My submission to The Moth Detroit StorySLAM topic: “Blood Sweat and Tears”
When you go through a difficult time in your life, your body naturally deals with it by going into shock. This is a beautiful response because it allows you to go on with your life and get through every day when you’re not quite ready to deal with the emotional and physical trauma of what’s happened to you. The downside, though, is that you don’t actually process those feelings. Sooner or later, you will have to deal with them.
Last year I was coming out of the hardest time of my life and it became very clear to me that the ancient protective shield of “shock” had happened to me. Basically I was pretty messed up and it was time to deal with it. I figured I could either spend a bunch of money on therapy or do something awesome- and that is how I found myself quitting my job, leaving New York City and backpacking across Northern Michigan by myself. Continue reading “One Cry Fix All”
If there something in your life
that hurts more than it helps,
that keeps you from yourself:
you must end it.
For years you told yourself it’s not that bad,
tolerated its intrusion,
found ways to coexist-
and so it persisted.
You felt you have control,
that you were winning the fight.
No need for a drastic overhaul,
why douse a candle flame with flood?
But time goes by and there it is,
only deeper now, more ensnared.
This stowaway has stolen years
and you have let it.
Do not tap timidly at its door
and request that it step aside.
It has shown you no such courtesy
and does not deserve your respect.
Are you afraid of becoming too cured?
Too healed? Too alive?
Or do you fear the sting of really trying
only to see you’re standing still?
It will take a running start.
Fly at it with all your might
Rip it, gouge it, tear it from your heart
Starve it of the lies its been feeding you
And don’t stop fighting.
Never stop fighting.
Even when it is just a sad memory
and you have regained your Self.
Already you have given far too much.
There will never be a better moment.
Over do it.
Transcript of my Moth Story Hour Submission, Subject: Vices
All my life I have been building: making plans, gaining knowledge, forming relationships, accumulating possessions. But for nine years there has been an insidious black mold in the foundation of my life’s structure that undermines everything I pile on top of it. My vice goes by a lot of names but you could call it perfectionism, insecurity, avoidance, addiction, an inability to cope.
For years, anything I didn’t like about myself or couldn’t handle got pushed down into a place where I wouldn’t have to deal with it. In time I created a “me” that was completely separate from the person I showed to the world. I had an entire hidden life.
I tried everything to cure myself of my problem: medication, therapy, rehab, self-interventions. Nothing fully eradicated it. And then, because I couldn’t fix it, I ignored it. But problems do not solve themselves and, untended, a cancer grows. Eventually it spread beyond containment.
Continue reading “My Vice”
Remember learning about the “discovery of America” in elementary school? It was easy to be impressed by the valiant explorers setting off across the sea. I was easy to imagine doing the same if only you were born in the right century. How did those brave explorers prepare for a trip from which they might never return? Weapons, tools, blankets and food, how do you pack for a new life? Nowadays it seems that there is no place left to discover, everything has already been “found” and colonized long ago. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t still the chance to have a new life. There are countless people across this ever-shrinking globe who silently fantasize about a whole new existence. And, though the contents of their suitcases may differ today from what they would have been long ago, the basic ingredients needed to set off into and survive a new life are still the same.
Continue reading “New Life Survival Guide”