“You will look back more often than you think & wonder if you could’ve done it differently, forgetting always that the you who thinks that needed to do that first thing first.” Brian Andreas
I’ve had a lot of time to think lately. My body has been asking me to go slow, only focusing on the task at hand. And these tasks at hand are really, really small: take my supplements, put on my pants, go pee, eat a cracker, wash my plate. This leaves lots and lots of space. Space I’m not sure I want. Space that sometimes scares me because of how quiet and powerful it is. I’m used to plenty of distractions that keep me on the cusp of awareness. And this cusp has been my comfort zone, the place I can twirl around in without getting too dirty. Things getting uncomfortable? I’d find one of the girls to talk to or tidy one of their messes or brush their hair or play Old Maid. Kids are wildly distracting, bless their gorgeous little souls.
So, you may be wondering where my little angelic distractions are hiding. After what could be described as nothing short of cutting my heart out with my own two hands and a dull butter knife, I asked Andrew to take them for a while. And by while, I mean 4 months. There is no part of this sentence that makes me rest easy and every reason I come up with reeks of selfishness. I want them near me because I love their smell and laughter and technicolor imaginations. I want to hear about Alabama’s love/hate relationship with Joshua from her class and Ruby’s play-by-play on her school snack. I want to sing to them every night and kiss them every morning. But do you know what they want? Love. And love comes in a million different forms. My love is no better than their dad’s love. My mom’s attention isn’t more focused than their other grandma’s. And their auntie in California loves them just as much as their auntie in Oregon. When they left last week, they were over the moon about the new adventures they’d get to go on with their dad. It made the hard thing not as hard to see their sunshine faces light up.
As I have been slowly limping along towards healing these past 4 months, my parents have been puling extra shifts and finally hit a wall. And since I have a thousand walls I’m attempting to pull down, I didn’t have the ability to take my babies as a solo parent yet. So, amidst a flurry of violent tears and heart-aching (all mine), I agreed to the temporary separation. This came with the understanding that I am now entering into “Healing Bootcamp.”
I’m taking this time very seriously. This bootcamp is a dedication to me. I am worth the work and time. For the first time since motherhood (and possibly life), I am making me the priority. And while it feels laced with guilt and uncomfortable space, I am learning to take this as a gift.
What will I be doing to fill up my bootcamp time? Let me tell you to hold myself accountable. I will be starting therapy, hopefully intense enough to break through some of these stuck tight habits and layers and anger and fear. I will be eating more every day (I am currently a puny bird that could sell my body to a “penny a day feeds this girl” ad). I will calmly process the possible new therapies that have been introduced to me and decide if I’m going to add to my regiment. I’m going to sleep when I want to, even if I’ve just gotten out of bed. I’m going to do EFT (emotional freedom technique) every day to shake off the minor heavinesses that clog my joy. And I’m going to focus my every thought on healing.
Where does all of this leave me? Completely broken with the intent to rebuild a stronger model. With my every breath, I will make each day count for something. And each time I break, I will get out my emotional super glue and carefully put it back together. Or maybe I’ll put it together in a whole new fancy way that works even better than the old way. Either way, I will make it through each day. I have promised myself that much.