I made an agreement with myself that I would not write again until I had something positive to say.
In the months that passed, the last of my Zoo died (my sweet old sick kitty) , I gained back every pound (and then some more) that I had shed post-deployment, and yet, I am standing again at the mouth of the cave of depression. There is sunlight and there is hope.
What hasn’t changed is my relationship status. If I couldnt get laid for my birthday, I wanted to be having such a great time that I didnt care. So I traveled to Alaska for a blinding 3 day break to obscure the marking of my 39th year on this earth. It was too costly and circumstances prevented me from full immersion in nature but I hiked half way up a glacier, saw moose, and caught up with an old Army buddy, green beret-turned-Alaskan state trooper. So, worth it.
Still, from the moment the plane taxied back into my home state, the panic set in. The desperation. The loneliness. The paranoia. Things at work got worse (and that is all I can or care to say about that). I began cognitive therapy. Only a few sessions, unfortunately. I appreciate the theory of rewiring the brain but like teaching an old dog new tricks, it takes time and practice. Like writing, I did not dedicate my time and energy towards it.
Then another major disappointment from family. I am close to my family even if they are not close to me and this was the biggest blow to my heart to date. The brutal undeniable revelation that I do not mean to others what they mean to me. Not by a fraction.
Deeper I went. My anger boiled over and I lost control. What was worse is I didn’t care about the collateral damage of my rage. Fuck ‘em all.
I walked out of work.
I quit therapy.
I continued to make plans and never kept any of them.
I stopped dancing.
Then my Jewish mother suggested I call a Catholic Priest. “There is something lingering from your last deployment that even a year later, you haven’t been able to shake. I think that’s why the cat still wont come near you. You need to be blessed. So does your home.” Why call a Catholic? Because I don’t know of any Rabbis who do this sort of thing. I still cant say the word ‘witch’ because that alludes to a power that I do not feel that I possess. Still, I have performed rituals to include clearing my home. I hadn’t done it since the Spring but even that, ‘casting’, ritual prayer, was something else I had stopped doing. As I have said before, my faith was long gone and if I prayed, it was only out of habit. And here may have come a point where perhaps, I required outside intervention.
I called the city Diocese (which oddly, is less than 2 miles from my home) to ask if a priest would be willing to bless my home, but he was out of town. I then put out a call to a couple of Wiccan witch friends of mine and asked if they might know anyone “but it must be done in the name of G-d and in Christ” I explained. Later, one of them called me back to say she knew of someone who was a “Light Worker”. A Catholic, ordained, a psychic, a Christian “witch”. I was skeptical. I truly don’t deal with psychics much and really preferred a Priest. But in the short span of a 15 minute phone conversation with this woman, I knew she was the real deal. More intuitive than any ‘psychic’ I had ever met–of course she ‘knew things’– but most importantly, she was a saved Christian and everything she did was in the His name. She confirmed that ‘nothing lurks’ in my home and the darkness came from me. So she blessed me and cleared the home regardless. But we spent over an hour talking before the holy water began to fly. We also performed a banishing ritual. It was one I had performed before: names on paper, people to forgive, painful events to release, we prayed over them, then burned them. Oils, sage, candles, holy water, a bible, a crucifix… The paper turned to ash in the space of a breath. I was ready to let go, she determined.
“You are a spiritual woman,” she explained later, “you are not of this world so why are you allowing yourself to be so burdened by it?” And stop projecting myself onto others then being let down when they fail me. Let go or be dragged. Brilliant words of wisdom from Pinterest.
I wont go into the details (too personal, too lengthy) but I was unburdened that evening and have been in the weeks since. Her first words to me when we spoke over the phone was “I see an Eclipse. G-d is still there. You don’t see or feel Him but he IS STILL THERE in your life.” I hadn’t even admitted to her yet that that was my intent, my wish. I didn’t need a husband, or a lover, or sex, or family or kids or a better job or body…I needed peace. I needed G-d back in my life. I was going to tell her that but before I could, she told me He had never left.
To paraphrase, C. S. Lewis said that we were never meant to be at peace in this world lest we never wish to leave it for something greater. At best, we would catch brief respites of peace, to leave us desiring more.
I am at the mouth of the cave and the sun is warm on my face…