Saturday, November 2, 2013

Back to basics

"You uncover what is when you get rid of what isn't."

-- R. Buckminster Fuller

Self portrait 11-2-13

"We have the choice of two identities:
the external mask which seems to be real ...
and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing ..."

-- Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

"There is but one cause of human failure.
And that is man's lack of faith in his true self."

-- William James

After a month of hiding behind disguises (which was a ton of fun), making today's face felt refreshingly simple and straightforward.

And a little weird.

At first I felt a little bit guilty ... like, "Is it OK for it to be just me?"

And then I let go and relaxed into it, and I found out that the answer is indeed "Yes. It is perfectly OK for it to be just me."

Maybe it's more accurate to say I rediscovered that yes, it's OK for it to be just me.

Because I'd totally lost touch with myself and it was nice to look back into nothing but my own face and say "Hey, you. I thought you'd never come back. Welcome home."

Sometimes you have to scrape off the paint and get down to the bare canvas -- get back to basics.

For me, this feeling goes a whole lot deeper than just self-portraits.

Over the past year, I definitely lost touch with myself. I was stumbling blind in a fog of insomnia, fatigue, depression, anxiety ... pick your poison.

But thanks to some really amazing people who had faith in me -- and thanks my own hard work, motivation, commitment and faith in myself -- the fog lifted and I found my way back.

The best news is that I finally graduated from sleep school!

This is huge. 

After three months of weekly drives (90 minutes each way) to a sleep disorders center, after working with a sleep psychologist on restructuring my sleep, and a psychiatrist/sleep specialist on sorting out my biochemistry, after keeping meticulous sleep diaries of all my sleeping and waking moments throughout every single night, after re-teaching my brain how to get sleepy at night instead of ramped up and anxious, after getting used to the taste of decaf ... 

Well, what it all means is that I can sleep again. Like real people. All by myself. Regularly. From midnight to 7 a.m. Every night (Unless I stupidly break the rules that I know are there to keep me on the rails.) And if I do go off the rails, I have been given the tools, the strategy, the way to get myself back on track.

Which means I don't feel helpless anymore.

Which means I don't feel hopeless anymore.

Which means I feel more like my true self than I've felt in a really long time.

And that's a huge relief. Because honestly?  It got pretty fucking scary and I seriously started doubting whether I'd never make it back.

But I did.

I made it.

Here I am.

"Hey, you."