Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Snap: I'm an Elastic Band

Tuesday broke in stunning fashion. Houseguest, David, left me early in the morning to go to Bowen Island for an overnight visit with his family so I spent the day alone.  

I had all my windows open; the smell of the morning air is uplifting. I love the morning. I awaken each day eagerly; I love the birdsong and absence of human noise and I love that so many early — and I mean, early — morning walkers proffer a warm Hello. I love the calmness of the ocean before the heat of the sun wakes the wind and I enjoy the crispness of the morning air knowing that soon it will be hot.

Today, though, the weather is changing; rain is coming and it’s okay.

I went to see Dr. Shoja today wondering, as I went, if I needed to continue seeing her. Although it makes me nervous to think of ending my appointments I feel so improved that I decided I would if she suggested it — but I’d want the right to contact her again should I feel the need.

I still stutter but I don’t care that I do. As long as I stutter and feel have episodic mild anxiety issues when I am alone and in public, I know I am not fully recovered. But I feel the acute nature of my condition is over. My symptoms now are a challenge for neither my friends nor me. I feel my “breakdown” is now in the past and the distance is giving me perspective.

I often express my feelings as images. For example: When Dr. Shoja asked how I felt when I lived with the Tyrells, I said I saw myself in the centre of people standing hand-in-hand in a huge circle around and far away from me — surrounded by people but unattached.

So now, looking back at my crisis I see an elastic band (at rest) that is slowly stretched far back and then suddenly and violently released to snap back to its natural state. To me, the long slow stretching of the band represents the increasing tension of the interpersonal interactions required by my career.

A couple of years ago I told friends I was stopping long-form writing and travelling and I quit teaching. I retreated from interacting with strangers and all responsibilities and reclaimed a childlike existence of endless play — mostly alone just like when I was a kid.

“We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.” — Part Five; T. S. Eliot’s Little Gidding. 

I am very glad I have Dr. Shoja. Our sessions are very stimulating and insightful; I leave wondering how I could ever have considered stopping my visits.

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