ON EXPERIMENTATION – Being The Character In The Book

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I quit wearing high heels about 2-1/2 years ago.  I did, I used to wear them all the time, every day almost, and then I just up and stopped.  It was too tiring and I did not have the energy for the effort anymore, so I quit.

Since then, a lot of stuff has happened.  I convinced my husband at the time to support me in my decision to take a month off work to embark upon a serious endeavor in order to figure out whether Cultivating Beauty was in fact, a good idea for a book.  That was April-May 2012; turned out it was.  During that time, I began meeting with my best friend and sister-in-law “Aaliyah” once a week for dinner, during which time I began to disclose intimate details about my relationship with my then-husband out into open air.  Turns out it was a seriously emotionally abusive relationship, and I was the one late to the realization.  We tried therapy, he did not want to change, I did not want to continue to be abused while he continued to “try”.  Fast forward to September 2012, on vacation in Napa Valley, California, then-husband asks me to move out when we get home.  Fast forward through four more excruciating days of “vacation”, we got home, I moved out of his house and back in with my parents across town.  Fast forward 10-days, I overdosed on anti-anxiety meds because I could no longer stand the pain that had been caused.  He had me, at that point, believing that I had no internal worth, no professional talent and no extrinsic value.  I was hospitalized at Riverside 9West Psychiatric Ward for a week.  That was rock bottom for me.

Now, I want to take a moment to point out, that I don’t think people think about “rock-bottom” in the best of light.  I think, while “rock-bottom” can certainly kill you, if it doesn’t, it really can be a very powerful tool.  A powerful place it is, from which to grow.  See, if you have nothing, then you have nothing to lose.  And to the contrary, you have everything left to gain.  Rock-bottom sucks.  It’s like, the worst place ever to be.  But I tell you what, if you’ve hit rock bottom, once you make it out, wherever you head next is bound to be a better place guaranteed.

And so, back to my story, hospital September 2012, ugly, ugly divorce October 2012 to July 2013.  August 2013 – get COBRA set up for health insurance and finally, finally get my most wonderfully beautiful, beautiful last name back.  September 2013 – decide I want to really do this, to be an advocate for persons like myself.  And then October 2013 Week #1 – speak out against proposed mental health legislation in the Ohio senate threatening to take our civil rights away merely because we have a mental illness and for no better reason more.  October 2013 Week #2 – submit written testimony to the Ohio Senate Civil Justice Committee to follow up and bolster my oral testimony the prior week.  And so here we are now on October 2013 Week #3, and I am all set up to meet four different senators next Tuesday to discuss with them individually my concerns with the proposed bills (S.B.43/H.B.104).  I’m figuring out now, what I want to say.

And so anyways, that is where I am at, and it led me to think today, I’m so glad that I’ve been busy writing my whole story out all these years since July 2000 until now here in 2013.  The best thing about it, I think, is that doing so has enabled me to view myself as the character in the book.  I obviously don’t want the story to be boring, so I know that I need to create tension and drama, and that I need to keep the story moving forward.  Luckily for me, the person that I am and the things that I want innately, are often very different from the norm.  In addition, due to this crazy mental illness I have to deal with every day of my life, there is much underlying struggle to overcome built naturally into the book.  And finally, the best part about getting to be the character in the book is that it allows me to escape the fear which would otherwise embody who it is that I am, and to rather rise above it, in the name of the story, and to thereby take the actions that most others ordinarily would not be able to do.  This is the best part about my writing, for me.  Is that it actually and concretely enables me to be who it is that I want to be.

And so, being that person, I am now all set up to meet with four of my state senators this coming Tuesday to discuss Senate Bill 43.  I don’t have any idea what I am going to say to them yet, and quite frankly, I don’t really have any idea what I am doing generally with this whole line of action, with the advocacy efforts and whatnot.  But what’s great about where I am at right now is that I don’t really care that I don’t know it all, all I know is that I care about the issue and that I have somehow along the way been armored with all that I need to fight the battle.  And so the story awaits me, and in the meantime, I could not be more excited for the battle to come.

So that’s where I am at, and that’s exactly where I was at in my mind right before I sat down to write this little post, with one thought more.  I was trying on outfits, trying to figure out what to wear to meet with these men next Tuesday, and it struck me that I best wear my highest of high heels.  It’s funny, I started wearing high heels again about two months ago, right about when I started to dress up for work again and began caring about my appearance again, after having escaped from the evil mutiny of my ex-husband’s abuse.  And the funny thing about high heels (“high” = 4-5 inches + my natural 5’4″ frame) I’ve noticed, is the natural effect that they have on men.  I can tell you almost every last one of them in my life, noticed without my saying, when I began to wear high heels again.  Makes ’em insecure.  Hah…it’s so funny, the little things ;0)

And so while I will wear my professional, beautifully tailored black skirt-suit next Tuesday, I will follow it up with these stems to keep the men at bay…

And then we’ll see what they have to say!