Six months ago the torture began gradually from a pain in the neck. I was angry at my lover, another lost dream. Can’t have that Julie. Thinking both blocked and filled the empty spot. I’ll do this, I’ll do that… I’ll meet people, work on my ten projects, building a restaurant is one. Things moved along, none past fruition. Solace for me was knowing I could apply any of my talents toward any goal, but it took time and I didn’t honestly have that kind of time in my life.
What was missing? Appreciation was missing. People loved me; that sank in, sort of. The plain truth was I wasn’t living up to my potential at this time in my life. Was the pain the punishment? If so, it was fierce. Was the disease the wake-up call?
Now how could I, the healer, need healing? I sure did. But not until the train wreck.
The diagnosis took 30 pages:
1) Severe multilevel cervical Spondilosis
2) Radiculopathy – neck pain
3) Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
4) Spinal Muscular Atrophy IV
Surgery was scheduled in 36 hours on August 30th to fuse the top seven vertebrae of my back. “What” said doctor number two, “you’ll never work again,
drive a car, even see your feet and then you’ll be back in the hospital with the eighth vertebrae collapsed.” Don’t doctors and men know more than I do? I had given away my power, the power to be. I cancelled the operation. The next step was to go on pain medication but there’s never enough of that – Caudal epidurals, Fentanyl patches on the abdomen, changed every three days, vials of Vicodin. I became weak, unable to walk, barely able to eat or call out for help toward those I loved. I couldn’t help me. My life came to a halt.
For good reason.
All the learning I had had, the book I had written on healing and transformation (“The Very Last How To Book”, or “The Conscious Catwoman Explains Life on Earth”). I was down, way down. At one point somebody, I don’t know who, handed me Dr. John E. Sarno’s book, “Healing Back Pain” . Right, I thought, that kind of thinking works for me. I’ll read it. Here was a man, the kind of person I like to be for others, who shows others the way. Factualizes and demonstrates it completely. The can-do art of life, it made sense. The can-do kind of folks like myself he said were the worst sufferers of back pain. This medical diagnosis wasn’t the real problem. Yes, there is arthritis, stresses, the basic-slow down of aging. But the pain, this was the delusion;
a kind of clay pigeon in life, to be knocked out of the sky. It was there solely to get my attention and here’s where most of us fall short; we won’t go through the pain, we are sure there is no light at the end of the tunnel. There is. There is.
After three days of reading this book, I went cold turkey off the drugs, four Vicodin a day, plus all the other stuff. I had two sleepless nights of writhing, some screams and then the light came. And the messages. What I was to do about my life. Where my short falls were. What I could change and be very alert to. I come from the never enough club, never good enough to stand up, speak out. There was a sparse show of feeling in my family, all mind, thinking, do what you are told.
I think there is going to be more to this lesson and definitely more to my life.
What Did I Learn?
From Edmund Hillary, they asked, “Why did you climb Mt. Everest?”
“Because it was there.”
On a trip like that, you can’t stop or it’s death. Did he take the right steps? Did you? Did I? Mostly, yes.
1. I don’t have to be a perfect actor. What I am is absolutely right. So, cut the struggle, the “I’m not good enough.”
2. Follow your dream. Right now, it’s having David E. Kelley write for me.
3. Even though I am not the best of this or the best of that, I am something absolutely unique and wonderful. Am I not then, the best of myself?
4. The loss of movement in my dancer’s legs, the divine mobility of my youth, will be refocused to my heart and face. This could be a gift for the future in film making.
5. Therefore, what I am today in this world is a Way Shower, for what we, both men and women, can be and do and have in later life.
Here are some thoughts that came to me as I passed through the wilderness:
- Christ’s withdrawal to the desert for 40 days and nights.
- The body works perfectly. It’s not the body’s fault that you are suffering.
- This will shock you, what you appear to be suffering from is Fake
But valuable in the extreme.
- Do not continue to deaden or alter your body.
For you are in the dark in terms of yourself. Ask how has your life wandered off course.
- Do not force yourself anymore to swim upstream. Release yourself to go downstream with the pain, for under the pain are the exact messages you must pay attention to in order to get back into life.
- Pain is necessary. It gets your attention.
- Notice what your current way of operating is and is it depriving you of life.
- Go to the bottom. There is big awareness there.
That’s where the light is.