I heard this somewhere the other day – “sometimes the only way out is through“. Oh hell yah! I think the wedding proved this to be true, even though I never would have known it before. I had been trying to find my way around everything and it clearly was not working. No matter what I did, what I tried, what I avoided, what I ran away from, the emptiness was still ever so present. It wasn’t until facing everything head-on that the emptiness started to dissipate, that the me so long wrapped in darkness started to break free.
I have a lot of interesting realizations and revelations since the wedding and facing my family. I was driving around town, running errands over the weekend and I suddenly realized that so much weight had been lifted off me. I noticed I started to tear up, something I know so well, only this time the tears weren’t from sadness, they were tears of joy – finally! It took me by surprise. The tears were from feeling light again instead of so heavy, from seeing the sun and feeling it’s warmth instead of being blind to the beautiful world around me, (damnit – here comes the choking up again as I write this), from realizing that I faced my fears and not only survived but stood tall and started to find myself again.
Little things have been happening: opening the blinds to let the sun in, getting off the couch and taking walks outside, and I’m even starting to look people in the eyes again. But the biggest thing, the most shocking thing, was being able to sing again. I guess I need to explain that one. I have always known and been keenly aware that emotional pain can cause physical pain – headaches, backaches, neck tension, fatigue, phantom pains and unexplained illness. I never knew it could take away your voice!
I have been a singer most of my life. I even recorded a CD of cover songs for my family and friends. I noticed about a year after the family trauma and estrangements began that I couldn’t sing anymore. My voice would crack, my range was suddenly gone and every time I tried to sing, it almost immediately physically hurt my throat and my head. The head pain was bad enough that I had to stop singing. What the hell? Why couldn’t I sing anymore and why did it literally hurt to sing? I just thought that it happened because after the estrangements, I stopped singing and maybe when you stop using it – you lose it! Well, during my errands the other day, one of my favorite songs came on the radio and since I was feeling kind of happy, I started singing along – my voice was back! I was shocked and didn’t trust it at first. I popped a CD in the car stereo and tried a couple more songs – I could sing! It’s when the tears started forming in my eyes.
How was this possible? The only answer is that my emotional pain took away my voice. I can’t explain why but there is no doubt in my mind that’s what it was. Maybe it was a mental block, maybe I was so physically tense that the vocal vibrations hurt. I am astounded by the different ways I am finding emotional pain can physically hurt us.
So, for me, it turns out that the only way out was through. I didn’t know I had it in me; my courage just rose up during the wedding. It had to have been there all along, though buried deep. Perhaps there is something to facing your fears after all.
How has your emotional pain affected you?