When Your Stomach Rules the Show
It’s happening again. My stomach is upset. I have had a cold, and I took cold medicine. I also ate gluten yesterday. I ate Brussel sprouts. I got back from an adoptee conference the other day and I was on a plane four times last week and so there were all those germs.
I’m looking for the reason my stomach hurts.
I’ve been doing this ever since I can remember, so it’s like blinking. I don’t notice that I do it. That is, I didn’t notice until I sat down to write You Don’t Look Adopted and I realized I spend a lot of time looking to name what’s wrong.
I can’t even imagine my life with a pain-free stomach. It’s like I was born without a right arm and am so used to what I can and can’t do that I don’t think about it much. Here’s what I don’t do because my stomach hurts or may hurt: I rarely go to museums on a whim. I don’t just drive to San Francisco and explore. I rarely hike in areas I’m don’t know. I rarely go get massages. The more I list, the more shocked I am. I live in a fucking bubble.
I want to know I’m close to a place I can sit down. I want to know I’m close to a place I can poop.
As I write this, I think, Surely that’s not true. Surely you exaggerate.
I do travel. I do walk every day. I do go to places I have never been before. I don’t shit my pants on a regular basis.
But I have shit them four or five times.
And that’s four or five times more than enough.
My stomach doesn’t hurt all the time. It didn’t hurt for even a second when I did the adoptee retreat with Pam Cordano. It just did its business and I did mine. That was cool. It was like my system was on an oxygen machine and I got to breathe in health and wellness as I was surrounded by my people who had all arrived with the intention of healing.
That retreat was like crack.
Maybe my stomach hurts most of the time because it’s strangling, because it’s crying out for home.
Today when I was walking I paid close attention to how my stomach was feeling and I realized it was as if there was a knot of rot deep in my lower intestines. It was as if I’d been punched long, long ago, and the bruise had not been tended and had festered and the flesh had become sick and the whole rest of my system tightened around the sick rot to protect it, and so my shoulders curved inwards, my chest caved in, my head went forward, all to protect the damage that happened when I was born and she was not there.
I start my 93-day adventure May 1 with various healers to see just how settled in mind and body I can get if I super focus on strength and well-being. Some of my friends would argue that I have been super-focused on strength and well-being most of my adult life, and definitely for the past two years, but you ain’t seen nothing yet.
I want to blow adoption out of the water, or at least out of my system. I want to rock this party and show that adoptees can live a vital life unencumbered by trauma brain and body. I’m willing to feel. I’m willing to work hard. I’m willing to do whatever it takes, I think, to hoist myself out of the river of shit trauma can leave you in, to feel what it is like to be 100% in your body. I want to feel what it is like to be me.
I am hoping the chiropractor/nutritionist I’m going to work with isn’t going to tell me to cut out coffee to give my adrenals a break, but just the fact that I have this thought tells me coffee should go. A big part of the next 93 days, of the rest of my life, is taking responsibility for my choices. I need to practice living in intentional discomfort with the knowledge that good things are available to me—I don’t need to grab at the first Twinkie when life wants to provide health and abundance for me if I have the trust that the world has my back.
When you think everything might disappear at any moment, you are quicker to steal, quicker to binge, quicker to let crap into your world.
But what if the past is the past and just because she left doesn’t mean everyone and everything else will?
What if you can have anything and everything you deeply, deeply need?
What if all you have to do to have that happen is to be yourself?