Posted by: alegra22 | January 1, 2014

2013: Dancing with Demons

pandoras-box-print-c10100758Twenty thirteen was a consciously messy year for me. In one way or another, I’ve spent most of my adult life in a state of discipline and anxiety about not being able to accomplish enough. Some of it has been out of need (my health, for example). Some of it has been about simply not trusting myself to let go of the tight control I kept to feel safe in the world.

So for the last year, I’ve drank too much wine, beer, and vodka. I’ve stayed up late painting and watching horror movies.  I’ve written in fits and starts. I’ve eaten food that was poison for my body. I’ve been undisciplined in my exercise. I’ve gained weight and lost strength.  I’ve paid the price with illness and fatigue.

I’ve cried and raged with my husband.  I’ve listed all the things I’m afraid of, the secret horrors I’ve kept safe in my Pandora’s box; the box I’ve created with self control and discipline, with charts and checklists. After years of trusting in its security, I’d forgotten about it.  It sat stored on the top shelf at the back of my heart.  I tricked myself into believing that it would stay shut all on its own. Of all the tricks I’ve played on myself, this was the kindest.

About a year after Joaquin’s birth, I went through a series of events involving loss. Loss of beliefs, of people, of health, of control. They were punches to my heart, slowly knocking that box out of its shadows, until finally, in this last year, the box fell and smashed open. I’ve spent the last year dancing with my demons that came spilling out. We danced together until I realized they were teachers not tormentors.

In this New Year, I return back to those things that I used over the years to protect me; the writing, the exercise, the clean eating, the moderation with alcohol and caffeine, but I return to them with a peace in my heart. I don’t need to be hidden to be protected. I’ve danced with my fear and messiness for the last few years and emerged not destroyed, but stronger. I understand myself better. I trust myself.

My Pandora’s box was not about setting demons loose in the world but setting demons out of the cage of my heart. They finally had a chance to have their say and be put to rest.  Each one shook my hand when we were done dancing and we thanked one another.

I am thankful for the messiness of this last year. It has taught me that I can’t be lost in chaos. I can’t destroy what I am meant to be.

What I am is something to rest in.
I am something to say thank you for…

Thank you

again and again



  1. I shudder to think what would happen if I released my inner demon. I’ve seen them, I faced them too. Have I conquered them…not yet…gonna be a long journey to get them sorted. You’ve been on that journey and still have a long way to go too I’m sure. Much Love.

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