Yesterday, I hit bottom.
Exhausted after two straight weeks of severe stress-induced insomnia, I walked straight into a Monday one-two punch of insult and injury. The injury was only to my pride, but the insult – well, that was to my character, and it was the last in a whole bale of straws. Let it go, a friend said. Look at it as a sign, said another, hitting closer to the mark. These two events made the past two nights of sleep even worse, as if that were possible, and when I dragged myself out of bed at 5 yesterday morning, awake since 2, the floodgates opened.
My meltdown – slow tears dripping onto the mat, crescendoing into loud sobs – happened at about minute 3 in my 20-minute yoga tape. Gamely, I tried to turn off the spigot and continue, but it was no use. I gave up and gave in. It was a long day.
Those of you of a certain age might remember the TV show “Quantum Leap,” in which Scott Bakula played a hapless time traveler who would jump without warning from era to era, landing smack-dab in a new body in the middle of some strange new scene. This is precisely how I feel, in my malfunctioning menopausal body – which refuses to sleep properly, digest properly, move properly, or gain and lose weight in the slow, predictable way it always has – and my unfamiliar confidence and burgeoning sense of self.
I have leapt through a time warp and come to in a body and a life that is foreign and hostile. What is inside no longer fits what is outside, and my trapped inner animal is snarling, stalking up and down in its prison, lunging at the bars. The last time I felt like this, I got a divorce. That was terrifying, too.
In that other lifetime, just nine years ago, I found the courage to break through. Then, I knew what freedom looked like. But now? I know what I’m running from, but I have yet to figure out what I’m running to. I’m out of patience and out of time, at the end of my rope. I’m unwilling to continue my life of captivity, but not yet ready to break out and risk free-fall or – worse yet – recapture.
And so, between meetings and to-dos, I marshaled the forces, reaching out to friends and my professional support system, making plans and appointments, researching recommended courses of relief physical, mental and spiritual. I have placated the beast; the lion sleeps tonight. How I wish I could.