Progress on the Path
I have to tell myself that there will be a climax to my healing. It is not as though any of this is tangible. It is not like taking orthotricyclene and having everything run like clockwork. It is not like taking anti-depressants “just to get through” the tough times. There are times for these drugs and I have used both, though in small amounts and for short periods of time. I don’t plan on using them again. I believe they treat symptoms and that they don’t aim for long-term solutions. The obvious exceptions to this, of course, being mental illness, surviving a traumatic event, genetic issues related to the reproductive organs, etc.
Dogma aside, the fact remains: the deeper I go into Chinese Medicine the more I become convinced that for me – my body, my mind, my tendencies, my spirit – it is the most powerful form of medicine there is. Progress is slow and steady and as I said, difficult to measure. For the first six months, my tea prescription didn’t cut it. I put a lot of hours into making and bartering for the teas, and never fully believed in their power because, well – they just didn’t hit home.
On the other hand, the acupuncture treatments were undeniably beneficial. At times I finished a session so utterly relaxed that I could barely write the check, sign my name, and drive home. On the table, needles in, I entered meditative states, I cried softly, I relaxed for what felt like the first time in my life. Eventually, I made efforts to leave the rest of my day open after an acupuncture session because I found the affects to be so wholesome and lasting that I didn’t want to “interrupt” the work my body and the energy within it was doing. I finally started to understand what the Chinese mean by Qi (pronounce chee).
After twelve months on this path, many of the same symptoms for my period persist. But there have been subtle changes, important ones (I save the details for myself). And the pain, finally, is easing up one baby step at a time. More importantly – instead of feeling like I’m mechanically making my body do something it’s supposed to by taking the pill, I feel like I’m listening to my body and asking the scary questions about why it isn’t doing those things. It’s hard work to ask why – What am I doing to hurt myself? Where is my life unbalanced that I am bottling up my feelings so much that it’s disrupting my body’s very ability to move energy, move blood, reproduce?
It might seem a far cry to imagine that too much stress in our lives could cause too much or too little bleeding or none at all. It might seem new-agey to imagine that taking teas twice a day is enough to bring up years worth of psychological-pig-slops and enough to give my body and mind the support it needs to deal with it. But that’s what is happening. It’s not easy, but I’m grateful to dig through this with empowerment and the knowledge that if I don’t deal with this now, it will come out in different ways later and be even more difficult to deal with.
R.I.P. demons, R.I.P. fear of imperfection, R.I.P. numbing drugs, R.I.P. veils of self-deception, R.I.P. shame. There will be a climax. The healing will continue. And like every great story, there will be a resolution.
(And thanks to Marisa for telling me this week that there would “be a climax” to the Chinese Medicine entries.)