My day would start off the same every morning: I would wake up, feel the pain in my body, remember the direct or indirect medical negligence that led to my condition, feel angry at the health care practitioners involved, feel powerless over my life, feel hopeless about ever healing, and spiral downward into depression.
Sometime in 2004, I named this occurrence “spinning.” When I was in it, I couldn’t for the life of me remember how to pull myself out. Once I identified and named the phenomenon, though, I called a few friends — letting them know about my morning cycle and advising them about what they could say to extract me from it.
That was a turning point in my life.
One day, I confided in a friend my sense that I would keep on spinning through the same cycle of depression each morning, unless I got my story out of me and onto paper. Until then, I knew intuitively, the traumas I’d endured would remain trapped in my body.
The thing was, although I was making a living as a professional writer, I could never chronicle the story of what had happened to me. Doing so was too emotionally charged. Even thinking about writing my story left me feeling shut down.
For my 35th birthday, the friend I’d confided in offered me the greatest possible gift: I would tell her my story, she offered, and she would type it up as I spoke. That way, I wouldn’t be alone in the process, and I wouldn’t have to write anything down. I simply would talk to my friend and share my experience.
And so began my healing journey.
My friend and I sat in my living room for three hours, as I poured out my personal saga, and she typed it all up on my laptop. The exchange was no less than liberating. Suddenly, the story line did not have to repeat itself in my head every morning. Suddenly, there was life beyond the traumas I’d endured.
Ultimately, the document was lost in a computer crash. By then, however, I was in an altered mental state and knew what had to be done. I began tape-recording conversations, where I shared with friends what I was going through, then I hired someone to transcribe the recordings.
Last year, I upgraded to a digital recorder — which I could snap onto my back pocket and speak into, while hiking or cleaning my apartment. (I! Love! Multitasking!) A couple of months ago, I started this blog.
As I contemplate releasing into the universe the details about what I’ve been through (i.e., beefing up the “Bad Medicine” category on my blog), I feel scared. There is so much judgment out there — most notably, in the world of alternative medicine and healing arts.
Right in the place where I would expect to find the most love and encouragement, I have discovered not only that good juicy stuff, but also a toxic mix of spiritual smugness and blame-the-victim mentality. I can’t help but feel that everything I’m about to say can and will be used against me.
Oh well. Let the games begin.