Long and… long

Leila Raven Posted in General

Well, I had planned to do a -lot- more writing in my journal in the course of my long tour across Canada over the last 2 months, but instead I’ve done, well, very little, and nothing for a long time. I also planned to take a lot of photos. Very few have been taken. Instead I’ve been very involved in just living the experience. I’ve found myself taking a vacation not only from the other routines, but from the pervasive routine of ‘documentation’ as well. I was journalling and photodocumenting -everything- in my life for years and years now. As the peace of my gypsy travels starting to sink in, I realized I just wanted to talk about it less in every way, and just be it. A sense of peace, tranquility, and yes adventure started to grow within me, and I just wanted to hold it in for a while, instead of engaging in that ritual of ‘putting it out there’. I think this journey has been a huge pivot point, a huge cross roads in my life. I think it’s been an exploration not only of external places, but somehow of internal ones as well. A big part of this trip was getting my weight loss surgery, lap-band procedure, in Ontario on my birthday, June 14th. In many ways I was taking time to evaluate what’s been going on in my crazy depression tainted life for the years before, and what may lay ahead. Their was the mourning of the spiralling downward loss of my health, and subsequently huge parts of my life, that have been afflicting me over the last several years. There was the fear of changing that, letting go, moving towards the new and unfamiliar, the hope, the excitement, and the fear that much needed and wanted change wouldn’t happen, or wouldn’t work out the way I’ve hoped and dreamed.

Has it? Will it? I don’t know, it’s all process, in process, fluid, evolving.

My surgery went well, and I’m healing well, and I am losing weight, more importantly I feel better, I feel I have more energy, I feel more alive, I feel like my thoughts are a little clearer, my mood a little brighter. I still feel hope for more, and fear for having hopes crumble, or things reverse, or complications happen. My demons of anxiety, worry, depression, they are still there, they are still constant companions. But there are new things too, more of that brightness that feels like little odd magical tinkling bells of gentle music in your insides, of noticing more little positive beauties in the world… that thing, that elusive beautiful bright and blessed thing that is perhaps many depressives most treasured of often rare visitors… hope, hope, hope! Dare I say some excitement, something that looms bright enough and more and more frequently, something Wolfe catches more frequent glimpses of, because it shows on the outside as more movement, more smiles, maybe even the occasional laughter, a twinkle in my eye? Am I coming back to life? Am I waking up from a deep long sleep. The depression and the anxiety, they are still there, they still feel like the balls of iron manacled to my ankles, like a weight on my chest and shoulders, like not being able to ever get quite enough air in my lungs or swing in my step, but there is a lightening. Lighter, and with that a little giddiness, and with that a little fear. When you’re in the pit, when you’re at the bottom of the well, when you are laying in the gutter, you only have one reassurance, when you’re at that very very bottom place, just one security. You can’t fall, you’re all the way down. When you start to rise, when you start to climb, when you start to float, there is the constant awarness, of the bottom, of the ground, of the pit, of the fall. How hard you can land, that you could land in a new pit, a new hole, and who knows what new terrors, what unfound nastiness awaits you there, maybe you’ll fall even harder, land even harder, break more when you land, land in something… something you can’t handle. When you’ve fallen into hell, and know it can happen again, I don’t think it every really leaves you. I think even if I find my way to the clouds, even if I soar, maybe especially if I soar, the knowledge of the fall, of the dark, of the extremes of depression and anxiety will always be with me, will always be in the background.

Two things (likely more!) definitely happen. You appreciate SO much where you are, because you know how much worse it can be, and you are like a man drunk on the finest of wines, because you’ve been so sober, you are so alive, even if you are just a little alive, because you have been SO dead. You are so grateful, and feel so blessed. But you are also jaded, you are also frightened, you are also tainted, you are also skeptical, you are also making yourself ready, preparing for the possibility that you could crash, and you can’t not think about it, because if you don’t make yourself ready, and it happens, you may not survive. You have to stay alert and aware of it, ready to notice any signs of engine failure so you can take do all you need to do to make sure you survive the plummet.

I’m in Prince Edward Island, in a camp site close to Anne of Green Gables house. Yesterday I swam in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time as an adult. The beaches here are red sand, with grassy dunes, beautiful. I found a small dried starfish half burried in the sand. I added it to my collection of souveniers: a pretty rock Wolfe found for me on the beach on the Gaspe Peninsula in Quebec. The nail that was made by the blacksmith in the Acadian historical village that he gave us for a souvenier. Nothing bought, just found treasures. My swim was short, there were large jellyfish in the water… making me more than a little nervous. I swam with my dog on a leash with me, Iggy loves to swim, and the dogs were allowed on the beach on leash. He swam in circles around me, splashing and trying to bite the water. I laughed. I’m tanned from the daily swimming I was doing for exercise in the salt water pool at the campsite we stayed in for almost 2 weeks in Niagara Falls prior to my surgery. My hair is getting long. I’ve eaten a lot of lobster, the lobster traps are everywhere in the water on this coast right now, and you can get it everywhere, and the price is phenomenal. I’ve had lots of ups, I’ve had some downs too. It’s been an odd mixture of busy and calm, days where we drive all day, days where we do a lot of work on our websites, days where we don’t do much of anything at all. Today is the last kind of day, it’s a quiet day, and one of my sadder days… or maybe better described as a really mixed feeling day. It’s the first day of my menses, and almost everything I -feel- is hormonally driven right now for me, I know that clear as day, I knew by how I slept, or lack there of, the last two nights, and how down I felt this morning that I would start to bleed soon. I went back to sleep, I slept half the day away, and when I woke up and went to the bathroom again, there it was, the gush of crimson on the white paper. With it, a load of tension draining from me, the engines not failing, just a little drop in atmospheric pressure, just the natural rythym that makes a few days a little more turbulent, but I’ll be soaring again, soon, blue skies, lots of blue skies ahead….