Over the weekend, I introduced my kids to My Fair Lady starring Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison.
I don't remember the last time I saw the movie in it's entirety. It's been years. During those years, I've gone through therapy and support groups. My body has been raked through the coals of inflammation. In short, there's been a transformation.
Watching Eliza Doolittle transform before my eyes was a different experience this time.
I watched her as a flower girl with dirt on her face. I watched her moan and cry out. I watched the longing in her eyes to become something more, and I watched that longing turn placidly into acceptance.
A dust-covered flower girl WAS WHAT SHE WAS. Period.
Then I watched her find a glimmer of hope. I watched her face as she realized that maybe -just maybe -she could change.
I watched as she washed her body, changed her clothes from rags to soft, feminine cloth. Her hair went from harsh to soft.
She began to CARE for herself -externally and internally. She cared for her body, her hair, her clothes. And her internal worth began growing. She began to feel and know her worth.
I thought of my Step 9 to myself -my amends to myself. For my 30th birthday, I pulled an Eliza Doolittle Project without really calling it that. I bought new underwear and a new outfit. I had my hair cut and dyed. I ate at my favorite restaurant. Most importantly: I promised myself that I would always care for myself. That I would continue to buy bras and mascara when it made sense and not 2 years afterward. I would drink water and green juices. I would eat protein and walk, walk, walk with my shoulders back and my face to the breeze. I would inhale the love of God instead of the hate of self.
But we are works of progress, amIright?
And progress isn't progress without REGRESS to back it up.
In the beginning of November, a police officer was shot and killed in the line of duty an hour away from where I sit right now. In my county. In the county my husband works for as a police officer.
As my heart stalled, my husband drove straight for the gunfire.
Shots were fired his way.
While I sat on the couch, wrapped in my husband's cop shirt.
It was surreal. This addiction messes with EVERYthing. I love Danny and I struggle with the addiction side of him. Divorce has been a very real option for us. We've separated at times. When times like that hit, I was conflicted every day -sending him to the battlefront.
"I love you. I'm scared."
That feels like the two lines I've lived by as the wife of a cop and the wife of an addict.
I love you, Danny and I'm scared as hell.
Don't hurt me.
Don't get hurt.
That night -the night he ran to the gunfire and I tried to remember what it felt like to care about dinner and laundry -something inside of me broke.
I haven't had my hair done. I haven't bought mascara.
I haven't exercised.
I haven't cared for myself.
My writing has struggle. Where once words flowed through my mind and out of my fingers, I found nothing but blank space that I filled up with a Victorian-Era murder-mystery.
And now that that's over, I found The Great British Baking Show.
I didn't even realize it had happened. I just thought maybe the holidays were so busy they killed me.
I thought maybe it was being a mom to 3. Maybe it was just the whole healing thing?
As I sat with the ladies in my writing group two weeks ago, one of them said, "We haven't had anything from you in MONTHS."
"Yeah," I nodded. I tried to come up with an excuse, but they all seemed to get jammed in my throat as I realized the last time I'd written anything for hobby purposes was the day before The Shooting.
"I haven't written anything since The Cop Shooting," I said, realizing it for the first time as I said it.
"Makes sense," the ladies in my group said, almost in unison.
I see it now. I SEE IT.
I just don't see yet how to get back up, to turn back on. What does it all mean? And how deeply is it affecting me EXACTLY?
Or has it just triggered other issues that were lying dormant, waiting for some kind of trauma to wake them up?
Self-help is the trickiest snitch in the world. It means well but always bites me in the bum. But in the last year, I've haltingly picked up SAFER self-help options, and so far it's going okay because for the most part (hello, progress and regress) God is driving this serenity train.
So I made an appointment with a coach -a well-being coach? A health coach?
Basically, someone who can take my hands and put them over my heart and teach me how to open it and retrieve the answers that are now, themselves, lying dormant.
This is so messy, you guys.
And I look messy.
But as I watched Eliza Doolittle emerge in her diamonds and jewels, I knew that it was me, in my own messy way.
I wear my jewels on the inside.