Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.



Last night I felt pretty darn good post acupuncture. This morning I woke up feeling less pain than I expected - I'm quite often sore the morning after a yoga class. I'm not pain-free, but there's definitely been some kind of change. I was feeling pretty hopeful as I went downstairs.

Then something about a mis-communication between CK and I really hit me wrong. I found myself feeling emotionally overwhelmed and unable to really control it. We got it sorted out but I was still just feeling wrecked - emotional, weepy and nauseated. I finally went back upstairs and lay down on the bed.

JS mentioned that acupuncture doesn't stop when I leave. This makes sense because the work that I have done in massage therapy or the craniosacral therapy IW does continues well past the actual appointment. CK came upstairs, rubbed my back a little, reminded me that she wasn't angry at my crying, and that like the muscle spasms I'd had during the acupuncture treatment, that perhaps the weepy, overwhelmed feelings were a kind of emotional "spasm".

I had 5 meetings lined up, mostly back-to-back until 1:30 this afternoon. I went ahead and worked from home. The flood of emotion had left me feeling really depleted and my head was ached. Having an emotional outburst, particularly tears, feels really unsafe for me, particularly if there are other people around. It felt reassuring to stay home since in the event I was overcome with the urge to weep again I wouldn't have an audience.

I felt grateful that the shaky emotional space persisted but didn't turn into crying again. I got through all the meetings and tried to focus the rest of the afternoon. Around 5pm I felt hugely fatigued and lay down. It felt like the same kind of exhausted state I experienced during sesshin in August. I wasn't sure I was truly sleeping, but I felt like I was drifting in and out of dreamless sleep and focused attention. When I felt that attention, felt present, I did metta practice for myself and the rest of the time I just let myself drift into something sleep-like. About an hour of this and I felt more wakeful and not terribly groggy.

For a long time my therapist has told me that she doesn't think I rest enough. I am constantly in motion, constantly working on projects, teaching, and judging myself for not getting enough done. She even has suggested I don't rush to replace my teaching nights in the new year, that I just take some time to really rest. I am not sure I really know how to rest.

It occurs to me that I don't know how to really let go and rest because for the vast majority of my life if I really rested, things would fall apart. Granted that things fall apart all the time in life, but in my experience they would fall apart because the people I depend upon to pick up the slack, to be responsible, would fail to do what they promised. Decades of this taught me that I must always be alert and ready to step in to fix things right away or end up being stuck with the mess anyway.

This is part of the anxiety I feel relaxing into my relationship with CK, why having a responsible partner is on some levels traumatizing. I have no skill for letting go and resting, for trusting that the other person really will pick up the slack and take care of the things that need attention. It may take me quite some time to really be able to trust that I can depend upon it.

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