Like a dream in the night, who can say where we're going

I sat in the car listening to Roxy Music, the sweet buttery sound of Brian Ferry's voice seemed melancholy like my mood. I sat watching the rain hit the glass through the tears streaming out of my eyes. The sobs kept coming and for once I didn't fight it. I gave myself over, gave myself permission to feel all of it.

Eventually I pulled myself together, went in to the doctor's office, paid my copay, and was ushered in to the exam room. The doctor, not my usual guy, was kind, funny, a little flirty...I tend to bring that out in men. He noted my blood pressure was elevated and asked if that was normal. I pointed out that I was there with a migraine and that pain raises blood pressure. He nodded and then I blurted out, "Honestly I think my blood pressure is elevated because of Donald Trump." He stopped and said, "You know I've heard that quite a bit lately." I then went on to tell him I needed a refill of my Ativan while I was there because honestly with all of the horrible stories of Donald Trump in the last week I was struggling. I briefly mentioned the words "survivor" and "trigger"  and I wiped an errant tear off my cheek and he nodded compassionately and refilled my script.

I went home to a house empty of other humans but with my sweet dog waiting to give me all sorts of love. After some time I collapsed on the bed with all of my clothes still on, crying anew. I called a friend and when I heard the kindness in her voice the tears came in greater force. I cried and cried, that kind of crying where your breathing is jagged and you can't really even talk. She just stayed with me, held space for me, for probably about 15-20 minutes while I let it all out.

Until a year ago I had never really heard the term "holding space." When I did hear it for the first time I had no idea what it meant. I've since learned that holding space is essentially just being there with someone while they deal with difficult feelings. Holding space is being there without judgment, without giving advice; it is just being a compassionate loving support. Being on the receiving end of it is pretty incredible and exactly what I needed to pull myself together.

Autumn is a difficult time of year for me traditionally. I've had some bad experiences this time of year, enough so that it feels a bit jinxed. Autumn has always seemed to me to be the season of death and destruction.Sure I can appreciate the beautiful red, orange, and gold leaves but soon they fall leaving barren trees and piles of leaf carcases that mash up in the rain to create brown slippery obstacles in my path. I am generally mourning the end of the brief and glorious summer and wishing for just one more weekend swimming in my beloved river.

This Fall I'm practicing some self care. I've deactivated my Facebook, possibly until the election is over. I've made plans for hikes with friends and alone. Being in the woods is always the best for my soul and we are fortunate to have evergreen trees I can hike through, finding solace in all of the green. I've planned a trip to see an old friend who is near and dear to my heart. I've committed to seeing my family more. I'm giving myself permission to turn down invitations to parties or stay a maybe until the last minute so I can check with myself to see if I really do want to go out.

Mostly I am doing a lot of thinking and reflecting, checking in with my heart, listening to the voice inside of me that has been far too quiet lately. I may even try journaling.  Instead of running from my feelings and pushing them aside, I'm going to just let them flow and see what lessons I need to learn.                             


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