Metallic Taste (Part 2)

I make resolutions for my birthday. I know New Year’s is the traditional time, but I make mine for my birthday. Two years ago my resolution was to do more things that made me happy and to do them for no other reason than the fact they made me happy.

On Saturday I was at a music festival, to see 2 of my favourite bands, and as I was waiting in line for the bathroom, this young woman stood ahead of me. Something about her made me think of me. She was 19, maybe 20. She didn’t look much like I did back then – other than the same short hair and functional clothes, but something in the way she stood, something in the way she was holding bags for a friend, something about the ways she was and the way I was

And I was struck about the head by this. By how much I have not smiled since the start of March, and by how much I do not let myself have fun. Something about how I feel like I must apologize for the things that make me grin – their nerdliness and their expense and time. How I feel as if I must justify the time away from work, away from my family, away from Mr. Spit.

It isn’t that I don’t do these things, but rather I do them expecting someone, somewhere to storm up to me and demand to know why I think I get to have fun.

You would think – in the middle of the lessons I learned from Gabe that one of those lessons might be how terribly short life can be. I learned this – how frail and easily broken we all are. All of us. Every single one. How little it takes to knock us down, how simple it is to crush and maim. I learned that lesson deep in my bones – it forms part of my bedrock, part of my ethos, to hold people up, to care and save.

And I didn’t learn anything for myself.

Reaching for the sleeping pills felt like a bit of a failure. However much I knew that I needed them. However much I knew that they were a temporary stop gap, a way of buying myself a bit of space and altitude while I figured everything else out, it felt like I was falling apart.

I’ve been thinking about this – about memory and how close I came to losing it and how close I could come again. I’ve been thinking, when I think about metallic tastes, about how some of that taste simply reminds me of how very far I still have to go and how unsure of where I am going.

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3 Responses to Metallic Taste (Part 2)

  1. Reese says:

    Always hard to be gentle with oneself, but glad to see its coming around…

  2. Jill A. says:

    Mrs. Spit, I love where your thinking is going with this. Gentle waves of love and laughter and a few head shakes and one or two “of course you are worth it” ‘s coming to you over the net from here.

    I use treats. I treat myself to something. That’s how I trained me to care for me, emotionally and physically. Twenty plus years down this road and I still call caring for myself a treat. Because everyone deserves a treat now and then. Even me.

    I started with physical things. Buying things that I could see and hold and use. That sat around and reminded me that I was worth splurging on. A special tea mug. The “OMG! $20.00 for dusting powder for me!”, silky and perfumed, instead of generic baby powder. A treat. Specifically bought to treat myself nicely. What a concept, right?

    At first, I did this once month and had to force myself to go out specifically to do it. Then, I got to the point where I was planning on what to get myself. 🙂 I made it a “big” treat once a month and a little treat once a week. Why shouldn’t I get the candy bar in the check out line? Why shouldn’t I get three? Not all the time, because it drives me nuts when it is so much cheaper to buy them by the bag, but sometimes. A treat. A step outside of my norm, to care for me. Permission to wear my ratty old t-shirt or nightgown, because they are comfortable, even though I have ones that look better. Permission to clean up the kitchen in the morning, instead of tonight, because I’m tired and have a book I want to read.

    I like running my world the way I think it should be run. I like that I make up my own rules and follow them. That I set my own goals and expectations. Many are cultural, some are because I need to have food and shelter and care for family, some are just because that’s the way I think it should be. My life has been very different from yours, but I too am disciplined and a hard worker and willing to do what it takes to reach my goals. But I too had to learn to give myself a break, to treat myself gently and with love and compassion. I had to learn that my world did not crash and burn if I let go long enough to eat a secret candy bar. That I bought just for me. In the check out line at the convenience store, where it is twice as expensive as other places I could get one.

    I wish for you lots of treats. Some given to you by those who love you and a whole lot more given to yourself, because you love you.

  3. Amel says:

    Just want you to know that I just sent The Serenity Prayer for you. (((HUGS)))

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