The Prayer

12-17-10

I said a prayer yesterday. I’ve been sick for a week and I was laying on my mom’s bed staring at the ceiling. It started out a standard prayer – thank you for this, please help me with that. But then I stopped and it changed. And I just said to God that I don’t expect any of it. I don’t expect any of these things I ask for and I know they are out of my control. I know and I ask for help accepting that none of this is up to me. I am part of a plan too big for me to even imagine, serving a purpose I might never comprehend.

When I’m supposed to understand, I will. Until then, I’ll wait and know that my life is in His hand.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Will I?

5-26-10                 2:46am

Will I?” from RENT keeps playing again and again in my head tonight.  It’s such a powerful song. It’s a many part round of this phrase:

Will I lose my dignity?
Will someone care?
Will I wake tomorrow from this nightmare?

RENT was my soundtrack for several years. When I was living with Mary I listened to it for days at a time while pacing her backyard (when I wasn’t crocheting and watching Law & Order.) It speaks to me. At the time with being at-risk for HD it was particularly relevant. I was constantly wondering what would happen to me. The show is still relevant. I’m just less scared now.

I think practicing mindfulness and acceptance has really changed me. I know I’m going through something I can’t change, something I can’t fix. But I’m not scared right now. Just for today, I’m okay.

One Song Glory” also speaks to me.  Especially the line that says, “One song, before the virus takes hold.” I think I’m writing that song. I think that now is my time. You know?

Do you ever feel like something really big is happening in your life? Like you’ve gotten to this very moment for a reason and you’re about to find out?

I’m pretty sure I will lose my dignity. And I don’t know if someone will care. And I probably will not wake up tomorrow from this nightmare. But it’s okay… It’s okay.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Maybe it’s time to dream

5-15-10                 2:55am

My friend posted this today:

Is wondering what’s more important love or a dream? What was the biggest thing you had to give up to pursue your dreams? –S

My original response:

I gave up my dreams to pursue me.

But I’ve been thinking. Why does one have to be more important? Can the dream not be love? Can you not love the dream? Do you really have to choose?

I did give up my dreams to pursue me. But maybe I’m thinking of the wrong dream. I gave up my dreams of being on Broadway and of getting a Ph.D. and of curing disease and having a family, of owning a dance studio and having a place and a dog. But the dream I followed was me. The dream of stability, of enlightenment. Okay, so I wasn’t after enlightenment but it would be nice.

The biggest thing I gave up in my pursuit of happiness has been control. I am pretty successful at what I do and in my recovery. And the biggest thing I keep giving up is control. Accepting that I am not in control is uber hard to do but so important. It’s not me who’s driving my destiny. I can’t control others or my body or the world. My life is in God’s hands. I still like being in control of things. Just not everything.

I also gave up thinking I matter so much and giving a damn. I used to care what everyone thought. It was so stressful. But now, there are very few people whose opinions I respect and whose criticism can throw my whole world off. I just don’t give a shit. I can’t afford to. I don’t have the energy and it doesn’t help me. Realizing I really don’t matter that much is hard but it’s helpful. That thing I said that’s stressing me out probably DIDN’T ruin his life. My late bill won’t kill me. Missing the meeting is NOT the end of the world. And without me, life goes on.

I also gave up love. I’m not sure I can say I gave it up though because I never had it. I don’t think I’ve given up the dream of love, just the hope that it will ever happen. I don’t stress about it most days. It’s out of my control. I’m just doing what I can.

I used to dream big. I remember dreaming about a party for my sweet 16. I remember it included ice sculptures. Lol. In reality I got a banner at Possum Trot and a dance with Jeff Driggs. Not quite an ice sculpture. The retreat was dreaming big. REALLY big. So is the movie night event this summer and the studio. But they’re not dreams I actually expect to happen.

I gave up my dreams to pursue me. Now that I’ve found me, maybe it’s time to dream.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010

Help & A Magic Dress

5-11-10                 6:04pm

M- posted this this morning:

What would you do if you knew someone needed your help, but you knew there was nothing you could do to help?

I’ve been thinking about it all day.

I find myself in that position often. So many people want or need my help, but I often don’t have it to give. I pray. And call my contacts. I have an extensive network of colleagues and resources. I usually know someone who can help or know someone who does. But there are situations that can’t be fixed, hearts that can’t be mended, questions that have no answers.

The short answer is – I pray. And I hurt. I have to accept there is nothing I can do. It’s not easy. And sometimes there is something I could do but it would hurt me to do it and I have to say no. And sometimes I have the perfect solution but it’s not my problem to fix.

Helping people is tricky. Many times I find what people are looking for is not a solution but comfort. Someone who will listen, a hug, a note just to say you care. For me, just being near people who mean a lot to me helps. Like Sacha. Her voice and her presence, for the most part, are calming to me. If there’s nothing I can do, it’s not my help they need.

I run a non-profit support organization for people with mood disorders and their friends and family. I see a lot of people in crisis. I get 3am phone calls, emails and texts 24/7. I’m the designated crisis person because I know what to do, what to say, who to call or not call and why. But it takes a serious toll on me. And it’s taken many years to realize that I can’t save them all. It’s not my responsibility. Does it hurt me to watch some suffer? You bet. But, for my own sake, I can’t save them all.

So I do what I can do, what I’m willing to, and I pray. God, please hold this person. They’re hurting and there’s nothing I can do. Then I make sure I have the support and comfort I need. Helplessness eats at me, especially if who I can’t help is special to me.

I also find it frustrating when I’m the one asking for help and there are no answers, there is no response. It would be nice sometime to find someone like me who will do everything in their power to find an answer. Until then I pray, and write, and sing, and accept, and help people. Every day.

—–

5-12-10                 2:17am

I love what he said later: “I just wish I could make a magic dress that when worn would heal anyone of sickness or woe.”

That would be such a beautiful dress. I close my eyes and smile just to think of it… Makes me feel light yellow and reminds me of the little yellow house I dreamed someday to own. :) I don’t know of a dress that can heal but the one I bought for my birthday this year made woes goes away for awhile. I was still sick but when I wore that dress I felt beautiful. And that feeling, that feeling like I was worth it and could conquer the world, won out for awhile. Just one night. I remember that feeling. It didn’t matter that I was sick. I just felt good. I didn’t want to take it off…

Tonight it makes me wonder why if everyone’s searching for the answers we haven’t found them yet. I don’t know. A magic dress. Why not? Are clinical trials required for healing articles of clothing? Hmmm… Sign me up! :)

© Michelle Routhieaux 2010