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#3: No Retreat, No Surrender

#3: No Retreat, No Surrender

“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.”

- Buddha


Marriage. Am I right? Seriously, there’s not one topic comedians love more than marriage and relationships (OK, politics but that’s a whole other animal) and with good reason. It’s hard. It’s hard no matter who you are and what your story is. For me, it’s a boy meets completely opposite in every way except for football girl kind of story. When you’re young (ish) and have zero responsibility the differences are endearing. You make yin and yang jokes and just know that you are that one in a million mismatched match. Until life catches up to your reality and there you are with bills, kids, pets, minivans and constant RBF. Days, weeks, months and years merge into a blurred vision of life and all of a sudden you realize that soon you’ll be empty nesters with nothing in common. How did that happen?

My journey to a better life requires me to confront issues I have ignored or repressed over the years, so my partner and I found a local marriage retreat weekend and gave up our precious days off. That Saturday morning I sprayed and prayed extra hard for the strength I needed to get me through what I knew was going to be a rough 48 hours. I grabbed my trusty Aqua Calm and SAM. I felt they would be useful tools to help me face my feelings and get the most out of a likely stressful weekend. 

Sitting in a room full of strangers and revealing your deepest and darkest isn’t something anyone looks forward to, but in this case I was into it. I’m a pretty honest person and if I share with you, I share it all. I don’t believe in half-truths unless a cherished family recipe is involved. What I have a problem with is keeping calm when confronted or accused and in a room full of unhappy couples. It was bound to happen. So was boredom. I tend to fall asleep watching TV so when they started showing short videos I grabbed some SAM--I wasn’t going to be the one to fall asleep! What I noticed, at least in myself, was calmness when I talked, and a lack of the usual “fight-or-flight” response when faced with something I knew was a non-truth. At the end of the first day I was alert, awake and even in the mood to go out and have some food. I didn’t immediately crave the wine or whiskey that I usually go to after facing my feelings all day. What were the chances that would happen again? 

I’m happy to report that I felt the same level of ease and comfort throughout the weekend. I sailed through the exercises, confrontations, visits to my unhappy childhood and watched a plethora of videos without losing focus. I won’t bore you with the details, but if you’ve ever been in therapy it was like a session on massive steroids. At the end of the weekend I was armed with a new book of mental tools and knowledge that I can get through a conversation without anger or agitation. Another few inches on my mental growth chart. 

There was one bad thing, however. All the reading and watching left me with a migraine and what felt like vertigo. If you’ve ever had it, you know it’s pretty awful. I was not looking forward to a night of being sick and spinning. I immediately came home, did my PM sprays and tried to sleep. What usually happens is the room starts spinning and I spend the night trying to hold on to something while everything I ever ate decides to leave my body. What actually happened was I fell asleep. For hours. I woke up a bit dizzy but fine. That’s never happened. It’s usually DAYS of nausea and spinning. I actually ran errands the next day. Which reminds me that I need to talk to Krissy (my Client Care Specialist angel) and see if anyone else has noticed this!

Have any of you noticed a decrease in any symptoms or illnesses since starting your sprays? I’d love to know!!

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