I have come to the conclusion that these days I have more in common with some feisty and feral creature than I do with the humanity I have moved within previously.

Really, I am not an upstanding member of society at the moment (pun intended).

I make plans. Cancel.

Look forward to an excursion to the movie theater. Too hot that day. Cancel. Then- never feel quite good enough to entertain the idea again. Feel bad about that.

Occasionally I will inadvertently eat something that my body is highly sensitive to and be reduced to utter lethargy in bed for the whole day until the culprit makes its way out of my system. I pull the covers over my head and let TV numb me.

Sometimes I hate who I have become..

Other times I relish the unfamiliar feeling of setting boundaries for myself.

Since this is a fairly new practice for me I tend toward ineptness.

Sometimes I feel mean, ornery, feral.

I used to have this idea that the way to get along in the world is to live one long YYYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS;
Saying yes insures we are connected, gives us an identity of being agreeable and available.

“Yes, I will meet you after I work a full day.” “Yes, I will call you” (even after a rugged conversation has taken place with a co-worker you could never have known would occur when you made the plan).” Yes, I will help you move” even though my back is healing from something-or-other. “Yes! I’ll do that for you.”

Yes, tell me your stories, hurts, successes…I am here for you! I am scared about an upcoming procedure and feel very private about it but PLEASE tell me what is important to you. I’ll handle my stuff later.

“OH! such-an-such is on the other line! Let me just get this and I’ll be right back!.”

When I say “no” or “raincheck?” or “I can’t spend more than an hour with you”, or don’t answer my phone or “Sorry- I can only do one thing per day and I know it has been months since we’ve been together” I often feel more “crippled” than at any other time.

How weird is that?

The thing is that after a lifetime of saying “YES” I am sort of getting into saying “NO”.

This is me today. Right now I can be unpracticed at saying no.

The thing is that I MUST DO THIS OR I WILL PERISH.

There is no doing it halfway for me.

A deep bow to those in my life who give me all the room I need to make all the shifts I need to make.

I love you for these allowances.

For me- space is the gold standard of gifts these days.


4 Responses to “Feral”

  1. Debra Moody on August 19th, 2014

    Rock star.

  2. Jane on August 19th, 2014

    Wow! Last week I wrote that I was learning to say yes to my no. I often feel like a slacker for being a person with MS who often needs to say no and/or cancel plans. Thank you Cathy, for making it not only acceptable, but beautiful and a privilege. I read this piece saying thank you for every line, because you can give voice to my feelings and I get to realize that I am not really ashamed, I am being self-loving. I, too, feel the most crippled when I find myself in this mode of refusal which our world finds so unacceptable, and I have become something of a recluse (feral?). What a refreshing way to look at all of this. Thank you Cathy, for being honest and authentic and creating space for me to do the same.

  3. Jenny on August 19th, 2014

    Take all the space , in any form and with such cheering from me . It is golden.
    Neil Douglas -Klotz wrote “Create in us, for us, the next only humanly possible step, lit up, towards home”.
    Also please tell Livvy she is world famous in Wellington.

  4. Barry on August 20th, 2014

    “No” is a valuable tool, but don’t let it be a blanket you pull over your head. Pay attention, learn how to use it, and there are kinder and more fruitful mindsets to hold than “not doing it halfway.” Please don’t dismiss the value in pushing for YESSES! I understand the place you’re describing in this post, but I have no desire to “allow” you to linger there too long!

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