I told myself a long time ago that if I was going to continue to present on emotional education and my experience making friends with my feelings… I was going to do what I could to keep it real for myself. Keep it honest and alive. And the truth is… it’s been a major year of ups and downs for me. I had these annoying bladder issues that I kept ignoring and pretending weren’t as bad as they seemed (up 3 times in the night each night, and every hour during the day most days, often getting the burning sensation to urinate with only a few drops that seldom brought relief). I was fighting the thought that this could be neurological (related to MS) and not just a string of bad bladder infections (I was tested but results came back negative). I was fighting the notion that my healthy eating plans, chemical free living, emotional processing lifestyle were coming up short. Something wasn’t right, and I didn’t want to look at it.
To add insult to injury…. As a person who advocates for processing my feelings and the impacts of suppressing emotion… I was like… "This is bullshit!! I’m totally clear of all negative unprocessed feelings… I’m doing my work on a regular basis… there’s nothing about myself I’m not seeing!!!"
So finally, a couple of weeks ago after breaking down in my neurologists office at the sheer frustration of this impossible situation (I was in the bathroom 4 times over a 2 hr hospital visit)… I sat, feeling defeated, with my friend after a really long few days. She asked me… you know, I’ve heard from different people that anger is connected to the bladder. Who are you pissed off at? Thinking she was spouting off some weird folklore or paranoid superstition, I dismissed her question. But later that night, I went home and again, sat with my body. I grounded down, and started to reflect. I really tried to tell the truth… the truth as deep as I could go. I told the truth about a few things… that my pristine healthy eating regime had included an awful lot of pizza and gin lately… my disappointment that a big contract I’d applied for didn’t go through… some difficult struggles I’d been having with my family dynamic… and then a huge revelation about my little brother. My brother is getting married in less than a year. He’s 8 years younger than me… he’s got three young, beautiful children (I currently have none) and because of their close proximity to our parents who live down the road from our family farm (now occupied by my brother and his crew), I can't help but feel left out. My inner child was pissed… jealous of his life… angry…. And beneath that, was this incredible sadness… this loss…. because I miss him so much and don't get to see him as often anymore. In my mind, him getting married only signified that he’d be drifting even further away.
I’ve since come to terms with these deep and hidden feelings… my brother and I have a semi-annual brother-sister day planned from here on out, my sister-in-law and I are aiming to meet for coffees to support a real friendship, and my bladder issues have calmed down considerably. What does it all mean? I’m not sure. But it was a reminder to me that… this world of emotions and feelings… it’s an unfolding journey. Just because we understand it, doesn’t mean… we won’t still have our blind spots. They’re inevitable. We all have ‘em. It’s part of what makes us human. We each have a responsibility to keep showing up… to keep having the courage to own our truth… to face our reactions…
And for the biologists and chemists in the room whose need for scientific proof and statistical analysis mirror my own… the relationship between emotional stress and physical exacerbation of my MS symptoms continue to correlate…. Which is already understood … and the fact that my friend asked about anger and my bladder being related… I have no knowledge of any studies that would prove that… I’m just grateful that she asked. It’s all a great and beautiful mystery.