Just a few days ago…
Are you kidding me? It’s 2:55 am and I am wide awake again; despite the recent increase in my Ambien prescription. It’s been days of this. I decide to get out of bed at 4:15 am, because somehow that feels like a socially acceptable time to crawl out of bed – if there is such a thing. I don’t know why I think this kind of shit. But, I do.
I go downstairs and begin to organize my herbal tea drawer. Herbal tea is my new obsession, since I’ve stopped drinking. I look at my nice, neat tea drawer (which is also home to Jackson’s snacks) with a sense of accomplishment and pride. I have a quick thought about how organizing one’s herbal tea drawer at 4:15 am may be old lady-like, boring, and a tad bit sad. But, this thought is fleeting; because that drawer looks good, dammit!
I turn on the coffee maker and start my usual morning routine, when the hot wave of nausea washes over me. This hasn’t happened in a few months. But, here we go again. I can feel my throat begin to contract and I run to the bathroom and violently vomit into the toilet. As last night’s undigested food escapes out my nose, I cry out, “I am SO DONE!”
My soul speak to me through my eyes. It says, “Jess, either fix this thing or let’s move on.”
I get up off the floor and go to the sink to wash up. I look at myself in the mirror. My skin is gray, my eyes are dark and desperate. My soul speak to me through my eyes. It says, “Jess, either fix this thing or let’s move on.” The words, ‘move on’ hold meaning for me. I have had days where I actually think I may die- that my heart will give out. I tell myself, “Today is the day you need to get it together and write down all the passwords to the accounts; get your affairs in order for Brian.”
I begin to wonder if I am somehow blocking my ability to heal from Lyme Disease. Perhaps somewhere in the deep confines of my subconscious, I feel I deserve this suffering- that I’m in Lyme purgatory for my perceived sins. And, this is where I will stay until I have earned the right to release my suffering.
Is sin, synonymous with doing anything to escape the darkness? Is years of addiction, self abuse, pushing people away, and keeping secrets considered sins?
I was raised Irish Catholic in a suburb of Boston. I had to attend CCD classes and regular Penance AKA Confession. All the children would have to line up down the center aisle of the church, awaiting a turn to be invited onto the altar to confess our most recent sins to the priest. A little side note: the priest we were confessing our sins to just so happened to be the same priest who was embezzling thousands of dollars from our church and would later be caught. How’s that for hypocrisy?
I would kneel at the pew, say the prayers as fast as I could, and presto – clean slate. “Thanks God!”
Anyways, back to CCD confession time. Each week I would stand in line searching my brain for a sin to confess and would turn up with nothing. So, I started a regular practice of going up and down the line asking the other kids to tell me their sins. I would then choose the sin I thought I could deliver best; and use that as my sin of the week. Sometimes it was, “I lied to my mother.” Other times it was, “I pinched my baby brother.” I would step up onto the altar and confess “my” sin to the priest. He would give me a random number of Hail Marys and Our Fathers to say. I would kneel at the pew, say the prayers as fast as I could, and presto – clean slate. “Thanks God!”
I felt separate, distant and in fear of God . I was told He was always watching and judging me; and that I must have done something each week that God would consider a sin. But no worries, just say a few memorized prayers and all is good- until next week, of course. The whole process seemed so wrong to me.
Nowadays, I know that God Is Love. And, LOVE is the opposite of FEAR. I no longer robotically spout off a prayer. But, rather speak to God- sometimes beg as I hang over the toilet. But, nevertheless – it’s a relationship based on love and grace.
Even though I am no longer a practicing Catholic; I continue to fall into fear based thought patterns and feelings of guilt. I feel like I need to be re-wired. I think that Lyme may be my electrician.
Intellectually I know that I need to forgive myself, and let go of the guilt. It’s holding that belief in my heart that is hardest for me. However, each time I hear my son belly laugh I am reminded that grace has already been bestowed upon me. All is well.
By the way – I never did get around to confessing to the priest that I lied at Confession each week. Perhaps I should say a few Hail Marys and Our Fathers for old times’ sake? Just kidding.
Love, Joy, Truth, Gratitude,