This morning I had a wonderful massage from my friend Concetta. She always does a great job but this time I asked her for the kindest, gentlest, most relaxing massage she knew how to give. And I got it. Warm scented oil, hot rocks, soothing music. She said nothing, just let me be, just let me rest. She has a wonderful little studio over in Lake Oswego that is dimly lit and cozy. The sheets were soft. All of it was perfect. And I really rested.
Since the shingles diagnosis 10 days ago, I have been distancing myself from my body. I didn't want to experience the itching, the pain, the numbness. I didn't want to befriend my body or the virus that was causing it. I just wanted it all to go away, to float above it somehow until it was gone.
This is a trait of addiction for me. Figuring out some way not to be with what is. Not to be with what is uncomfortable. Not to be in this present moment, however it shows up. And I variously have used food and alcohol and sex and food again and work and Netflix to numb out.
The massage did two things. It really relaxed me. But it also brought me home to my body. It reminded me that my body could be a source of comfort and that there are things I can do to make it feel better so that I don't have to abandon it.