I want to want to heal

The speeding planet burns
I’m used to that
My life’s so common it disappears
And sometimes even music
Cannot substitute for tears

Two weeks and counting since the last time I played with Rocky. I’ve been out a few times to make sure he has all his limbs and to feed him some apples I’m not going to eat. It took half an hour to lead him to the Back 80 on Saturday because he developed a threshold along the path, so we did a lot of yo-yo and resting and licking and chewing and I never even had a flash of impatience, just responded and waited and eventually he wanted to go up the hill so we did, and he grazed.

I was proud of myself, afterward, for squatting down during the persistent pressure of the draw — I started with combing the line, had to go up the phases until I was holding the rope steady and he had option to release the pressure by taking one step forward. Even twitching a foot toward forward resulted in a release. And my squatting down and exhaling (the “boof”) and smiling and having all the time in the world for him to decide to release the pressure and then a long time to lick and chew after he released himself, that was savvy. Not “acting like” I had all the time in the world. Truly, deeply feeling it. Knowing I had all that time, and that we’d cross the threshold before world’s end anyway.

And then I’d back him up and we’d cycle through again until he was begging PLEASE let me up the hill to the grass.

I held him for the barefoot trimmer on the 5th and today I did the gentle, rhythmic, Level 1 Friendly Game with the carrot stick and string, keeping the flies off while he and Rociada ate dinner. He seemed to appreciate that and kept munching his hay.

I have barely left the house for two weeks. Literally going 48 hours in a row without opening the door except to let the dog in or out. I ate all the real groceries and then started experimenting with the staples – oats, canned tomatos, brown rice – so that I wouldn’t have to shop. I have managed to shop, I hosted my family on the 2nd, I had a great time this past weekend with friends, watching movies and baking cake from scratch and bringing the mini donks into the backyard to mow the grass.

I haven’t relapsed into the blackness of the past two years, but this stint of the depression has been the most severe since the relocation from L.A. to the foothill farm.

This is another one of those naked posts that rambles into revealing, not-obviously-horsey diary territory, including depression, weight gain, and loss. You won’t miss out on the horsemanship journey if you choose to skip the rest.

For once though I am not spending inordinate amounts of time criticizing myself for not playing, riding, grooming, or otherwise engaging with Rocky. He’s transitioning to barefoot anyway and probably appreciates the break. He’s well taken care of here and they’d let me know if he needed anything.

dragonfly logoMeanwhile I have started the Grief Release Workshop at the local Dragonfly yoga studio. I learned some asanas that are especially good for releasing grief stored (stuffed!) in the body, as well as some acupressure points I can do myself. Interesting that the acupressure lesson was to touch lightly, not press hard. I said to the class that my horse was teaching me lightness and that it did not come easily to me at first but that I’m starting to get better at not pushing/shouting/pressing too hard from the get-go.

The trouble with a workshop like this — eight women plus the teacher — is that I don’t want to release grief in the class. I don’t have a great track record these past few years of doing things at home, like physical therapy or healthful habits or taking care. I do feel like I can learn in the workshop and have that knowledge and practice available to me when I’m ready. When I want to want to heal.

I did make it out today, to a hair appointment and a snack stop at the grocery store. Now that I don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, I’m forced to shop at a normal market, which has celeb magazines at the checkout line. I saw today that Kirstie Alley gained 83 pounds simply by letting go of vigilance after she left Jenny Craig, getting tired and not working out, eating butter and large portions of takeout.


My hairdresser, on the other hand, lost 40 pounds since my last appointment (Dec. 27, 2008) and says she has 40 more to go.

I have 40 to lose too. Hah. Forty to lose to get down to acceptably overweight, fit and curvy enough to be “voluptuous” but nowhere near slender. This is the external manifestation of my emotional blockage. It would change slowly if I were more active. I wouldn’t have to go back to a daily run, just — well, we all know. Yet I cannot get there. I have not felt like myself in years. Even though it has been years it feels aberrant, temporary, not “who I am.”

oprah 200 lbs

It is to the point where I am investigating medication to handle the depression — specifically Wellbutrin, because it doesn’t hose your sex life, and now that I have one again I’d like to keep it. Two years is a long time to be in the black abyss though, and while these past six months have had a measure of color and light again, it just feels like I am never going to be myself. I know for sure I can’t keep going this way but I can’t make any more changes than I already have (and I have made some).

Given the way I react to anything stronger than Advil I’m not sure meds are the right course but I’ve exhausted all my other options.  I don’t need to go into that here, as I know what I’ve done. I just want to record how things are right now, the eve of my appointment, with a fortnight of bad spell behind me, for future reference.

I can’t climb this part of the hill alone. I need a leader to yo-yo me up an inch, back five feet, up three feet, back two feet, up three feet, back seven feet. One who has all the time in the world to sit and let me keep the line steady but not tug or pull or glare or drive my hindquarters and who catches it when a cluck-click slips out. Who can provide passive persistence in the proper position and respect my thresholds and let me set the timeline, but be progressive and provocative enough that I want to play and start meeting them at the gate…

If I still made as much money as I did a few years ago I could hire a personal trainer/life coach to come over five days a week. (And being me, we’d become best friends; Monique and Jesske, I miss you!) Also a regular housekeeper, as I am proving yet again that I am not capable of living neatly but I hate living in mess. Removing obstacles, you see?

pilates studio

When I am having my more productive moments I have been thinking about alternatives to the lazyrich way of home-based coaching. I have some ideas. There is a horse event down the road on June 20 where I will be able to start making local horsey friends. This weekend is the Parelli Celebration in Reno and perhaps I’ll find some locals there, too. People I can play Parelli with, as well as walk or cycle or swim. And Danielle knows of some river swimmin’ holes, as the weather warms up.

I sometimes feel those rays of hope, and appreciate them so much after so long without. It’s why I’m not pushing on the Patterns right now. Rocky and Parelli will be there when I come back next week, inspired and oomphed by the Celebration. I am finding that by being okay with backsliding, I am not quite so backslid. (For example, I did go for an easy walk with Jedi after the grief yoga class last night, instead of overeat or drink.)

I want to want to recover.

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