Anybody else wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Last night I fell asleep in the loft during the slumber party, and had to wake up and poem around 11:00 pm, and I rushed the it, very nearly breaking rule #2, and didn’t feel good about it when I woke up in the morning. Plus, I’m frustrated at how slowly I seem to be recovering my energy after this last surgery, I’m a huge grumpball when I’m tired, and I was a real pill to be around for about half the day. Apologizing when you know it’s all your fault is a bitch, but it’s important. So at lunch on the ski hill I slapped a “sorry for being a burr-brain” kiss on my husband and turned the day around.
This evening though, the Mean Nasty came back with a vengeance.
I’ve heard that in recovery they tell you to halt if you are Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired. That is because all of these things can call back the ease and release of whatever negative coping mechanism to which you have chained yourself. I believe that everyone has had or will have some experience with a craved destruction, whether’s it’s an emotional dependence, an abusive relationship, deadly excess, corrosive deprivation, a racing brain or heart, crises of confidence, the suicidal pull of the dark, or any of the thousand ways we seek out damage. At the very least you know someone who struggles in this way.
It is easier to see in a larger format, but this is us, naked before the wanting eyes of our own darkness. What I find remarkable is that the image is so clearly sinister, the monster reaching out for her foot, just about to grab an ankle, but when I look closely I don’t see evil in its eyes, just hungry. Almost infantile. Some call this creature the Devil, but this monster is an image more accepted by my brain than the red horned devil pictures. When I think of the Devil, the South Park Satan always comes to my mind now.
Anne Sexton, in “The Addict” called it “A kind of war where I plant bombs inside myself.” Mia Michaels choreographed this in her piece called “Addiction”:
So, what do you do to ward it off, the calling darkness? Tonight I managed, but just barely, by sitting my ass down here in this seat and getting to work. Here it is:
Hello again. Aren’t you a sweet little beast? It’s no hard bargain, you know. You were always coming to take my hand.
Light! Let’s dance in it now, you and I. This blaze needs more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more to stay bright. You need more. You need me again, you know.
You always give it to me. I always give you exactly what you need.
At night, with you, the best is always true. You are beautiful. A great brain. What wit! What sexy! What brilliance! You know you are.
I think I have wings like an Angel. Go ahead and spread them. See what happens.
This isn’t fun any more. More is exactly what you still need.
We should stop. This is a thought you never have. You will never have it.
The morning breaks my face open. This betrayal is a sea of bile. I’m never talking to you again. You can have my guts on a canvas if you go. I’ll be even better than before. Get your unwashed hands off my mouth. You are hurting my wrists. Every time I set down my foot today I sink into quick shame. This hate is the only residue.
Naked in the bubble hour. The shaky tectonics of my resolve crumble the ground where I’ve gathered.
There are footsteps, quiet, in the hallways behind.
A dim hand on my shoulder.
These oaths you swear at daybreak hurt my feelings.
Forgive me just this one time. Every one time tempers the iron in these chains.
One more time. Let me brush the hair from our eyes. We’ve been so alone.