I shared my story tonight,
was witnessed by my recovery family
as I told the tale of the last
two and a half years of my life.
There were moments where
I thought I might not make it through,
so overcome was I by emotion.
But I breathed, I paced myself,
I spoke through the emotions,
I let my family see me.
Afterwards, these beloveds gave me hugs.
they told me they were proud of me,
of how far I had come.
They told me they were inspired by my story,
my willingness to be vulnerable,
to speak my truth, to be seen so deeply.
Life is a mystery;
it can only be understood looking backwards.
As I look back on the last two years,
I can see that the worst day of my life
was the greatest gift—
of freedom, of authenticity,
of finding my true power,
and expressing it out in this world.
I’m praying every chance I can get
God please show me what to do,
I’m struggling, please guide me.
In the morning I wake up thinking
I choose to love myself
because I deserve my love.
I keep telling my story.
It gets exhausting telling my story.
I tell it to my friends. Therapists.
Anyone who will listen.
They all say, You got this.
It will all be okay in the end.
But I want someone to rescue me.
I want someone to come along
and make these problems disappear.
And God, Grace, The Universe,
or is it just my luck,
continues to send me people
who listen to my story
tell me You got this
and who walk away.
I need to solve my own problems.
Apparently, I need to realize
that I’m stronger than this.
Apparently, I need to walk this path alone.
There are people cheering on the sidelines,
but I guess I need to walk this path alone.*
*And I have to tell you, it’s lonely down here in this big black hole…
So many choices every moment,
and so humbled
by how much I do not know.
Wanting to grow, learn, discover,
wanting to become more
than I ever was before,
and then reality, like a brick wall,
and now I must face it.
Although he hasn’t been there
for me in almost two years,
I hear him still,
the voice in my head,
telling me I’m never good enough.
I think he is in me still,
but it is I, in me, replaying
his internalized voice
to perpetuate the shame spiral
that is much older than our relationship.
If I want to recover
I have to choose a new voice
and a new story.
And somewhere in there,
a way to embrace possibility
without running straight into
the brick wall.
When we let go of the idea
that there is something wrong with us,
the stories of fear, deficiency, and loss
can be undone.
We don’t have to do anything
for healing to happen;
as we let go
and surrender our bodies to the Earth,
the healing takes us
and we are lifted in its embrace.
The moments of great letting go
flow into moments of great grace,
and a remembering takes place.
A friend gently reminded me
that my thoughts were creating
and my words were amplifying
And I saw
I wasn’t telling a happy story.
I felt justified
in telling my victim story,
I was just plain miserable.
So I decided to rewrite my story.
What will be possible
inside the telling of my dream
for joy, health, safety, and peace
for all beings?
What gardens will grow
and winds will blow
and friends will show
up smiling at my door
happy for friendship
honored to love
and ready for more?
The day has unfolded in simplicity.
I got the children up
we had breakfast
they got on the bus
I remembered their lunches
and brought them to school.
Back home I tidied my house
I listened to music
I remembered being married to my husband,
being close to him;
I thought about where he is now
and with whom;
I finally got around
to downloading months and months
of my financial info
for the attorneys to pore over;
I sent out multiple emails,
pictures of my bills.
I had avoided doing this
because my financial straits
have been a source of
great shame and embarrassment.
But the day unfolded in simplicity.
It needed to be done
and without my stories bogging me down
I was finally able to do it.
My kids got back home early
from their half day of school.
They had popsicles in the sunshine;
my son climbed a tree.
I sat and looked at the flowers I planted
in the last week,
admired the beauty and the utter creativity
of Mother Nature.
I felt tired so I lay down.
My children followed me upstairs
to my room
and proceeded to wrestle
one another on the floor
right by my bed.
I got up, made myself a protein shake,
cleaned off the table outside,
sat down in the breeze,
sipped my shake…
and now I’m writing this poem.
It’s a simple day,
a simple life,
a beautiful life
without my story.
After being blessed in my heart
with the miracle of forgiveness
and seeing with new eyes
for a few glorious, light-filled days,
the weight of real life
came crashing down upon me
and with it the story I had told so well.
It was the story of being wronged,
the story of betrayal, victimization
I have rehearsed it frontwards,
I know it word by word
and line by line;
hell, I could give a doctoral dissertation on it,
defend it before a group of intellectuals,
and I’m sure they’d award me with a degree in it—
Lorien Nemec, Ph.D.—
yes, I’m THAT good at my story.
As the familiar feelings of depression,
heaviness, sadness and powerlessness returned
I wondered why I couldn’t sustain
the good feelings for longer.
And then it occurred to me
(again, because I knew this already)
I’m always at choice.
If I want to change
I need to keep making the new choice
until it becomes a habit…
Otherwise the old choices
will always take over.
It’s time to wield this power of choice
and keep telling the new story
until I’m as good at telling it
and living it
as I’ve been with telling
and living the old.
Forgiveness leads to peace.
You can give yourself the gift of peace.
Search in your mind
for those against whom
you hold grievances.
Do I want to carry this burden any longer?
Really listen to the answers that emerge
from the depths of your truest self.
Your truest self is peace.
Grievances hide this self from you.
set this self free from the prison you made.
There is so much beauty in the world
beyond your story.