POETRY | SELF-DEVELOPMENT
After a lifetime of pain
I dwelled in the underbelly of my seedy past. Wallowed in the grimy alleyways filled with reminders of drunken lovers and disjointed dreams.
I was darkness incarnate. Weaved magical spells to keep daylighters at bay. Cursed the angry sun that rose all too soon, shuttering me away.
My world was a thick blanket of rain and fog-covered nights. This was not a life, but a dress rehearsal for a funeral I would never attend.
Don’t you see? My past tried to murder me! And the future? What future? That is a mountain too high to climb and my nerves couldn’t take it.
So down down down I spiraled, only to land in a white room with white-clothed caretakers whose pills led me into a drug-filled zombie haze.
I became numb. No emotions. No feelings. Such a tragedy for a writer and artist to lose all sense of herself and the world around her.
I escaped to the only refuge left for me — the dreamworld. Sweet sleep, my relief and obsession! I was free from torment and to just Be there.
And then one morning, before those damnable pills took Me away, I had an epiphany — couldn’t I Be here as well? Awake and present?
I had to find the answer! I flung off my slumber, ditched the zombie pills and went on a new quest. I had no idea how transformative this would be.
Once a darkened cave, my room became a library. I crawled through the books of my past life, but they held no answers — just more questions.
No, I needed books I’d never travelled through before. And her* voice led me to the simple practice of Mindfulness, to Ram Dass and Be Here Now.
And yet, the road ahead still held obstacles, steep curves, and hidden dangers around every turn. I was not in the clear just yet.
‘Though I held the tools for success, my hands were still covered with muck — I needed to wash away the blame, shame and crippling pain of my past.
Again, I ventured out in search of the dawn, a beacon to guide my way — and I found it, I did! And she** believes in me, she does!
So now, after nearly a half of a century, I am free. I can just Be now. Awake, aware and presently here. And live live live, without fear.
©2021 Lori Carlson. All Rights Reserved.
her* — refers to an earlier therapist who turned me onto Mindfulness and then she moved her practice before I was able to do much deep work to heal.
she** — refers to my current therapist who has expounded upon the Mindfulness work I began and has helped me to heal from my troubled past by believing the trauma I suffered in my childhood.
This prose poem is in response to this prompt — How are you transforming?
Lori Carlson writes Poetry, Fiction, Articles, Creative Non-Fiction and Personal Essays. Most of her topics are centered around Relationships, Spirituality, Life Lessons, Mental Health, Nature, Loss, Death, and the LGBTQ+ community. Check out her personal Medium blog here.