As with other things I'm craving lately (I bought a bag of oreos today), I woke up craving Wilco's album, Summerteeth, and the song "Theologians" which I'm currently listening to.
It's a weird thing to listen to some of these songs because, like so many people can probably relate, songs become play lists of years or seasons, and for me, I will indulge myself with recalling the particulars of the year these songs take me back to.
The year was 2006, during the spring, when I was a freshman at the University of Nebraska in Kearney. The year was long and arduous, the start of what would be known as "the dark years." I was lonely and struggling and I blamed it on the school, the midwestern city, but obviously I was just transfering blame on something arbitrary and ambiguous. [note people:cities cannot be personified. A city does not destroy or heal. But I've only realized that recently.] In the spring of 2006 I was beginning to see the end of my hellish year. I could listen to upbeat music (melodically not lyrically) like Theologians and drive in my little Jetta off campus maybe to Walmart, maybe to Goodwill, sometimes even to my Grandma and Grandpa Butherus' farm for the weekend (why didn't I do that more?) but the sun was sunnier and the days were longer and I was beginning to feel better?
But I was also skinnier, and alot more secluded, and way more cynical than I had ever been before. And I was comfortable with this. It felt really safe to be isolated. The life I had created there had become a sanctuary, a limited one with out any intrusions. Going back home for spring break was a necessary intrusion but one that may have carved out some pathway in my brain that Summerteeth triggers even now. I had been losing weight since the beginning of that school year; a thing that started unconciously became a concious effort and Mom wanted me to get checked out, to see if anything was wrong. Everyone knew what was going on, I think, but a blood test was ordered just to see "what was going on." Maybe somewhere in me felt like it was a punishment. People who know me, know that I hate needles, I hate doctor's visits, but to the point of phobia, panic attacks, and fainting spells. And I got the test, and I felt fine, and I was telling mom on the drive home how good I was feeling after the test. But when we passed Lemay and Prospect my vision narrowed and I was out. I woke up in some neighborhood, with Summerteeth in the background and Mom saying that she was getting me a milkshake.
To this day I've been conditioned, irrationally, i don't know, maybe even superstitiously to have some uncomfortable aversion to Summerteeth. It goes beyond bringing up bad memories; rather, somewhere I think it will make it happen again. [Now, when I see it written, I think, "how silly"]. But honestly, I still hate driving on Prospect or Lemay.
So why the craving for it now? I've craved it before, but denied it. I think, really, that somewhere I know I have to face these strange little triggers for what they are....nothing at all. It is a song or an album, a good song, that is nice to listen to. Not something that made me pass out--I was less than 11o pounds, I don't know, but that's probably something to do with the frequency with which I passed out during that year. But the feeling that I need to face them is also for a purpose; my life is changing, and I'm going to have to grow up and do uncomfortable things, things that turn my stomach, not for myself but for another.
I have a doctor's appointment on Monday, and I'm getting my blood drawn. And now it's time to reverse what are the neurological pathways that tell me, "oh! blood needles, doctors office, we're turning on Lemay, summerteeth, you can't do anything, pass out," and rather replace with an affirmation and a working through these experiences to not fall into the pathway that causes me to protect myself with panic and escape, but to emerge with a peace that none of my strange associations are true things. They are only inventions that have helped protect me in the past but now serve no purpose but only to limit me. It's like living EMDR. I am going to face it, maybe even with Summerteeth in the background.
What's really amazing to me right now is how our bodies seem to know what they need, and how (i want to insert an explicative to make my point more loud or extreme or something) blessed and lucky and absolutely thankful I am to be at a point where I can hear myself again. Where my mind is so much more clear. Seth is to thank for this, as is the church we go to now (where the Kingdom of God is so obviously working), as is my counselor at CSU who worked with me, as are friends who kept praying and urging me to get better, for someone telling me, "Let's be nice to ourselves" as we went and bought yummy trail mix every day. :)
I have been saved, and I am living.
What a beautiful Friday...now, I'm trying to stick with the greek yohgurt, but what I want is another oreo.