Once upon a time, I had a medical conundrum. I bravely attempted to spear it with ignorance but that only fanned the flames, so I traded my armor for a thin paper gown and spread my jigsaw puzzle before an army of raised eyebrows with Ivy League diplomas. They said “Hmmm” and scratched their heads as if attempting to shake out The Answer like dandruff while I squirmed on the exam table with iceberg feet and sinking hope.
Save. Our. Ship.
I fired a flare toward the heavens but the White-Bearded Man couldn’t see through the smog or my Atheist convictions so it landed in the lap of the great-and-terrible Pharmaceutical King, who blew smoke up my ass with a condescending smile and a Magical Elixir (with cancer-causing side effects). He said the pills would fix me. They didn’t, but I clung to his Truth like the last remaining coconut on a shipwrecked isle.
Until one day I found a message in a bottle, penned in my own handwriting:
This is not a life-preserver – it’s a noose.
I chucked my floaties and waded out into The Deep, past the bright orange buoys of traditional medicine and through the safety net of “covered by insurance.” In the solitary silence of the wide open sea, I learned to listen to my body, to surrender my resistance, and to follow the path of undulating waves from the wake of my longing to the suffocating spirit tangled up in seaweed.
I gave her CPR and tried to say “I’m sorry” but she didn’t understand so I swam back to shore and enrolled us in yoga. Brought her to dance. Slowly but surely she opened up to me – sometimes messy, always beautiful. I realized how much contraction I was holding, and that Pseudohypoaldosteronism was just another word for “all clogged up.” Mind-body-spirit needed non-toxic Dran-o and several decades worth of love and acceptance.
A paradigm shift: the keys to the kingdom were in MY hands. In the land of Fast, Cheap ‘n Easy, my healing quest has been anything but…and yet, for every dead end and misspent dollar, a puzzle piece fits and a new path appears, one that I know is finally, irreversibly, taking me Home.
Bonnie Solomon is a Los Angeles based writer and story consultant. If you can’t find her at the yoga studio or on the dance floor, she’s probably holed away in her favorite cafe working studiously (cough) on her Crazy Ambitious Novel. Contact her by e-mail.