Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Best Medicine

So in my incredible gift from the universe weekend, my one late night cathartic bloodletting aside, I spent the entire time laughing until I couldn’t catch my breath. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for the momentary respite. I’m starting to wonder if life is a series of events tied together, then maybe a good life is a series of escapes from the daily grind. My most fulfilling relationship was months off the grid, running parallel to reality, close enough to reach out and touch it, but still slightly absent from it. And my most healing moment came when I left town and escaped everything just for a bit, returning hopefully in a slightly better head space than when I left. So I want to talk about two things, D*llywood and the healing process. So, we spent a day at the celebrity inspired theme park and since I was still rather laid up with an injury, I rented a wheelchair-the best $8 I have in fact spent in many months. Now I am from the east coast and very accustomed to a rather litigious community of people so we are extremely up on PC and making sure we are ADA accessible in all things. Tennessee as a rule is not so much concerned about PC or appropriateness. Now don’t get me wrong, the park was fab and we had a blast but perhaps at times for entirely the wrong reasons. When we arrived, I noticed a “baby” in a chair behind the ticket taker and as I was contemplating who would bring their child to work, I realized it was a doll. So I said to her, “I thought for a moment that was a real baby.” “Yes, that’s my little girl,” was her all-too-creepy reply. Ok, didn’t know this was a haunted attraction.

So we go get my wheelchair and I wheel myself around for about 5 minutes before I confess that the presence of hills in all directions is daunting, and I reluctantly let my friend take over pushing me. Admittedly, he figured it was a fair compromise because we did save about two hours of lines by being able to use the accessible entrances, um, when we could find them. They are not well marked at all, and in fact are marked by a sign which shows a person getting up out of a wheelchair so I kept getting up and limping my way to the access entrance only to be scolded by surly ride operators for not wheeling myself all the way to the front. The best though was lunch. We went to a restaurant and he wheeled me up to the host’s stand. A lovely big-haired blond dripping with southern charm looked at me, then looked away at my friend and in slightly hushed tones so as not to upset me asked, “Can she walk or do we need to wheel her to the table?” To which I replied, “ No, I can walk.” “Oh,” looking back at my friend, “it's ok, we can wheel her to the table if it’s easier.” To which I replied, standing as I spoke, “No, its fine. I just injured my foot. I can walk.” Blink, blink. And turning to my friend who at this point is straining to stifle his giggling says, “Ok, we’ll find her a table close to the door.” So weird.

And that wasn’t the only one, just the most awkwardly amusing. We had great fun with it, staging fights and making people entirely uncomfortable. The number of times he said, “Why do you do this? Didn’t you learn your lesson?” was admittedly truly appalling.

So, besides just the immense amusement factor of the day, what lesson was there in all this? Well, laughter truly is the best medicine but there was another. You see, I really was feeling very defeated before I left and even into the second day because I’d already gone nearly three weeks with little progress in healing and my dear friend kept saying to me, “Be patient. It goes like this, it doesn’t heal and it doesn’t heal and then one day it will just feel better and the healing will come quickly.”

And on the third day, I could walk. Not perfectly, but better. By the fourth day, I was doing quite well. Strangely enough, my mood tracked very similarly. For weeks, I have been stuck between confused and angry. And then suddenly, I was into sad and accepting. It doesn’t sound better but it feels distinctly different and at this point, different is vastly better. At times I even feel happy in the memory of what has passed. I know with patience, the times when I am sad will be fewer and farther between. It’s like my injury. I couldn’t walk and then I could and now the pain, though present is quite manageable, nearly imperceptible at times. I don’t yet know wherein lies the salve that will take the emotional searing pain to dull ache but at least I can see progress and if the emotional tracks the physical, it will come quickly now.

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