Porta-potty on a Race Course

10/11/15     3:35pm

Yoga Therapy Art_0054

I asked B- how to stop running. There were a lot of words I don’t recall that boiled down in my head to “Porta-potty on a race course.” Find small moments, opportunities to be, and take them.

I want to stop running. At least I think I do. But I don’t know if I can tolerate it. I have a lot of shit in my life and my past always threatening to eat me. To survive, I run. Don’t stop moving. As long as I am distracted or busy the thoughts or memories can’t get to me. As soon as I stop I get flooded. It can be dangerous. I don’t know how to slow down, to moderate. When there’s too much stress I get sick or my body shuts down. Involuntary protection. But running isn’t living. I never even see my mom.

Porta-potty on a race course. Take small moments for self-care and being. Pause. Drop in to existence for the time it takes to pee, then run again. Use the space as a gift of rest, a moment with the freedom to feel. No one is watching. No one is judging. Allow release. No one’s stopping me from choosing to run. Not for that moment.

I want to stop running. I want to be able to tolerate the distress of being, of the voices, the memories, the loneliness. I don’t want to be a secret. In the porta-potty I can hide and just be me. A-‘s wiling to start work on my trauma soon. Who will I be without fear? Can I tolerate the emotional debridement? Will I find me? Will I like her?

I don’t want to run anymore. I’m tired. God, I’m tired. Last night I wept and cried out to God. Today I sobbed all the way down here on the freeway. I’m not me. I don’t know how to be. (Reminder – joy only lies in movement)

My head hurts.

How do I learn to process and be me in chunks? Who will me be without trauma and pain? Will I be more able to help others and feel joy? Will I want to be?

I’m tired of running. I’m tired of wanting to die, of hiding. Of shame and lies. I want to be real. I want to be openly real.

Start by practicing in a porta-potty when you stop to pee.

I don’t know what’s happening to me and I feel scared. I really want to make change in my life, to come to terms with what is and was, to be able to sit safely with the truth. I welcome times of brokenness. I want to accept that though I am broken, I am whole. I’m not there yet. I want to change. I’m not there yet either. Right now, today, I’m sitting in a porta-potty on the side of a race course, grateful. I have to get up again (I’m late) but for now there is peace. Thank you.

God, I love you. Thank you for this moment.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2015

Since 2009

8/13/13     3:18pm

What’s different now than in ’09 with Marc? I’m embracing the fact that I’m alone. Dr. N taught me that not all people leave and that I can be safe. Jim taught me how to face my fears through ERP instead of cognitive reasoning. DBT gave me a set of skills to use when I’m freaking out that work. I became closer to God and reassessed my priorities and relationships when I thought I was going to die. I started developing a sense of self. Now I am not so desperate and needy. I started developing systems to get me through the day and track my progress. I faithfully attended DBSA both sharing and learning new tools. I surrendered the pain and defined acceptance. I started doing things for me, in particular attending jazz gigs and making friends with non-crazy (or at least non-diagnosed) people. I gave up and found life. My mom is nicer to me now. I rarely scream or freak out or run away. I use assertiveness daily. I don’t take bullshit anymore. My need for an intense attachment to one person has diminished greatly. I feel more safe, supported. I’ve learned and practiced more boundaries. I’ve moved away from the cognitive approach. I stopped going to school. I found a doctor and therapist who meet my needs. I need the hospital less. My HD phase has passed. I am free.

I forgot to tell Dr. N today that I’ve been thinking about school. I want my degree. I think I’m ready. I think I’d like to major in social work. I should try WRAP and PET first both as prerequisites and to see if I could handle it. I think I might. I don’t think I’m ready for full or part-time. Maybe one class at a time. I have scholarship money I need to use…

(walk around)

I stood up for myself when threatened at Scripps. I walked away stronger, determined. I took care of me.

I learned to say no and to say yes. I’m doing much better with change – if you can imagine. I’ve dealt with health issues bigger than me. I’ve been broken and risen up again, not through ashes but rules. I learned how to observe and listen, to practice empathy. I catch myself earlier in the process so I don’t blow. I’m learning to stand on my own.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013 

An expensive lie

8-6-13     8:40am

I am SO frustrated.
(close my eyes, breathe, listen to the wind chime)

I have a problem with debt. I also have problems with memory and confusion. I thought I was doing well with the debt until I got a statement in the mail today. I put $1745 on my credit card last month. What?! (deep breath) I remember shopping at those places. It isn’t fraud. But I’ve little idea what I bought. I remember 2 picture frames and a pair of shoes. Where did it go? What the hell? I thought I was doing well.

I’m not sure what do to. It’s all an illusion. I could cut up that card, but I would have to give up my life. Then again, this life belongs to the bank anyway – and probably the next life too.

I don’t know what to do. All sane minds would say, “Live within your means, dumbass.” That requires acknowledgement & acceptance of my means. I don’t want to be in debt. I just want what I buy more. I want that life. I could rent a room for the amount I pay in minimum payments every month. What an expensive lie.

I am poor. I live with my mom. The government supports me. I ride the bus. Without the aid of credit I would have $130 a month to live on. Some months less. I certainly don’t live like it. I finance smoothies and yogurt. I live a lie. (pause) It eats me.

The most plausible solution is to stop spending. I’m not sure I have that in me. I’d rather die. That’s how scary it is – admitting to myself that no matter what I wear or eat, who I know or what I accomplish, I’m still that poor little girl from the ghetto sitting in the corner wanting more, praying to be like Jane, to live like the others. Money covers that up well. The smell of poverty. It can’t cover up sad eyes.

I’m angry at myself. I didn’t want to be like her. I should’ve known better. Yes I should. But I didn’t. What do I do now? What do I do now?

I’m so tired. I woke up at 8 o’clock because I accidentally took my night meds at 6 last night. I ate oatmeal. Now I’m tired. I was going to go to the gym. Then I opened my mail. Now I wanna die. Brilliant. I’m tempted to go back to sleep.

I took a moment to pray and walked myself mindfully through the whole process of getting oatmeal to me, seeing it in my head.

Please, God. Bring me peace.

9:06am

I’m ready to change.

Pay off my debt.
Get rid of things I don’t want or need.
Tell the truth.
Die.
Take care of me.

I’m going to the gym.

© Michelle Routhieaux 2013