"I know I have the body of a weak and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king." Elizabeth I

I have been thinking a lot lately, which is not exactly unusual for me. I was reflecting on the past few weeks and what I have been through and I kept thinking about Mad Men and this scene in particular. Some of you might find this kind of reflection navel gazing or odd, but its part of my therapeutic process and I feel like I want to share it on my blog because I am too quick to hide my weakness and project my strength. This is an honest diary of my life as a chronic illness warrior and I want others to feel encouraged that we all have our rock bottoms, but we can rise out of them and that it’s an ongoing process.

Anyway! Don Draper is not really a character I identify with in many ways. He’s a powerful man, a functioning (sort of) alcoholic, a womanizer, and wealthy. He is a person on the surface with very little I understand. However his real self, Dick Whitman, is someone I do feel a connection with. He is vulnerable, afraid of being hurt, afraid of himself, hiding from his demons. He looks in the mirror and see’s something unlovable staring back.

I think as a Spoonie I have felt unlovable. Maybe others have felt the same? We can’t do the things others can and to be rejected for it feels too painful to think about. I think we fear being hurt, we feel alone and vulnerable, maybe more so than others as we can be taken advantage of quite easily if we aren’t careful.

Anyway, I love Mad Men for its subtle and not so subtle symbolisms and music choices. In this episode Don is beginning to realise his marriage is no longer working, and his alcoholism has cost him everything, his relationship with his kids, his job, his entire world. This scene particularly captures it. 

He looks at the bottle of booze and sets it down.He doesn’t really want to keep doing this but what else can he do? He gets up and see’s the balcony door is open. He tries to close it but he can’t. It’s open and there is nothing he can do to shut it. Instead of walking away from the door he steps through it and sits in the cold night air and we get the sense he is at rock bottom. Where does he go from here?

In the last series of Mad Men he hit self destruct in the Hershey’s pitch and said some things about his past that he couldn’t take back. He got suspended and at the beginning of season seven we see he can no longer run from it. People got a glimpse of Dick Whitman. The door representsthis. Don wants to close it, he wants to ignore it, but he can’t anymore. So instead of running from his demons he steps through the door and acknowledges them, but he seems to have no idea where to go from there.

The song choice is a Vanilla Fudge cover of The Supremes “You keep me hanging on.” They lyrics feel particularly significant to my situation too.

In Don’s case he wants to be set free from his demons and this double life. Maybe he really wishes Dick was gone and he could just be Don. Maybe he wishes he had never taken up the Draper mantle. Maybe he just wants his entire past erased and a new slate. 

I identify with this scene because I opened the door to the break up. I was the one who pulled the pin out of note my ex partner was keeping to one side. That was my Hersheys pitch. Then I wanted to close the door, but it wouldn’t shut. I had started something I didn’t particularly want to finish, but I had no choice. So now I am through the door and I had my balcony moment during my health scare.

I thought I had whizzed through the 5 stages of grief. I thought I had miraculously skipped ahead in my recovery. Of course this was denial. I was in shock and I ignored the pain very well. Being a spoonie had me well prepared in that department!

I did anger. I was so angry at my ex during the first week. I don’t think I have ever cussed out someone so harshly in the privacy of my room. I said awful things I didn’t mean aloud just because I needed to get the anger out.

Bargaining was the step I thought I skipped. I thought I had too much pride for that. I always have in the past. I am a very dignified, flinty ex girlfriend in most cases. One who would never beg for scraps. Except that I would in this case stoop to that level. My balcony moment involved calling my ex when I was scared for my health and my mum was travelling, and then as I calmed down from the pain and fear I found myself trying to bargain my way back into his life.

It was an out of body experience for me. I said stupid things that I didn’t even mean or want in reality. I said I would consider IVF. I have no idea why I said that because the truth is I don’t want to be pregnant. I don’t want to risk my physical and mental health or my safety, especially not for my ex. Babies are just off the table for me.

Anyway, after saying I would have a healthy baby anyway just to prove I could and some other fucking crazy shit we ended the call and that was the balcony moment. I was dumbstruck and saw the last remnants of the life I knew and envisioned crumble to dust yet again at my feet, only this time it was permanent. Where could I go from here? I cried and I told my mum and best friend what I did and they were like “You are going through something super tough right now, it’s a blip and it will be okay.”

And you know they were right. I got through my doctors stuff without him. I got over that night pretty quickly too. One minute at a time, one hour at a time, one day at a time I get by and gain perspective and strength. Ultimately my loss of grace was cathartic and I think I needed to break, Since then I have been sad but also more genuinely peaceful. I’m not hiding from the pain anymore I’m accepting it and moving forward with it. I havent been able to do that in years. Things feel better (even with the sadness) and I am certain now more than ever that I will be okay and in time this won’t really be something I remember. To quote Don himself "It will shock you how much it never happened."

artbymoga:

Anyone else?

(via nomorebellyaches)

chibird:

Animation of this lovely post by findingmyrecovery~

“You can give yourself the things that you are looking for externally. You are allowed to be good to yourself.”

chibird:

Animation of this lovely post by findingmyrecovery~

You can give yourself the things that you are looking for externally. You are allowed to be good to yourself.”

(via loiteringdinosaurs)

I have discovered that listening to Jeff Buckley while stoned in my back garden in the evening sun is actually heaven. I am so insanely blissed out right now and looking forward to tomorrow like crazy.

Had a thing happen I don’t wanna get into to be honest because it will kill my buzz but really I know I’m gonna be glad it happened in the long run. Whatever happened has happened. It doesn’t matter anymore. The present is my bliss and tomorrow is my excitement.

Decide you want it more than you are afraid of it.

Bill Cosby (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

Story of my life. And going forward I’m making new choices.

Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness.

Katherine Henson (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

Reminding myself of this a lot at the moment. I can be so steely and hard with my defences up. I have to stop being so afraid of letting others close enough to hurt me. I’ve been feeling that pain and its actually nice to know I’m still capable of feeling and being hurt. I’m not some drudge, or robot. I realise more and more I’m capable of feeling a great many things I haven’t felt in a long time.

I am trying to see things in perspective. My dog wants a bite of my peanut butter chocolate chip bagel. I know she cannot have this, because chocolate makes dogs very sick. My dog does not understand this. She pouts and wraps herself around my leg like a scarf and purrs and tries to convince me to give her just a tiny bit. When I do not give in, she eventually gives up and lays in the corner, under the piano, drooping and sad. I hope the universe has my best interest in mind like I have my dog’s. When I want something with my whole being, and the universe withholds it from me, I hope the universe thinks to herself: "Silly girl. She thinks this is what she wants, but she does not understand how it will hurt.

THEORIES ABOUT THE UNIVERSE by Blythe Baird (via theflowershop)

Woah

(via foreverrwanderlust)

I think stuff like this all the time.

(Source: blythebrooklyn, via citylightslover)

"But this medicine is going to, like, fix you, right?"

If you are having a bad day...

You probably need a proper browser to view this iphone users. I have had this on loop. I will probably die from a squee overload but its so good!

2 weeks ago -

Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.

Allan Watts (via onlinecounsellingcollege)

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