The Burden of Epiphany
I see now that there is quite a bit of burden that comes with epiphany. In my case anyway.
Moments ago, I awoke from a horrible and vivid dream where I found myself first startled and then frozen with fear, temporarily relieved, afraid again, and then running for my life. I woke up with a start. Sparing you the details (and frankly, not wanting to go over them in my head again), it didn’t take me long to connect the dots.
I am afraid.
After waking up with a knot in my stomach, lying quite still in bed beside my sleeping husband, and then running through the details of the horror in my head, I realize that I am afraid that the disease I conquered 6 years ago is chasing me like it did in the hallways of my nightmare. “Oh she can’t be too far. It’s so easy to see her trail,” The Bad Man said.
I am afraid that the short lived relief I felt when The Bad Man told me he was leaving will be short lived indeed. I am afraid that he will come back. And catch me. I am afraid that the smiling, loving and protective people who love me (there were so many!) won’t be able to save me from this Bad Man that scares me, just like in the dream. The Bad Man pummeled my friends. All of them (!) were killed trying to protect me. Can you see why I might be afraid?
I am on vacation in Paris and my mind is relatively free of the clutter of my OCD existence at home. The unconscious, according to my psychologist husband, is where all of our true feelings are buried and when we sleep, those feelings often manifest. So many burdens and fears and goals and such are buried there just waiting to surface. This morning, the very thing I thought I conquered I realize is still making me afraid.
I guess I thought I was over the trauma of – in the words of my nephrologist - “the acute onset and acute treatment “of my illness. I thought I was over the surreal nature of my 30-day hospital stay. After all, I am a walking miracle, I tell myself. I recovered from a life threatening illness that is as rare as it is life threatening. I survived (!) and walked away from 3 day a week dialysis with both of my kidneys still in tow. I survived pheresis and blood transfusions and chemo and hospital psychosis and therapy and running away from and returning to my real home. I don’t take any meds, I work out (not often enough), I travel (often enough) and I am of service to growing girls. I am strong about oh-so-many-things and don’t wear my fear on the outside but I will not pretend that I have not always been aware of my feelings (or was I?). It looks like I am still afraid.
It is 7:39am and I find myself weeping at the thought of facing the burden of my new epiphany and wondering now how I am going to consciously be unafraid. I don’t know why I took it, but I don’t mind showing you my photo, because for some reason I feel as if I’m not alone in this. I feel as if I am not the only one recovering. Not the only one running. Not the only one afraid.
The sun will be up soon and the hot tea that my husband quietly placed beside the computer as I type is cool enough for me to drink. Looks like I’m going to have to work on not being afraid. And it begins now.
There is a quite a bit of burden that comes with epiphany.