I’m up before everyone else, up before even the sun dares to rise. The nightmares still creep in, but I’m better equipped to deal with them now. I sit in bed, frozen, for a few moments. Maybe longer than moments. I’m not sure. Time doesn’t exist in this frozen place. I slowly begin to move, picking up my phone and opening old emails from Bea. I read a few of those, and begin to feel safe enough to sit all the way up, gather my things and head out to the living room. I spend the next half hour sad and frozen on the couch, buried under a blanket and cuddled up with my dog. I’m in that window of being half frozen, partly stuck in the past but also aware that it is NOW, 2016, and that I am in my home, far away from where terrible things happened.
Because I’m aware it’s NOW, I force myself to breathe and calm down enough that I can get up and grab my orange yoga mat. I move out to my deck, surrounded by green trees and the little glimpses of the lake I can spot between the leafy green branches of the trees. Unrolling my mat, I plop down onto it. I pound my fists on it and cry, loudly. It’s not pretty tears, or sweet sad tears or even just depressed sad tears. It’s angry tears, panicked tears, overwhelmed tears. I breathe, in, out, in, out, in, out, and give myself permission to be angry sad. I few more breaths and I put on some soft music. Listening to my body, my mind, I start a free form yoga flow. I move that way for the better part of an hour, and then begin to work on a sequence I had been designing for hubby.
Yoga brings me back to myself. It brings me back to the authentic, real version of myself, it helps me find the grown up me. I’m learning that I can use my resources to help stay in the window of tolerance, to be able to maintain functioning, and that doesn’t mean I am ignoring the nightmares or the bad stuff, it just means I am allowing myself to live my life. And that’s okay. It’s okay for me to be happy, and feel okay and safe.
Later in the day, when my family is up, I make breakfast, and Kat and I send hubby off to work. Kat and I may or may not clean up a little, or head to the gym, but we always pack up to head to the beach later in the afternoon.
Afternoons are spent digging my toes into warm sand, walking across the silky cool grass, and swimming in the warm blue lake, jumping off the pier, and racing around the water slides. Kat and build sand castles, and I marvel at how the muddy wet sand feels sticky on my fingers. We swing and I think I swing so high I can touch puffy white clouds in the sky. We swim, diving down deep searching for seashells to add to our collection we keep on a jar on the kitchen table. When I’m not playing with Kat, she plays with the neighborhood kids, and I float on the water listening to the waves and watching the sun sparkle on the surface. Sometimes I swim and while I swim under water and hear nothing but the water around me, I can almost imagine what it might be like to be a mermaid living under the sea, and I feel very peaceful.
This has become my typical morning and afternoon routine this summer. I learned this summer to slow things down throughout my day, so I could become grounded again. I’ve realized that I can really pay attention to the things around me, and I can focus on what I’m feeling, and what I’m thinking, I can really be more present and here. Overall, it’s been a very peaceful and calm summer.