Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Someone told me early on that there were two sorts of pain.  The early pain that burns a hole in your very brings you to your knees with heart rending agony.  And the later the pain becomes a dull ache that lives with you the rest of your life like scar tissue that never really leaves you alone.

Today while talking to my therapist I realized that I still have a real problem that comes and goes and that I need to deal with if I am going to be able to move forward.  I have chosen to call it "The Sad".  The Sad is moments of that first burning grief that come out of nowhere while you are working on living with the dull ache.  It is those times where you are overcome and inconsolable and can think of nothing but what you lost.  It is an entity of it's own and has its own timetable and until now I have been unable to contain it.  In fact, until now I did not even recognize it for what it was.  It is the essence of the pain of what I lost.

Bear with me.

There is a scene in Harry Potter, Prisoner of Azkaban where professor Remus Lupin intruder something called a Boggart to his Defense against the dark arts class.  Nobody really knows what a boggart looks like, because the instant a boggart sees you in takes the form of your worst nightmare.  It becomes that thing that scares you the most in an attempt to scare you off.  But that is it's only trick.  It has no other way to save itself from being thrown around by wizards.  The minute you are no longer intimidated by it, it is forced to bend to your will!

So what does one do with a Boggart?  One turns ones fear into a ridiculous satire of his or her greatest fear.  Scared of giant spiders?  Pictures it on roller skates with all its legs going in different direction.  The same hold true in the real world.  Intimidated of speaking in front of a group of people?  Pictures those stiff necks in their underwear.  The more ridiculous the image, the better it will work.

So I am thinking that now that I have identified the pain- now that I have given The Sad constraints and made it into something more tangible- an almost physical something I can fight- well now I just need to dress it up in it's best clown suit to be able to keep it under my control.

I picture The Sad as a giant grey cloud that comes and hovers around my head.  There are lightening bolts and thunder booms and maybe some small dark flies for good measure.  Pictures something like a bad guy in a Rainbow Bright Cartoon.  Now in my head I am making it into a little Mr. Potato The Sad.  I am giving it 2 little white arms, one holding a red balloon.  I am giving it a top hat and a pair of Groucho Marx glasses with attached mustache and cigar, I am giving it the pink converse high top sneakers I always wanted but my mom would never let me have, and a flour on it's lapel that shoots water.  How can I be sad about a cloud in a clown suit?

Ok, so I have not yet had a head on meeting with The Sad since I had this idea, but next time it shows its fluffy little face around here I am sure as hell going to try it.  Hell, it can't be any worse than some of the other stuff I have tried.  I am going to bring The Sad under my control and tell it that I am in charge of my emotions and while there will be times I will let it out and times I will need to see it and remember, those times are going to be on my terms!

When I do take out The Sad I want it to look like a beautiful little girl playing on a fluffy white cloud holding her arms out to me.  When I can look at The Sad and see that, I will know I have really started the road back home.


  1. How come there are no bleepin' Likes or Sniffs or Tears or Hugs on this darned blog??? I need a button to click on when I don't have words!

    -- TR

  2. I really like this one. Rachel it's fabulous! (Marion)

  3. That is an AMAZING idea, and I completely get the Boggart reference. Hope it works (or at least helps a bit)- keep us posted!