Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Strangers Bearing Tissues.

Hi how are you? I'm ok. Here's the only easter photo I took this year:

I had to escape on easter Sunday so bingo seemed seemed as good an idea as any. Dave took the boys to his mums and I bought myself some new dobbers and sat down next to a woman called Jill. We were instant bffs ... her husband was a builder too. We compared war stories.

"He just collected everything! I mean, he was so good at what he did ... never had to get a tradesman in for anything. But he did bring a lot of furniture home."

Jills husband died five years ago. She goes to every bingo in town, there's usually one on every day. She's getting pretty sick of it. It's fierce competition, the jackpot was up to $1500. My nan used to take me to bingo when I was a kid and I still love it. There are no airs and graces at bingo, no fashion stakes or fake conversations. You don't even have to talk to anyone, just go in and play your game with your head down. Perfect for those who like being around people, just not interact too much. In the beginning I was sniffling so much that Jill offered me a tissue. "You can have the whole pack! Here's some easter eggs too! Would you like a mint?"

She never asked me why it looked like I had been crying, she just filled the silence with commentary. And a bit of envy, that her five kids were all grown up and I was still in the slog of family raising. I actually envied her solitude and time, so there we sat for a while, thinking the other had it better. At halftime she raced off to the pokies.

"I'm a gambler Eden! See you in half an hour!"  I went and got myself a free coffee from the machine and it tasted like every recovery meeting I've ever gone to. It tasted AWESOME. Checked my emails and received a really lovely one from my friend Kim at Frogpondsrock. We're comrades in grief and she was just checking in, sent me the link to an article she thought I might like. Pretty sure I was the only person in the bingo hall reading a NY Times piece called What Suffering Does. 

I kept hearing snippets of conversations around me. Bingo finished so Jill and I said goodbye but I'm sure I'll see her again. I felt better, even went over to Daves mums for a cuppa afterwards.

Poor Dave reached for a kettle bell during his workout the other day and bang - put his back out. We went to get a massage together ... do you ever go to those Chinese places in shopping centres? We do. I LOVE them, getting in really hard and deep. No pipe music, just the hustle of people shopping and weird smelling oil. I was a bit concerned because I've purposely not had a massage since Cam died. The thought of just lying there aware in my body has been too much. But I really needed one too. I said to the woman booking us in that I needed a good, deep, proper one. There's nothing worse than a masseuse with limp hands when you're all ready for a pounding. She looks me up and down.

"Ok. You wait twenty minutes. I get my husband for you. You like."

Eventually we were ushered in to our tables. Stripped off to undies and I was READY.

I can't even explain what happened next. This guy just came in, started feeling around my upper back and neck, and it was on.

"You tight. You very tight lady."

I laughed and said yes, I've been stressed. His hands just dug deeper and deeper, unveiling all of my rickety joints and sinews and muscles that I've somehow been keeping upright these past few months. Suddenly, everything he touched was on fire. I don't know how or what he did but the next hour was not a massage like I've ever experienced. He ran his hands up and down the most odd places. Strangely, it felt exactly what my body needed. But the pain was excruciating. Dave told me later that all he could he was swearing and panting form my cubicle. This guy just dug around, contorted me into the WEIRDEST positions. My hair was wet from sweat. He softly said,

"Is like torture."

And I said yes, is like torture but I wasn't just talking about the massage. He whisked the curtain away and came back with some tissues for my tears.

"Thank you. My brother died. It's been hard."

He didn't acknowledge, just kept leading me down into the seventh circle of hell. Twisted, stretched ... how did he even know I was that flexible? At one point he was massaging and pulling on my arse cheeks so hard I started laughing uncontrollably. Also crying. It was exactly what I needed and it hurt so, so badly.

Lately I've been eating well and getting a bit of exercise out of sheer desperation to try feel better.  I've stopped taking all bipolar medication and antidepressants. It's been hell. But I kept getting told to try this and take that, and I'm just sick of all the repercussions and side effects. I've put a lot of trust in certain health professionals but I want my body back. I want to start fresh. All I take now is spirulina, krill oil, and vitamins. I'm starting yoga. I've looked at the group fitness timetable at the gym. I'm reclaiming myself because goddamit I was medicated up to the eyeballs and STILL ended up in a mental ward anyway so I may as well try something else for a bit.

After my "massage" I was waiting for Dave out the front and the guy came out. I saw his face for the first time. He was young and very good looking. He smiled.

"It was good?"

"How did you know how do do that?"

He laughed and went on to his next client. I'm still in awe. Dave came out and asked what the hell happened to me in there and I said I had no idea.  I still don't. Maybe it has something to do with chi and spiritual healing? Shifting energies and surrendering? Starting all over again?


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