A long time ago when I was at a very dark place in my life, I reached out to get help. During that period while I was lost, confused, and searching for answers a beautiful black woman dressed in an orange, red and yellow African dress helped me find some peace.
In 1993, I went into a drug and alcohol abuse treatment program. The week before I had been in a hospital on the detox ward for five days. They had to pump my stomach. My body was rejecting even a sip of water. Yes, the tube in the nose going down your throat and down into your stomach to pump out all the poison. One of the most painful experiences I have ever had. I was suffering from two attacks at the same time. Gastritis, inflammation of the stomach lining, and pancreatitis, inflammation of the pancreas.
I had been on liquid Librium for the first three days. They eased me off it the last two days. It is an antianxiety medication, a sedative and hypnotic medication. In my case it was for the acute alcohol withdrawal I would have experienced. I slept through the first three days mostly except for my trip to the mirror and that conversation with self but that is another story. I vaguely remember my kids visiting with their father.
The doctor did not want to release me on a weekend but had no choice due to the insurance coverage. He said he usually would send a script for pain pills with someone in my “condition” but that he would not prescribe me any pain relievers because of my “addictive” personality. It was the first time I heard those words. I made it through the weekend at home with marijuana assistance. I called the lady that had talked me into going to the hospital at this one women’s treatment center. Her name was Diane. I scheduled to be there bright and early Monday morning. I did go. One of the best decisions I ever made in my life. Also, one of the hardest since I had to leave my kids, ages 13, 8 and 4, with their father who was my perpetrator and abuser. I knew if I did not get well, I would never get well or worse would die from this lifestyle with him.
Katherine and her children 1993
In that “women only” treatment center I met some very amazing women from the director, the intake lady, the counselors and of course the other women going through similar circumstances. All of us struggling in one way or another to deal with the hand the deck of life had given us. Our choices would matter more than we could have imagined. That is where I met one of the night counselors. I always had trouble sleeping. She played a pivotal role in my transformation. So want to listen to the story? I am so glad you stayed to read it.
The Story of the Caterpillar
She told me the story of the caterpillar, “See how it struggles along with many other creatures being on the lowly ground? It is amazing these creatures become the multitude of butterflies that we see.”
She said “Think about it, all of the obstacles, all of the dense brush, the thick sticks, tall bushes, numerous birds, many mice, cats, dogs and such, even the rains, all of these things could end the caterpillars life. Even our footsteps can be their DOOM! Yet, they stay focused, crawling over rocks, around bushes, over sticks, they take chances with all their fellow creatures in becoming a part of the food chain. They keep creeping along when they see us coming, hoping we leave them be. They crawl through all the mire and muck from the rains up to a place where they rest knowing those changes are happening. They turn in their own energy and be still. A miracle happens in that stillness and within that energy. They emerge this gorgeous and beautiful creature, a magnificent butterfly. Against all odds they make it. So do not allow all your obstacles to be a hinderance to growth but a steppingstone, an inspiration, a driving force to go above and beyond all that they had ever seen, known, or been, and so can you.”
I am forever grateful to her for that story. It has held true for me.
Please let me know your experiences and your thoughts in the comment section below or through an email.
All the best,