I've been in bed for over a year. May I be frank? I wasn't wild about the movie Eat, Pray, Love. Although Julia Roberts is always great to look at in any movie. The thing that bothered me the most, not that this is this lady's fault, but, she had to be loaded. To pretend a nervous breakdown or depression is not easier when your tear drops are falling on your pile of money is ridiculous.
I wondered, "What about us Po Folk?" What do we do when we don't fall on the Italian tiles but on the linoleum floor, in pieces. Our world destroyed. What do we people, who live in normal houses or even a fucking hovel, what about us? We can't jump on a plane and most of us couldn't even do an over niter in a motel 6 in an adjoining city.
So my little journey back to the real world has to be reasonable and some days, straight up, get your shit together without even leaving the house. Make yourself feel better. Without narcotics.
What I am trying to do on these days is to think of things that elevate my heart. And things that I will do on my Eat Pray Love, when I get the money to do it.
I am going to get a tattoo. I'm fifty. I don't give a shit.
Last summer, I was withdrawing from pain killers. For the people who haven't done this I will say without a doubt, the hardest physical thing I have EVER endured. I have never been so sick for so long. Couldn't eat, sleep, drink, smoke, close my eyes, cried for so many days in a row I pulled the muscles in my throat and neck... fucking horror, day, after day, seeming like it was never going to stop.
I didn't have insurance so I had to do this in my bedroom with the help of my three daughters, and they were amazing. It's sucks when 'mom' is withdrawing from narcotics.
At about day five, I had lost about ten pounds, couldn't talk because of the crying, but I did summon the strength to smoke. I sat outside the back door of the house and it was about five in the morning. I hadn't slept in five days for more than an hour or two.
My daughter Carly comes out and sits next to me and lights a cigarette. She had been in treatment for almost a year from meth and heroin and had been clean for two years so she knew how I felt.
Carly said, "I remember when I first got to treatment and I felt so sick I thought I was going to die. Then one morning, really early, after I had been there about ten days, I woke up and went outside to smoke. I sat on a rock and right then I noticed the sun coming up. I realized that this morning I felt better physically than I had for many, many years. And I watched the sunrise and I cried because I was so happy."
The following four or five days were more of the same, no sleep, can't eat, crying, oh god help me. Then on about day nine, I slept a solid five hours. I woke up and for the first time I thought I could actually drink a cup of coffee with my french vanilla creamer. It was really early in the morning but I didn't care because I finally got a little sleep. It was a miracle. I walked out the back door with my coffee, lit a cigarette and sat down. Carly walked out and sat next to me. I smiled at her. She smiled at me and said, "Sunrise?" I said, "Sunrise." We both sat quietly looking out at the imaginary sunrise. I smiled and actual smile.
So I'm going to get the word Sunrise. It doesn't need to make sense to anyone but me. I have wanted to do this for a while but I was waiting until I was in perfect condition because of the meaning for me of the word Sunrise. I thought I had to be in perfect condition so the tattoo would make sense. BUT, what I'm thinking is that for me, when I'm feeling broken or sad, I could look at that and remember. It could be a reminder that if I just keep going, keep getting up, at some point, the sun will rise.
Side note: Would I trade being a crazy drug addict to be a normal person? Yes. In a minute. But, since that isn't how I rolled, I will say this for sure. Normal people do not have great stories like this. I'm sorry. Just us Po Folk can be over come with emotion at the sight of an imaginary Sunrise.