A Mess

Mao & Me 1993

Sebastian’s grandfather Mao and Me at Finca Cyclura, 1993

This is how it’s been lately.

I picked up cellulitis in my left foot. Don’t wear sandals to the airport. Mom urges me to the ER, for which I’m so grateful. All those antibiotics and shots in the butt. Years of restoring gut flora with probiotics and fermented foods gone. Start over. Filling out papers to get financial help. I burned my list of things to accomplish this month. A forced time-out. Sort of, since it is impossible for me to climb down out of my own ass. (I love that –from BREAKING BAD.) One good thing, I got my work in on time –my memoir draft for the workshop. And I’m not in the hospital and it is getting better. Of course my digestion is simply over. The “gut-brain connection.” I’m proof that gut flora imbalance causes terrible mood swings. Now we’re in the gut, for crying out loud. My life-long need for a slim tummy –can’t I let that go at 55– but more to the point, I need a clear head and palatable behavior. Because God forbid, I should be difficult. I had the foresight to schedule some self-help work for July, the one item from the burned list to keep me coming to my office every morning, to keep me from coming apart. I’m doing Dr. Schechter’s books, THINK AWAY YOUR PAIN and THE MINDBODY WORKBOOK. (This work has helped me more than any special diet or exercise! I recommend it!) Writing down responses to questions about emotions and tension. Trying to stop holding tension and fear and rage and anxiety in my gut, because I can’t breathe right or go to the toilet like a normal person. My whole life, herbs, acupuncture, veganism, juice fasting, yoga, Pilates, biking, deep breathing. Lizard time would really help, if I’d only let myself have it. My lizards keep telling me to slow down, take some time. “Be with us,” they say.

My writing trudges, isn’t snappy. I blame the antibiotics today. I am struggling to let go, struggling to not struggle. Struggling for self-acceptance. I remember when Norma sent me this poem:

God Says Yes To Me

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic

and she said yes

I asked her if it was okay to be short

and she said it sure is

I asked her if I could wear nail polish

or not wear nail polish

and she said honey

she calls me that sometimes

she said you can do just exactly

what you want to

Thanks God I said

And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph

my letters

Sweetcakes God said

who knows where she picked that up

what I’m telling you is Yes Yes Yes

—Kaylin Haught

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