Hello, my loves. Hope this post finds you dreaming glorious dreams after last weeks post and if not, I hope good dreams are just on the horizon for you.
This past week has been a week of some of the most lovely, mundane moments. While mundane is often thought of as synonymous with boring, for me I live for the mundane moments. Part of this stems from my trauma history. When living in trauma, we are often operating at a high level of survival mode at all times. Healing from trauma means that not every moment in my world do I need to feel like death and/or pain is lurking by. I can sit with friends, family, strangers and just sit. Before, when I was running on survival mode, sitting and just being with others was near impossible.
The lingering questions were always: Do they hate me? Am I safe with this person? If I make a mistake how will they respond? Can I be myself? Is it safe to be myself? Am I being too loud? Too opinionated? Too timid? Too awkward? Will they hurt me? Even just writing those questions I am exhausted. These questions though, were trying to keep me safe. However, in exchange for safety, I was willing to live without peace. What is safety without peace? It is a shell. It was a shell that I am grateful for. Regardless of how I was doing it, I was living. Without that shell, I wouldn’t be here today and I know that. However, now I am living in a different way. I now understand that peace can coexist with safety. Healing the injured inner parts of myself has allowed me to revel in the mundane because I equate mundane to peace.
One of those mundane moments was a recent conversation with a Lyft driver. He was a kind man who was late picking me up because he had stopped to help someone that had fallen. This person, who was still in the car, was clearly drunk. They became irate that he wouldn’t take them to their stop first. He was trying to explain it to them, but they got out of the car spewing something based on their assumption of his race. His cheeks became flushed as he tried to explain the situation to me, sharing he was fearful that I would report him. “I just wanted to help” he kept repeating. I could tell, he really did just want to help. I assured him that I had no intention of reporting him.
After he realized I would not be reporting him he appeared to be more at ease. He changed the conversation to more small talk. A fun fact about me is that I love talking to my Lyft drivers, some of the greatest conversations I have had have been with my drivers. Where are you from/what do you do type questions is how it started. Then, he became very intrigued when I said I do crisis counseling. This driver, we’ll call him Frank since I don’t have permission to use his real name, said “what does a crisis counselor do? Can you give me an example?” “Well” I said, “for example if someone feels suicidal, I help assess them. Perhaps help them work through the feeling or try and get them more support if they need it.”
He paused for a moment. I could see him thinking a lot of thoughts all at once. His face was full of curiosity. He continued “Can I ask you about that more? I have a lot of questions, but you can stop me at any time.” “Of course” I responded. “Why do people get this way? Why do they want to die? Is it something in their head? Are they sick? Is there medicine they can take? How do I help people that feel this way?” His questions went on and on. He was not kidding when he said he had a lot.
In the name of honesty my first thought before allowing him to ask his questions was ‘Frank, please don’t make me work today. I am tired and don’t want to social work’. Then I took a deep breath and thought ‘what else am I going to talk about for the next 20 minutes, might as well talk about something I know’… and I was so glad I did. We talked about stigma and sitting with hard feelings and all the things I am passionate about. As I left the car, Frank said that he was glad to learn something new today and happy that he has more ways in which he can help others. I thanked him for the conversation and for wanting to help others. I also thanked him for the ride and tipped him graciously and made sure to give him 5 stars and a good review. Frank was a good dude.
I smiled as I exited the car thinking about those simple moments in life. Those moments where we can connect, human to human, and those walls that I used to so fiercely put up now closely resemble foam pits that I sometimes dive into or sometimes gently walk over.
This, my friends, is the power of healing. Unwarranted fear becomes the mundane. Simple conversations no longer produce anxiety. Mistakes are no longer the worst part of living, but rather a simple fact of life. The question of ‘am I safe’ often answered with an affirmative answer- yes.
It’s wild because this time last year, I was at rock bottom. I didn’t feel safe anywhere. I was hurting and years and years of untreated trauma, depression, and anxiety came to a head with the ending of my relationship. I didn’t know how to trust people. I felt safest under my covers and even then my thoughts were so dark that I would need to put my headphones in to drown them out. My roommate would come home to find me on the couch, unable to move, trying to coax me out, in any way she could think of. A year later, with some really significant changes and hard work on my end, writing about those days when there was no such thing as the mundane sounds like a horror movie I once watched. Did Alfred Hitchcock take over my life script for a moment there? Who knows.
What I do know is that today, one year later, I feel ordinary and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This post is an ode to the ordinary and mundane, where life happens- when we are paying attention.
you are safe-
in the dark,
in the light.
in the water
in the forrest,
in the city,
and the country side.
with their thoughts,
with your thoughts
-you are safe.
go to sleep.
you are safe-
-finding peace in the day to day