There is No Spoon. ~ Neo

If it is possible for me to have the capacity to do so, I
think I figured out what happened these last two weeks, now that I’m finally
pulling out of the swamp of it.
It’s not typical for me to go quite so dark, which isn’t to
say it’s not appropriate, understandable, or even expected, but it was both
surprising and a little frightening to me.
So, of course, being me, I look for WHY, instead of simply accepting
that I could have a couple of (very) bad days during a 5 month course of chemo
treatment for Leukemia.
But, I digress.
I’ll start with another story that leads me to validate my
In November, I got into a bad fight with my Dad on the
phone, a period some of you readers may remember. Feeling accused, embattled,
and belittled by my father, I spent an evening feeling as though the rug of my
identity had been pulled back, and I stood again as the raw teenage fuck-up.
Feeling defensive, and “bad,” and unsure of myself and my needs or boundaries.
Unsure I was allowed to have any, and sure that if I did, I wasn’t allowed to
express them.
I spent a few hours like that. A shamed animal. But it
didn’t quite fit. Just as these couple of days/weeks of quick-sand depression
haven’t felt quite right.
I met up with some of my peers that night, and went home,
and as I lay in bed, still seething from the attack, I remembered something I said aloud then and wrote here: I am awesome.
The interaction with my father had stripped from me all the
work and identity I’d been laying groundwork for in the last decade. A decade
my father has no idea about. The person who I’ve become, the person I’ve
struggled to gain every ounce of self-esteem to be. He doesn’t know what I
forgot: I am worthy.
It is this very same aura of interaction that played out
with the white coats during my recent eye-infection hospital stay. I felt belittled,
unheard, and dismissed. I felt, again, stripped of the knowledge of myself, of
the reality of myself, and again was back to the timid, mouse of a girl, feeling
chastised and shamed.
Well. Fuck. That.
Although it took me a few weeks this time, instead of the
evening it took in November, for me to remember who I am, I am finally coming
to see straight again.
Part of this has been you. Several of you have reached out
to me and told me what my words mean to you, telling me how you are making
changes in your life based on what my writing inspires in you, telling me that
you are inspired to examine your own life and choices as a result of me
examining mine. You’ve told me I have value, and I’m once again starting to
feel it.
It’s amazing that outside forces can have such a drastic
influence on how we feel – or I feel –
about ourselves. But, they do. And sometimes they’re fleeting, a moment of
twinge as someone says something callous or inaccurate, but are easily brushed
aside by a few repetitions of the phrase, “That’s more about them than it is
about me.”
Sometimes, you’re so emotionally depleted already, and so
shocked by a scary and sudden situation, that a room full of doctors telling
you that your reaction to a drug might be invented, that your decision to take
care of yourself is going to be a fatal one, that what you are doing is
, that it sweeps away the whole of
what you’ve built inside yourself, and around yourself as markers of esteem and
And sometimes that void where your self had been, and the
blackness of the “you” you thought you’d overcome through years of friendship and therapy, becomes all you can see. A pit of despair and desolation. Stripped
violently clean of all intimations of who you really are, and who you have
Perhaps it’s fitting that during this time, I lost my
wallet, and with it my ID, my identity.
The unfortunate part about that hole is that you can’t
really recognize that it is a hole you’ve fallen into, off of the path of “Who
You Are.” It just looks like the hole that is, always has been, and always will
be. There aren’t alternatives to the heaviness, the weightedness you feel.
And yet, even in it — this time — I could feel moments where
it just wasn’t right. This pit of despair didn’t fit properly this time. It is
a hole too small for the actuality of who I am and who I have become, and
indeed who I will become.
Those chinks and pinholes in the depths grow with the
mirroring you guys give me, eventually. Eventually.
And so the pit falls away. I don’t “climb out of it;” Like
Neo, you realize, There is no spoon.
This is just the
Matrix, and this
reality isn’t real, and it crumbles like so much sodden cardboard.
Reality forms as your eyes adjust, and you touch your arm
and leg and face, and you see the history upon which you’ve built, and you see
the community which has gravitated in a loving arc around you, and you see with
evidence and conviction that you are valid, worthy — and that dissociations from
this truth are only temporary. 

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