I have had vivid and varied dreams during the past week. Learning to live with the reality and limitations of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities is at best complex; learning at this stage in life is a vaudeville review running non-stop. Sleep is one of the gifts that can restore us from the doing of the day, and for me dreams have offered alternative universes, and sometimes activity that provides answers to many questions from my chaotic days. The week past has been difficult for us, the physical symptoms of living through exposures is unpredictable, and when they are predictable it makes it no less difficult. Even with the years of being part of the 12-step programs of Al-Anon where I heard for the first time that I AM POWERLESS OVER Alcohol, alcoholics and just about everyone and everything, I do not go easily into surrender. One of the odd yet unrelenting benefits of MCS is its inseparable connection with the act of surrendering. A fine line dots the border between surrender and giving-up. In 'the rooms' we hear that surrendering is the first step in letting go to let the god of ones' understanding take over. For me, I did not see the difference between turning life over to this higher power, and simply chocking it ALL in. "Beam me up and out of here ... enough already!" Is that a declaration of surrender or giving-up?
I consider the events of recouping and recovering from the effects of over-exposure to the environment on a system like mine and recognize several opportunities for a 'better next time.' I get that asking for help from the god of my understanding sooner rather than later saves me a lot of strain. Asking sooner does not spare me from grief. With more life, I see that grief is a normal and necessary process and living with recurring illness includes grieving in small and large ways. Last night's dream is worthy of my recounting: I was in a thrift store and I was having a lot of fun. Thrifting was one of my favorite pass-times in a life not too long past. In my day-light life I no longer have the luxury of being in stinky thrifty shops. The dreamtime allows all. I tried on carts filled with dresses, swimsuits, coats trying on garmets that defied season and reason. At least once during my night at the thriftshop it occurred to me that none of those thing were really BEAUTIFUL AND ESSENTIAL. No matter, the enjoyment was what filled me. Smells were of no account. The thrifting went on for what seems like hours. And then, the tide came in. From where did the tide or floods come? It was my dream, my flood. I scrambled to find my purse, my wallet, money, my identity. My passport. All gone. I moved on, and must have decided to keep shopping because in with the tide came fist-fulls of money. "Ah, this will cover it." The floods kept coming, and yet it never rose high enough to cover me. Just before I woke Pete showed up. I told him of my losses. He told me I'd been in there for fifteen hours, and it was okay ... we left, I woke up.
"Wow! I had to relieve my self of the night. Shook myself with a sense of relief and acknowledgment of yet another view of loss and release. I didn't need any of the stuff, and yet I loved the frivolousness of a girlie thing to do. In the dark early hours of morning I felt the answer to my prayers to have the life I have known before. One of the answers, at least for now is, okay, dream it and let it go. Tide in, tide out.