Things That Lift

There's this sensation, at the end of the pack test, or any good ruck, when you take your pack off and you feel so light that you might float away. It's similar to the instant right after you deliver a baby where the pain was so intense that the sudden absence of it is almost euphoric.

I opened my eyes yesterday morning and I had that same sensation. It was like 20 years of weight had lifted off of my chest and all I felt was light and free. I smiled. Directly after waking up. Before coffee. With no one beside me except a Very Fuzzy Wiener Dog, I smiled. I think I might have even giggled.

I've been in a weird state of suspended animation for a few days. I am on one hand unwilling to connect with any deep, painful emotions that are lying in the subterranean depths of my soul because I have decided that The Thing in my life that just ended will not cost me one more tear. But I am also relentlessly happy. I don't feel sad. I am afraid to look deeply, but even when I peek past my superficial giddiness, I don't sense a looming darkness that has been there for some time, if I'm honest. Maybe even years.

I don't remember the last time that I felt this way. I am not certain I ever have. There has never been a moment in my life where I have no emotional or psychological obligatory tie to any other person (other than my kids, of course) and holy heck, it feels amazing. I owe no man nothin'.

Every choice I make, anything I decide to do, is for my own benefit. It's not to make anyone else happy. I can clean my house or not. Wash my hair or not. I can eat what I want, wear what I want, watch what I want, sleep if I want, or not. I don't have to worry about how somebody else is sleeping, or what might annoy them or make them react. I honestly don't give a rat's ass what anybody else wants or needs right now, and I like it.

I've lived, voluntarily, for the last three years on a minefield of fragile and destructive egg shells. Every move I made was potentially disastrous, and I don't think I had any idea how much it was weighing me down. I rolled onto that battlefield freshly wounded from a dense forest of psychological games and damage, so one tense struggle turned easily into another one, and if I danced Just So, the pain was less than before, so I was grateful. But the dance was exhausting. And now it's done. The woods and the trenches are behind me and I'm declaring an armistice for my heart.

Life's kind of been a fog for me the last week or so, partially due to a gnarly head cold and partially due to Certain Events, and I know the fog will eventually lift and I'll probably have some more vivid emotions to deal with. I am planning for that. But right now, I've got it on cruise control and everything feels ok, even in the rain and mist and dismal gray that I normally hate. Maybe I've always hated it because of the storm inside. I haven't even needed a drink lately. I know this buzz will wear off, but dang, it feels good for now.


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