Repeat After Me

“Did you listen to the tapes I sent you, yet?” My mother is kindly inquiring over the phone. She’s trying to pull me out of the mud. I’ve been trudging my way through a swamp of seemingly never ending anxiety and depression.
I have all but given up on the idea of happiness. Occupying myself with tasks given from google advice and concerned friends and family.
I still work out. I watch what I eat. I force myself to go out. I picked up a hobby. I make art. Still have often spent afternoons sobbing into the receiver of my phone telling my very kind and lovely mother that none of it matters.
I begin to feel all my hard work fraying at the edges, and that the alien now in control of my body will stop at nothing until every piece of the tapestry is unraveled.
And still that doesn’t matter either.
And I don’t really have anything to loose.
So I look up the author of the book my mother sent me on the YouTube–the modern girls shortcut to actually opening the package she sent me. I listen in my car to a gentle sounding woman softly speaking affirmations of positivity.
At first I just listen but the ache in me to just feel better steps in and I begin to repeat after her an edge and angry tone in my voice, “I love myself” I say through clenched teeth.
“I love my body” I say, cigarette in hand, smoke escaping with each word in a visual display of irony.
But I keep doing it. Because what do I have to lose but a very angry monkey on my back?

3 thoughts on “Repeat After Me

  1. A girl–a ballerina–trying to get into The New York City Ballet, came to me for advice and coaching (I trained boxing and fitness at the time.) Her self esteem was destroyed by her Russian Ballet instructor. She couldn’t see anything remotely wonderful about herself. Self-deprecating. Loathsome. Downright pitiful. But, since she was so beautiful to the rest of the world, no one could understand her plight. No one could fathom how a gifted young lady with the world in the palm of her hands could be so fragile and a mere rude word away from being shattered forever. She had to visit the genesis of her “bad wiring”. She had to visit the moment it all began, that knife slashing towards her soul. And she had to remain objective, watching herself as she dealt with the events that led her to her sullen days ahead. She had to suffer in silence, for she could not reach back and change these events. Then something happened. She actually became angry. Angry that she wasn’t better protected. Better prepared. She discovered the fault was not her own, and that as a child, she was susceptible to anything in her path. Moreso, she understood the weakness of that which was her enemy. She found compassion with this enemy–enough to lose all desire for revenge. She found courage to look in the mirror and reintroduce herself to herself, molecule by molecule. She discovered a new soul. An enriched one, paved with experiences and dreams. She felt blessed on the days she was high, and the days she was low. She knew life provided a wonderful ride of ups and downs and she welcomed all of it equally. She learned that every bit of her was a part of every thing else. She…became…free. You, when you are low, are actually high. When you are high, you’re actually low. To me, you’re a necessary molecule in my existence. Without you, these words do not exist. Such is the sun to a seed. Grow on.

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