Door Number Eight

It is the last day of January and the first post I have made in this year. I am climbing out of a hole, started in part by the loss of Bruno; although truly we did not lose him. Mostly, it is a hole dug in my own mind by my own thoughts, shoved along by the mighty effect of the drugs that are supposed to save me from cancer.

It is an outrageous situation.

Now, cancer may return anyway, even with the drugs, and cancer may never come back to me, even without the drugs. Tricky, isn’t it, speculating which path your body will ultimately choose? I was all in on what “modern” medicine had to offer, being the good girl that I am (my tongue was fairly deep in my cheek there). I am also a tough little cookie; I can take a hit and get back up.

Modern medicine

But I can’t take this.

A body gets used to the things it was given by nature. Even at 58 years of age, where the supply is low, it turns out having some small amount of estrogen available still matters — and not just to my body. No, it matters even more to my mind. You see, estrogen is a hormone and it crosses the blood-brain barrier. The drugs take away the estrogen, preventing it from being utilized biologically. Everywhere, including the brain. Funny how things work, but I  was all focused on the physical side effects; the challenges given to my body to experience, but my mind? Well, that’s just thoughts and thoughts you can manage, right?

Here’s how I would describe it to you. Normally (and I use the term “normally” quite loosely here), I have seven doors in my mind, each one representing some composite element of my personality. Each door is familiar and the room behind it equally so. I know what is on the shelves and I know what to do with it. Then, suddenly one day I am aware of another door, door number eight, if you will.

It is like the scene in a horror movie, where the girl creeps down the darkened hallway toward the door with light shining from behind it while ominous music plays. “Don’t go in, don’t go in!”, you scream. “Run, you idiot!” But, compelled by some power beyond herself, she draws closer and closer and turns the handle. Now, there is no going back. She is sucked into the holy terror that inevitably waits for her there.

Welcome to Door Number Eight.

Scary Door
Don’t go there!

What lies behind my Door Number Eight is distortion; dark and forcefully disturbing thoughts about my worth, the harsh ugliness of the world, and the inevitableness of pain, loss, and death. I may have been more immune to this if not for the reality of the world we actually do live in and the fact that I rage on sweeping tides of anger and dismay over what squats in the Presidential suite and all that goes with that. Door Number Eight pretty much had me at “hello”.

It took me a while to understand that I did not create Door Number Eight, the drugs did, or, at the very least, they cleared the path and lighted up what lived behind it, created the compelling urge to go there. So, it seems a simple solution: Stop. Taking. The. Drugs.

Simple, except for that whole cancer thing.

I am almost there. This was already my second shot at a drug regime; a shot I must now call failed. I have one more regime I can try and I will, but not right now. I would like to get my head back. I would like to ease myself away from the presence of Door Number Eight, not feel it tugging on me so. It takes a while to wash such things out of you, like how desire lingers even after leaving the worst of relationships. We have all been in those shoes.

But, hey, I am not just sitting still here. I am pouring all the love and light I do have to offer into anything and everything I can. I am making beautiful things with my hands.

There are very many pieces in this beauty — ready to be quilted.
Quilted for the pups (so the bed stays “clean”)

I am taking care of Marco, as much as he is taking care of me, helping him recover from knee surgery.

At least his hair is growing back.

I am going through training to become a Guardian ad Litem for children in the court system — a story for another day, but a heart-opening one.

GAL kid

And this week, I participated in the rescue of a dog that had traveled deep into the territory behind his own Door Number Eight. He almost became the truth I know, but do not want to see  — that not all dogs can be saved. Still, I thought about the lifelines, large and small, that are keeping me here, helping me maneuver through my own pitchy darkness and dammit, I wanted him to pull on the rope, give us a sign that he could give change a try. His angel came in the form of Stephanie from Animal Services, who helped him become the submissive dog he needed to be in order to take the next step on his journey of rehabilitation. Bless you, Stephanie, bless you. You don’t even know a tenth of the good you did.

Hang in there, better things are ahead for you, fella.

We are all on this path together. I have the amazing goodness of my best love, Gordy, to cling to, the presence of my beloved sister, Kim, to steady myself by, and, of course, the unspeakable beauty and preciousness of the animals in my life. Full immersion therapy.

Giving Molly a life line when she gets confused.

I will be fine. I am fine. The drugs and I may need to part ways and, if so, I will find the strength and peace of mind to accept that. Outrageous as this situation may seem to me, I have found the place in me that speaks my truth, however timidly, and it whispers — whatever life is given to me as yet to live, I most certainly want to live it as myself.

The light ahead.



Writing about what sings to me from a life made full with animals.

4 thoughts on “Door Number Eight

  1. Thank you for inviting us readers into your soul Lisa. I’ve never heard anyone who was able to describe that unopened door of the mind so clearly. You’ve given me a sense of what my daughter may feel. It also causes me to wonder about the psychological twitches others may feel when using any type of a drug. Whatever choice you make I hope that damn door stays closed and you are not tempted to open it. Love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Jean. We do it to ourselves, but also it is done to us, especially as women — minimizing the impact of living with a mind off-skew. I don’t know your daughter’s situation, but I am her sister-in-arms and will think mighty thoughts for her. Keep the damn door closed. Hugs. ❤


  2. Dear Lisa, I know we’ve never met, but I worked with Gordy for many years. I can only say slam that damn door now and never open it again! Choose the ones that say Joy, Love, and Peace. You are alive now! Live now. Fill every day doing that which makes you happy. There are no guarantees anyway. You are a beautiful woman surrounded by love. Feel it, embrce it,
    nurture it. You’ve earned it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s