Crazy B*tch (Memoirs of a Lemon Lover in Recovery)
Chapter 28—Smart as a Whip(lash)
The chiropractor was only a little surprised to see me back so soon. He listened carefully to my account of events, and then he sought to examine the injuries. Not Sane Elsa bubbled to the service and offered to show him the infamous butt bruise, while Sane Elsa died inside a little bit. The chiropractor cleared his throat, offered a quick ‘that won’t be necessary for today’s diagnosis…’ and then swiftly changed the subject. He started in on a story about his dog. Truth be told, it was a pretty funny story, and a breath of spring all things considered.
I realized as he told the story of how his dog methodically chewed, and ingested the neighbour’s shrub in its entirety, that I really missed enjoying something. My hobbies all slowly started to revolve around my car. While that was perfectly normal in my reality, I still understood that not everyone enjoyed their car the way I do—I told myself not to judge people who didn’t have a car they could adore and dote upon.
My chiropractor talked to me about resting, stretching, and focussing on my recovery. I listened carefully, took his note for my boss and agreed to take time off of work. I decided I would use the time to have my car repaired, and since my car was being repaired, take the opportunity to pay for it to be repainted. My little nest egg was the ideal amount: there was enough there to pay for a new paint job. Suddenly I started to feel that familiar manic joy eek back into my veins.
I talked to my dad about my repaint idea. He was very supportive and enthusiastic about it. He too had been thinking the same thing. He went to his car file and dug out his body shop rolodex. He started muttering to himself, “…the guy…what was his name? Ed? Ned? Ted? Hmmmm….Joe! Yes his name was Joe…Joe something, something starting with a ‘T’”
That was my dad, a steel trap memory that caught everything except names. I decided to get comfortable and wait for him to dust off that steel trap that was his memory. A few hours later, my dad had all the deets, and I was feverishly planning a “spa” trip for my lovely golden car. She was going to be repaired and repainted—it was like plastic surgery, but for cars.
I followed my doctor’s instructions to the letter: in my own way. As I convalesced at home, my car underwent her procedure. In the meantime, my dad explained to me the subtleties of damages with all kinds of collisions. It was one of his most impassioned lectures, especially the part about battery damage. Before I knew it, he had me outside using his car battery collection as practical, hands-on training regarding cleaning battery posts. When my car was done her procedure, I was going to clean her battery posts. My heart sung as I thought about all that was happening to make my car newer than new.
I also used my time to reflect upon recent past events. Not Sane Elsa took her convalescing seriously and was strangely silent, Sane Elsa stepped up in a major way. As a result, I was able to view past results without a whole lot of rage. Don’t get me wrong, no matter how Zen I got, I still felt quite strongly that if stupid people weren’t allowed to drive, the world would be filled with peace, harmony, and a multitude of really good parking spaces. However, my relaxation, and meditation visualizations had shifted from the death and dismemberment of those who hit my car to visions of sunshine, mountains, streams and lakes. Perhaps that seems like something of a baby step, but for me it was one giant leap.
As I visualized sunshine, mountains, streams and lakes, I resolved to turn over a new leaf in my driving habits and mindset. With Sane Elsa’s help, I promised myself that I would focus on my breathing, and visualize the happy and shiny things at all times, even if those times were stressful or aggravating. It was a good feeling to make that promise to myself, it made me feel so happy, strong, and…sane! I shared my resolution with my mom. Her eyes welled up with tears and she hugged me so hard that my chiropractor had to spend an extra ten minutes on me during my next visit.