Saturday, October 19, 2013

Time For An I Want To Live Moment!

But first, a quick update: Cymbalta and I may be friends after all. It appears that I was premature in my accusation of menstrual hijinks. All systems are still go. I'm still not on the med combo I should be on, but I haven't taken the step backward I thought I'd taken. So that's good.

I told you last week that a friend has recommended a psychopharmacologist, and that sounds like the best way to get the best information about the right drugs to be taking, given my particular combination of monkeys and monsters.

Also, in biofeedback this week, I dropped into deep relaxation for about 10 minutes and slowed my breathing to 6 breaths per minute, and raised the temperature of my fingers from 78 degrees to 89 degrees! Holy moly! Just like that! No conscious direction required, just relax, focus on the breath, and boom, open your eyes, look at the monitor, and you're 11 degrees warmer!

If I'd had a migraine at the time, that baby would have been TOAST!

So. I Want To Live. 

It's been a while since I've talked about much besides migraines and medication, so I thought I'd take a moment to talk about something else that's been going on in my life lately, and a pretty big thing I've learned from it. 

You've had something to do with this learning, after all, so I should let you in on it.

A week from today, I will be officiating at my youngest sister's wedding. I'm the oldest of four sisters. We share a pretty special relationship, the four of us. We are very close. They are all fantastic, smart, funny, kind, wonderful women, and I love them dearly.

Here, this is us at our cousin's wedding that I told you about recently:

That's Liz, the bride-to-be, on the left, then Miranda, Karin, and me. In birth order, 4, 2, 3 and 1, respectively.  Karin is actually the tallest of us all but she's crouching down because she was wearing magnificent heels and didn't want to dwarf me  (the shortest). Extroverts on the left, introverts on the right. Ha ha.

And here's another one of us from a few years ago, at my daughters' first Christmas, because then I get to show off my sisters and my daughters in one amazing photo:

I love this one of all of us. It's also one of the few pictures that makes me go, "Oh. Right. My daughters really ARE identical!"

Anyway, next week. Officiating the wedding. I get to spend the next week with these wonderful people and their wonderful families and my sister's wonderful friends, putting together this amazing event. It's going to be so much fun, and such a special time for all of us.

My sister and her fiance asked me to officiate last Christmas, and after thinking about what I'd say in my speech for a long time, and then having sort of a busy and then sort of a rough several months, I finally got started on it in August and really got focused on it in September after my cousin's gorgeous wedding, and I finished it up this week and really feel like I said what I wanted to say.

I went ahead and wrote the rest of the ceremony as well, so the whole thing, except for three or four borrowed-and-doctored sentences, will be my original work, and I'm very proud of it. I feel like I'm offering my sister and brother-in-law something from my heart for their big day, and that's such a lovely thing to be able to give them.

And here's my I Want To Live moment: I've realized, through the process of writing this wedding ceremony and finding myself not only comfortable with writing it, but surprisingly comfortable with the idea of delivering it in front of a crowd (not, in the past, my forte), that these past couple of years of writing and working through my PTSR have given me a level of confidence that I didn't know I'd gained.

I feel... like I know what I'm doing. 

I feel... like I have something to say, and like I know I can say it in a compelling way.

I feel... like an authority on my own perspective, and like my perspective is valid enough to present without disclaimer.

I feel... sort of like a boss.

In the past, before I started all of this work and before I started the blog, I knew, sort of, that I could write, but I didn't really feel like I had the right to it. I didn't feel like I could presume to speak for anything or anyone. 

Even myself. 

I thought that in order to claim any ground to stand on, you had to have credentials. You couldn't just call yourself an expert in something without the PhD to prove it! You had to have the research publications and documented evidence and vetted references and all the rest.

After writing this wedding ceremony and realizing that my lack of dread and  terror over performing it comes from the fact that I believe in it, and I am proud of it, therefore, I feel confident in claiming the authority to present it as my point of view, I understand that somehow, somewhere along the way, I've discovered something I remember thinking I'd never find. In fact, I wrote about it extensively last year, in this post, when I realized what I'd really lost in the accident: a sense of personal boundary and identity; the Fortress of the Self.

I understand now, with startling ease, that any ground I choose to stand on is mine. That I am an authority on my own thoughts and beliefs, and that I am able to present them in a compelling enough way that others want to listen.

I find myself standing here, suddenly, with the knowledge that I do, indeed, have something to say, and that you are out there, interested in hearing it. 

And here's the kicker: that doesn't scare me anymore!

It crept up on me without my notice, and now it feels as natural as breathing. That's part of the trick of it, I think, and also part of the power. It's instinctive now, not artifice, and finally, finally, occupying the place it should always have been in my mind and body. 

I've got a lot of work to do to make it real outside of myself, but inside of myself, maybe for the first time in my life, I think something that should always have been true is finally, actually, really-for-reals true.

I am a writer.

Me. A writer. On the inside. It's not what I do. It's who I am.

For the first time ever, I can say that out loud without feeling like a fraud. 

I've chosen my ground, and I'm standing on it, and by god, this here ground is MINE!

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, behold: I WANT TO LIVE! 

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to writerly adulthood. BOO! (Oh, wait, you're not scared anymore. Good thing.)