Last night was a bad night. A very lonely night. Alone, scared and no one to comfort me. The kind of night that you feel you might not survive, that you aren't sure you want to continue living. The kind of night I had thought, I had hoped, I had gotten past. There have been way too many of those nights these past few months.
The stress and shock of my 23 year marriage suddenly and unexpectedly ending in divorce, trying to sort out my humiliation and hurt at the way it was ended, combined with anxious nerves about today's knee surgery sent me spiraling right back down into anxiety, panic, depression and hopelessness.
No matter how hard I willed myself I couldn't stop crying. I forced myself to at least attempt pranyama - yoga breathing exercises - to get myself to calm down. It didn't work. Pacing the house like I did a couple months ago isn't as easy since I'm on crutches. So I lay confined in bed, taunted by the demons of the night.
As I was scrolling through my phone trying to decide who I could call and talk to at 3am, I found an old voice mail from a friend and an old text from another friend. The voicemail was sent at the very beginning of my trauma reminding me that no matter how strong someone hits me down, I am stronger. The text reminded me to use the Buddha's lovingkindness meditation to not let my demons rule me.
I knew I needed to get my mind in a better, healthier place before I went under anesthesia today. But instead of letting my mind quiet, I was trying to force it. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and the mind is no different. The more I tried to force myself to calm down, the more it rebelled and the more upset I got.
As the day dawned and I prepared to leave for the hospital, I knew I was still in a dark place. I considered just not showing up for surgery rather than go through it with such negative energy inside me. The pre-op nurses saw me holding back tears and asked if I was afraid of the surgery. I had to admit no, the surgery doesn't scare me. No, my knee isn't hurting. My heart is broken and I am the only patient here today without a spouse who loves them in the waiting room.
And then the texts started coming in. Well wishes, prayers and good vibes from all the people who have not abandoned me and who do still love me. As I was being prepped for surgery I silently repeated the lovingkindness meditation and thought about all the people thinking and praying for me today.
Tonight I am thankful for all the people who stood in the gap for me today. For those who bathed me in light and love. For those who hugged me, wiped my tears and took care of me. For those who reminded me although I have been left alone, I need not be lonely.