Sitting Shiva. Part One.
Shiva: A week long mourning period in the Jewish tradition after a death.
I'm sitting Shiva. Or I'm in time out. Or having a nervous breakdown. Or all three. It's been 30 days since I returned home. Home to a different life than I left with. It's been 30 days of a 90 day forced time out. It's been 30 of some of the hardest days of my life.
But this Shiva is different. I am mourning my own death. The death of me in a life I used to have and a death of a relationship.
I had been living in the future. I was too busy planning my future that I didn't see my relationship crumbling before my own eyes. I was too busy planning trips that I didn't see all the signs that my life was about to fall apart.
Now I'm living in the past. Dealing with grief. Thinking of all the things I could have done. Thinking of how it could have been different.
Four months ago my body told me to stop. I was in yoga, on my mat and a voice in my head told me to just stop moving. So I did and didn't move for the whole class. That spiraled into my running. My body said no more. So I stopped running. Then I stopped wanting to drink alcohol. My body just didn't want it. So I stopped.
My body was trying to talk to me. It was trying to tell me you need to stop running away and clouding your brain and to start paying fucking attention because your life is about to fall apart and you don't even see it coming.
Today I'm teaching my regular Sunday night Restorative Yoga class and I am watching these people sitting in these poses for long periods of time while lecturing them on the importance of feeling. Then I realized these people were in a way sitting Shiva. Sitting still and being told to feel. Then I realized I in fact have been in my own sort of Shiva and I had just completed 30 days.
For 30 days I have been forced to sit still and feel every single feeling that goes through my body. Forced physically because I am too broken to move. Too broken to function. Paralyzed by grief, sadness, anxiety and anger.
I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing. I don't know who I am anymore. I don't know anything and I'm too tired to figure out the answers.
But I know this is normal and will pass because Google told me so.
I've decided I am not allowed to make any decisions in the next three months. No travel plans, no nothing. I am sitting Shiva and I feel like a crazy person. The Summer of Shiva. Sounds awesome.
I am filled with every emotion possible. These emotions fill me all day. They remind me of a toddler that is crawling at its mother for attention. They are scratching at me all day long.
I tell them "I hear you, but I can only deal with one at a time." But they don't listen.
I don't know these feelings. Grief and extreme sadness. I thought I knew depression. I have been mistaken. And anger. Oh the anger.
I want to hide and be invisible. I don't want to hear or see or know anything. I hide in my house. Here I am - the yoga teacher that tells her students to feel and breathe -hiding in her house blocking herself off from reality. The reality that now this indeed is my real life.
But this can't be it. This new life of mine. Me sitting Shiva. Talking to myself and feeling all day long. If this is what being present is - I want no part. No wonder I had never been here before.
The Summer of Shiva.
Sit and feel .
60 more days to go.