When I was a little girl, my Dad bought me a ring at Disneyland. I promptly put the blue stone on my finger as we prepared for the next ride. We got up in the Teacups. The ones that traverse the sky, go by the Matterhorn, etc. I don’t even think they’re there anymore. And I remember taking off the ring, stretching my arm over the cups and daring myself to drop that ring. Right there over Disneyland. With the threat of losing the ring forever, I risked all just for the thrill of wondering if I would drop it or not. Seriously, that’s all you need to know about me right there. It’s been my Operating System since I was 8 years old. Living on the edge, daring myself of the possibility of great excitement, followed by great sorrow or joy. But the excitement always comes first for me.
Today I was in Kristin’s office. Because every good therapist should have their own therapist. (Side note: Never trust a therapist who hasn’t walked into the valley of darkness to deal with their own shit). We got to the end of the session…a good, enlightening time. And I started to tell her the Disneyland story. And just as I held my purple plastic ring over her carpet, it rolled, slow motion like, out of my hands and onto the floor. We looked at each other in shock. Because I have never actually DROPPED anything over Disneyland. Haven’t drank. Lived right up to the edge, but have never, well, gone OVER.
And there are several instances and examples of this in my life. I won’t bore you with those right now. Suffice it to say, the edge is where I like it. In most cases.
It’s not drama. It’s life. In fact, I don’t trust people who complain about people with drama. Because I grew up in a house in which I heard that the only feelings really allowed were the good ones. And, as a young girl, I didn’t have good feelings all the time. If I tried to express them, the response I got from the people around me was akin to something like: Wow, get a grip. Wow, you’re overreacting. Wow. Settle down. This is not my parents’ fault. I had a built in receptor with a missing link. Thus, the drinking which most of you know about by now.
So, when someone says “I can’t stand drama!”, well, I just don’t trust them. Get over yourself. Drama is life. Everyone likes a good story, so man up and stop complaining. Or alternatively, stay in the box you’ve built around yourself. Just know that when I’m looking for someone to help me back from the edge, I’ll be asking someone who can stand the tide. You like “drama”. (pssst…whining about it IS drama)…You do, or you wouldn’t be complaining about it. I have to have my feelings. All of them. I have a story from earlier last month, but I’m refraining.
Kristen and I stared at each other. Then we started laughing and crawling around on the floor. This particular ring had some summertime sentimental value, but I had no particular feelings of loss. We spent 10 minutes moving furniture, emptying purses, looking in the potted plants. No purple plastic ring. It was, simply gone.
And. I sat there. And nothing happened. Nothing happened to me because I dropped the ring. No catastrophe. It was okay. In that moment, and the few after, we started talking about how symbolic it was to lose the ring in just this fashion. In my therapist’s office. And I didn’t collapse.
See? Because that little girl over Disneyland? She already felt bad enough about herself. If she dropped the ring, there would be proof that the girl was a freak. Damaged. Up until that moment, she just didn’t know.
But today. I did. And, I do.
Nothing happened. The ring is gone…and along with it…my fear. The Edge? For me, It’s for living. And that’s all you need to know.