Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ooh La La, Going Insane

In a New York minute...
Everything can change,
In a New York minute...
Things can get a little strange,
In a New York minute...
 ~ Don Henley, New York Minute

Last week, my friend Kathleen, kidnapped me (her words) for the afternoon with a trip to Naples to go to Whole Foods.  I was eagerly up for the excursion to hang out with her and do a little grocery shopping.  The kidnapping was relative to the three personal errands Kathleen had to make on our way, which she only announced when I got in the car with her.  I didn't mind at all.  Kathleen is lots of fun.  She talks more than I do, and cracks me up to no end.  I've been immersed in my grief work, recovery work, spiritual work, yard work (yes, I'm still mulching) and planning a trip to Chicago to spend time with family and friends, and have Boomer's memorial tribute.  So this kidnapping diversion was just the gal-pal adventure pick-me-up that I was over-due for and grateful to Kathleen for initiating.

Sweet Home Chicago - 2009
There's a commercial here for a local costume jewelry store, Ooh La La Jewels du Jour.  They advertise pretty heavily in the local market and have a kitchy jingle that borders on obnoxious in its whimsy catchiness.  Boomer grabbed hold of the jingle for himself, put his own little affectionate spin on it to sing around the house, "Ooh La La, SMO du Jour,"  always giving rise to a blush and giggle from me.  So as Kathleen and I drove past the store, you can only imagine... I had a private moment of melancholy as I saw the store and this loving memory surfaced.  Repeat performance on our return trip.  It seemed to go well, I didn't fall to pieces and worry my friend.  Then the next day arrived...

It started at 7:30 a.m. while doing my morning reading, prayer & meditation practices -- I heard Boomer's voice - - "Ooh La La, SMO du Jour."   It was distantly quiet at first, then progressively got louder as if he was coming from the opposite end of the house to where I sitting in the living room.  That's where it stayed, over and over and over again, "Ooh La La, SMO du Jour,"  It was only the beginning of the maddening of my day...

My birthday is later this month; arriving now in the mail are the birthday postcards from retailers offering celebratory discounts or freebies.  My favorites are always from DSW and Sephora.  Woo-hoo, a little shoe and cosmetic shopping for the birthday and healing heart - - I'm so in.  Nothing beats shopping a shoe sale rack for 30-70% off then adding a  $5 birthday bonus on top of it.  Sometimes it's the little things that give respite to a wounded soul.   

Boomer continues singing his jingle, as I'm getting ready to go to a recovery meeting and follow-it up with some retail therapy.  I'm telling myself, "SMO, put the postcard in your handbag, right now."  The conversation with myself quickly changes, "Where is the post card?"  It's not with the others, or any other logical place I could think of.  Next came an illogical search, all while Boomer is singing in the background.   I kept searching - - every where -- out to the garage in the garbage dumpsters, in the car,  in books, I started tearing my very tidy, uncluttered house apart - - searching for a $5 discount card - - while Boomer continues to sing in the background.  Fifteen minutes in, I realize what's happening, it's another mourning meltdown and I'm fighting to fully let it occur, and redirect it to my search for a 3 x 5 piece of paper.  Another 10 minutes pass in my downward spiral before I'm able to come to a complete halt.  "Egads, SMO, it's only $5 f@%&king, let it go, it'll show up."  After 25-minutes and now running late, I'm out the door, in the car, and in a full blown sob for the 15-minute commute.  God, help me.  Please. I'm losing my mind - - again (read Anticipation).  Soon I begin to hear, "Ooh La La, SMO's Insane,"  though it's not Boomer's voice, it's my own.   At last, I'm beginning to connect to the humor of it all, though the madness I feel in the those moments scares me.  

Relief from Boomer's singing arrived while I was out, only to kick right back in when I returned home.  Nothing I can do about it other than just let him sing - - he'll go quiet eventually.  Eventually was the next day.  

In sharing the sequence of embarrassing events to my grief counselor, Amber, she patiently listened, and when I came up for air in telling my tale she asked me point blank, "Shannon, when will you let go of control over losing Boomer?"   Pause - - it was a 100-watt moment.   Control over losing Boomer?   That's fancy psycho-speak for trying to subconsciously muscle-manage my grief.  The joke is once again on me. Grief can not be managed.  It can be stock-piled, suppressed, even ignored, all temporarily,  only to go loco on your ass when you least expect it or can't afford it to.  Trying to over-ride the process of going through personal grief is impossible.   The human ego, however, wants you to believe otherwise.  Thereby offering you a tantalizing opportunity (my discount card search, for example) disguised as progress to keep you trapped in emotional misery.  And let's be clear, there is no getting over grief, or going around grief.  Through is your only option.  How proactive and intentional you are in yielding complete surrender to your grief experience is the difference in you coming out whole, transformed, and healthy. 

That's the thing for me, be highly proactive and intentional in surrendering to my grief and work through it, and my ego is very pissed off about that.  So it plays tricks with me, preferring to keep me feeling despair, suffering, anger, resentment, and all that limiting stuff that makes our lives miserable (read Smackdown).   I won't have it, but my ego craves, is addicted to it and furious I'm not easily playing along. 

I'm once again grateful for this next phase and level of learning and healing.  I'm equally grateful for my friend Barbara's offer to send me $5 to help me get over the loss and for the subsequent shoe shopping outing together she has planned while I'm in town - - she has 2 discount postcards too. 

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