Cheryl Strayd and Liz Gilbert wrote two of my very favorite stories. It started with an impetus. Liz laying on the bathroom floor acknowledging the gnawing inside of her that wanted out…of her marriage. Cheryl took to the Pacific Crest Trail in an effort to face her pain, walk her way back to herself. I don’t hike and I can’t afford an Eat Pray Love adventure. What I share with these women, the women in my tribe, is a pain so deep the only thing I know to do is something drastic…like write.
Enough. That’s what I told my body as the fourth panic attack in an hour started to wash over me. I had to go to work soon. I could not unknow that fact. My body resented me for choosing certain pain. It hurts when we are there, I don’t want to go there. The list of excuses for rebuttal had been long since used reused memorized and dismissed. My body did not and would not understand electing to hurt. My body did not understand rent. My body did not understand a credit score so low that even financing a clunker was out of the question. My body didn’t care about a 3-year plan or incentive raises or retirement and a pension. My body wanted out. I wanted out.
The messages that it was time kept coming. But, what if…. I recounted a number of scenarios in which I learned to better tolerate the toxicity of my workplace. It was all dead wood. And devoting energy, setting fire to dead wood, well it was a carcinogen. Stress will kill you. I kept hearing Kendra’s words in my head. No one quits a job without a plan! What was I thinking? Stress will kill you. I can’t take being even more broke than I already am. How would I make ends meet? Stress will kill you. Palms sweaty and eyes filled with tears I collapsed into full surrender. Rent, career, friends, none of it married if I were too sick to enjoy it and certainly not if I were dead.
So then if felt simple. It wasn’t about fortitude or responsibility or even overcoming obstacles. This was about having the courage to save my own life. This was about knowing the certain doom of one path one outcoming and electively no longer choosing that choice. God wants you to surrender before you’re ready. That’s what my Uber driver told me. Same as my tarot card reader. Same as my therapist. Same as my psychiatrist. And so on and so forth. All this time…
I’m not ready. I’m terrified. But I’m faithful and I’m wild and I’m free and I’m making the choice to surrender to a power bigger and more omnipotent than I. This is how I fight for my life. This is how I get where I’m meant to be. The only way I was going to live was to leap.