…and you should keep that to yourself. Five pounds of boiling seafood that hadn’t been shucked yet. Bring it. Fucking. ON.
When the chef dropped the 31-inch metal platter full of shrimp, lobster, crab, mussels, clams, potatoes and corn in front of me, his words were “best of luck”. None needed my friend.
I ate a few pieces and had already garnered attention from some of the neighboring guests. The size of the platter proportionate to my 5 foot, 1-inch frame was ridiculous. Suddenly, I had a homework assignment, something I had to hold myself accountable for. I was going to shuck the shit out of this platter in under five minutes. One minute for every pound. It may sound crazy, but I had given myself a purpose to fulfill. And once again, I had found an audience as all eyes were on me.
I couldn’t stop if I tried. I was on fire…almost literally. They don’t call it a “boil” because it arrives at room temperature. My blistering fingers were tearing through lobster carnage like my life was at stake. I peeled through a pound of shrimp and ripped out mussel and clam meat like I was rounding up rodeo cattle. The couple seated next to us were making no attempts to hide their stares at me and then the man said: “you’re amazing!”. The oyster chef had stopped in front of me and was cheering me on, while order tickets were spewing out behind him. Steel buckets were filling up with shells, and I was organizing my food in sections accordingly. My Dad looked over at me with pride and pronounced for all to hear, “That a girl”. After I finished, I looked up at my spirit leader in chef’s clothing and said quite defiantly, “Box please”. A round of applause exploded from everyone in the vicinity and the chef proclaimed “so smart!”. (Which, I don’t know if I personally would’ve chosen that particular adjective to describe the skill I had exemplified, but I’ll take it.) I looked at my mother and she said, “I dunno. I could’ve done the same thing”. Keeping me humble that one.
We left and I immediately thought of three blog posts I had been putting off. Ideas were flowing in my head like a faucet of energy had been turned back on. It may seem like an insignificant task, but my brain had set a goal and I had achieved it. No matter how mundane the act was, my subconscious was registering success again. For the SECOND time in one day…after I’d felt like a failure all week.
And it all started with a shower.
So get in my friend. Get in and change everything…10 percent at a time.