I sat, as regular moms often do, and wondered if my teenagers would ever discover the painkillers in my medicine cabinet and decide to check out of life. Not because I think they’re overly depressed or would even consider that kind of thing, but because it’s what moms do. A warranted caution, or a paranoid overthinking? I decided I needed to get rid of them either way.
I had surgery last month and as a result have a medicine cabinet full of heavy hitters; painkillers, muscle relaxers and anti-inflammitories – most of which I’m trying to figure out how to dispose of because when you’re a holistic healer you don’t take meds. You believe in the natural ability of the body to heal and that drugs are just numbing your pain, which makes you less able to know when something is wrong.
Blah, blah, blah…yes I took the painkillers…because the nerve pain I had was so unrelenting I thought I might never get rid of it. But I didn’t take them for long, because the self Myofascial Release I was doing from the start helped a lot, and because I just gave myself permission to feel the pain. That’s the healer talking. I’m proud of her. The normal person wanted to sleep for month and was willing to drug herself to that end.
But honestly, this’s more about the kids than me. I suddenly realized my bathroom was a possible source of tragedy. And hey, I know if someone wants to, they’ll find a way, so making my bathroom depressed teenager-proof was not really the answer. I know that. But creating conversations around the awareness I had in those moments; I knew that was the key.
These days I find myself wanting to have the big conversations, ask my kids the big questions, and have discussions that leave them knowing a bit more about who they are and what they’re capable of in this world. Things like depression, suicide, sex, love and death: well let’s just say it’s not every day you decide to bring those things up over tea and biscuits. It takes a healthy amount of courage and a little craziness to talk to your kids about stuff that really matters.
And what’s the fear there? I’m not sure, but when I feel it in my body there’s some remnants of “you’re going to say or do the wrong thing, so better not to say or do anything at all.” I’m afraid I’ll fuck them up by having conversations that what, are beyond their ability to comprehend or handle? Nah. They are way past that. So what is it, really?
Maybe it’s the shame I could feel about divulging my own vulnerable moments. Stuff of my past I’m not proud of, or things I did at their age that would have normal, responsible parents gasping with “Bad Parent” breaths. In reality, I know my kids will only appreciate my courage, and they’ll get what they get. In reality I know nothing I can say about myself will be so bad they decide they want a new mother (unless of course their friends find out).
So what am I afraid of really?
It’s time to feel that fear, whatever form it’s in; shame, self-judgement, anxiety…and move through it to be the mom I want to be. The one who’ll talk about anything. Who’ll groom my kids for the big, good conversations. Who’ll teach them an awareness of those things that’ll serve the rest of their lives. Time to put my warrior on.
Laura Probert, MPT is a holistic physical therapist, published author, poet, and black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She’s serious about integrating mind, body and soul as a journey to passion and power and it’s her mission to show you how. You can find her writing featured in places like The Huffington Post, MindBodyGreen, Best Self Magazine, The Wellness Universe, Wild Sister Magazine, PersonalGrowth.com, Tiny Buddha and The Elephant Journal. Find her books and programs at www.BraveHealer.com and www.facebook.com/kickasswarriorgoddess