The final episode I experienced was late summer, 2008. It literally blindsided me into opening my eyes and seeing my life clearly. It whopped me in the face and showed me that I had been living as a shadow and not living as my true self.
One Monday morning, my right eye started going blurry. I thought I was getting a migraine (I'd experienced a couple during pregnancy), but it was weird because there was no headache. Over the next few days I lost color in that eye, then I lost peripheral vision, and all I could see were blurs. It got slowly got worse and worse during the week. On Friday I saw a specialist who confirmed I was having an episode of optic-neuritis (inflammation of the optic nerve).
My neurologist told me that high-dose intravenous steroid treatment had been proven to help this particular symptom. Despite my aversion to western meds and my dislike of steroids (I did them when I was first diagnosed, and it was that experience that turned me onto Eastern medicine) I was so utterly freaked out about what was happening to my vision that I decided to go for it.
The next Monday, I began three days of high dose intravenous steroid treatment in the chemo ward at Kaiser. The veins in my arm collapsed after the first day, so day 2 & 3 I had the drip in my hand. I was taking anti-nausea and anti-heart burn pills to combat the side-effects of the high doses of drugs. The treatment took about four hours each time and had a build-up effect.
Day 1, my then-husband came with me. Day 2, a girlfriend came with me. Day 3, I was wasted. Out of it. High and drugged-up. Had a fight with then-husband first thing in the morning. He left. I had no way of getting to the hospital. I cried. He texted me saying I was clearly strong enough to make my own way to there. I didn't understand how anyone could do this to another human being.
I called my American mom, she dropped what she was doing ("is it in the chemo ward, Jane? Oh, good, I've always wanted to see what happens in those places...") and brought me to the hospital. She held my hand. She sat with me for the next few days while my Ex stayed 'out of my way'. My friends brought dinner and took care of my kids. They knew about his pattern of taking off when I got sick. Moms at school I didn't know brought dinner and had my kids to play. They all wondered where my then-husband was. I lied.
After the hospital treatment and a couple of weeks of my friends caring for me, my vision came back completely. Then my parents came for Thanksgiving, and I was well enough to observe the terrifically obvious metaphore I'd been given. Clearly the situation in which I was living was not healthy or conducive to healing. My friends were supporting me, rather than the person I was married to. It wasn't hard to conclude that I was better off by myself, than with someone I couldn't count on. And, that I needed to teach my kids how to be strong and independent.
As I regained color, I said goodbye to my shadow. When I saw clearly again, I knew it was time to say goodbye to my marriage and life as I knew it.
Now, you know me, I like to find the lessons in life....And there's certainly a ton of lessons out of this. I am working on figuring them out. For the time being though, I'm working on finding forgiveness for my ex. Can we take this out into the world? Can you find forgiveness for those who can't handle being there for people when they need it. I'm not saying we like them for it or accept it, but can we send blessings and move on instead of holding grudges and carrying disappointment and anger with us?
- December 31, 2009. According to State of California the marriage of Jane and Mr. P is terminated.
- January 1, 2010. Welcome Jane Gould. This time for real, not metaphorically. The first day of the rest of my life.
Big Love to You
And Happy 2010!!!
NEW YEAR'S EXERCISE
go on a bender. Dance, laugh, giggle, scream.
be quiet, relax, laze, make-love, cry.
Ask yourself: "what do I need to do to welcome in 2010 and say farewell to 2009?" Whatever it is that YOU want and need to do. Get creative and do it, write - journal - light candles. If you need help figuring it out, call or get in touch. I'm here to help.