Learning how to heal has taken years. When it comes down to it, people have to heal themselves; no one else can do it for them. I don’t know what this process is like for other people, I can only speak from my own experience.
I’m the type of person who had to lose nearly everything before I could grow. As was evident in the first post on this topic, I hit bottom pretty hard. On my face. Brutally.
But before that point, I’d grown up a bit. Enough to stop calling Walt every day for help and guidance, and instead, make my own decisions, terrible as they were. I decided it was time to really throw my life away.
This wasn’t the intentional goal at first, it actually occurred after a couple of events, which happened within two weeks of each other in Las Vegas.
I hadn’t been smoking crack every day for long, and I still woke up every day so sorry and remorseful for the night (or nights) before. There’s a paragraph in Magical Shrinking where I describe not knowing what to do. It felt like the only right thing to do was go see Walt. To sit in the parking lot and wait for him to show up.
“I need to see him in person, if just for a minute. I’m destroying my life. Few things bring me comfort. I need a reason to go on today.”
I’d smoked crack the entire night before. I knew that I didn’t look good when he showed up in the parking. He looked at me, said I looked like shit, and told me to go into inpatient treatment after the weekend. That was it.
It had been one of those moments where I was feeling a bit existential, and just had no belief in anything ever changing. Everything seemed futile. I wanted Walt to give me some sort of reason to keep going, but he didn’t have the words to give. It was another day to live through, but why? Why was I bothering?
I hadn’t completely given up on myself yet. Although I was smoking crack daily, I held on to a shred of hope that something might happen. But what? And how? These were the tough questions. I had no concept of the Universe, I didn’t realize I could reach out beyond myself, and beyond Walt, and put my issue out there into the world. While I was able to go out into the world and do what I needed to do – buy crack, cigarettes, soda, and crack supplies – my brain was paralyzed.
If I had to pick the moment where I completely broke down and decided to give up on myself, it would be following the session I had with Walt on my 26th birthday.
It was over. I was a crack head, a disappointment, pathetic, and had done things that could never be admitted to Walt.
So that was it. All of the healing that had gone on with Walt and Emily seemed that it was for naught. It was a shame.
But no! Several months later, things changed. In the Alternate Universe I was able to pull myself out of hell and begin a healing process. As I experienced it happening in the AU it seemed possible that I could do it in real life. It was plausible.
Jump ahead about 8 or 9 months, and I’m living with my future husband, Jason. There had been some healing in the 7 or so months since I last smoked crack, but there was still much that needed to happen before I could really begin to heal.
Things I needed to gain, such as insight, awareness, mood containment, and emotional regulation. I also needed to gain perspective and live the concept of looking beyond my own wants and needs. With those things came growth.
Growth led me to seek out what I needed in order to keep moving toward the future, which was education and therapy. It took years, and there was trial and error, and I was bolstered through it all by knowing I was not a failure. I had made something out of my life. Something significant.
But in order to grow, you must be willing to let go of some things. And this was a difficult task. I struggled with the things I needed to let go – the hatred I felt for my father, the shame I still harbored from my past, and my need to speak with Walt are just a few.
Reading about Buddhism, Taoism, and writing endlessly about my feelings were a good start. Mindfully thinking about how to make myself a healthier person. It was also helpful to find people who had traits I wanted to incorporate into myself and model myself after those people, especially the traits I admired.
The Universe has come up big for me. Even when I wasn’t consciously working with the Universe in the way I’ve come to envision it, it was there, working for me. Making things happen and fall into place.
There are a few things left to let go of and accept. I need to make peace with these things so they don’t take up valuable space in my head and heart. In my private journal I will write much more about this, and the one thing I need to make peace with most right now. Letting go of Walt.
Something I never thought I’d be able to do. I can see now that I will be able to do it. I’m nearly there. And I anticipate the healing from this process will be a relief.