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Woke from the nap I have to take daily now to keep the wildfire in my brain from taking over. But it’s closing in. I can feel the heat. Woke with rage. Just like that. I’ve been doing well in my benzo detox, sticking to a regimen of exercise, eating (Please eat, my doc said yesterday, You can’t lose any more weight), and long naps to keep the inevitable unraveling at bay. But it’s coming. And here’s how I’m going to keep going: I will run headlong into the unraveling. Rage, fine. Grief and sadness, fine. Panic, fine. You are part of this illness that is leaving my body but you have to exit. I’ll dance with you. Right now, I want to cut your head off, you sick fuck, but that’s part of the dance, eh?

And here’s what inspires: I was able to go to a Brazilian dance concert last night. Long nap, exercise, suck down the precise amount of wine that I’m allowed because it binds to the same receptors and if I don’t, I’m sicker the next day. Who knew?), and I’m in my seat.  Brazilian dance is about dancing with deities that represent different facets of nature. The dances are primal, seductive, powerful and, above all, full of fire. This is it, I thought, I will be dancing with these deities as the benzos battle my brain. And I will try to channel Oya, the fiery wind goddess and fierce female warrior who shares fire with Xango, the deity of lightning.

Bring it on, I thought. I’m going to dance with lightning. Fine. And now, white rage. Let it burn through my body like a wind on its way out. They have their own energy, their own deity, these benzos. And honestly, with Oya at my side, I’m going to put a spear through their very heart. I can taste the medicine in my mouth. Come get me, you bastards, and dance.


It’s my birthday tomorrow. It’s hard to tell my family, but this means nothing to me. My children are safe and loved. This means everything to me. This is all I care about now. That, and the dance that will save my life. And so much of it has to be done alone, curled in dreamtime, pains shooting through my legs, hands going numb, tingling everywhere and the fire coming closer to my doorstep, everyday closer, the heat something I can still bear. And when I can’t, I’ll bring in Oya. I’ll let her take me over.

When I lay down for my nap, I imagine my daughter’s body on my chest. I can feel her. I sob and I can feel her little legs and belly, her little blond head shifting. It’s her pure life force that keeps me going. Her name means daffodil. I didn’t know this when I picked it, but the daffodil symbolizes birth and new beginnings. I found her name in a dream and now I return to the dream to reclaim my very life.

So, let go, let go
Jump in
Oh well, what you waiting for?
It’s all right
‘Cause there’s beauty in the breakdown