Where’s the Pony?

“If you keep digging, you’ll find the pony under all the horseshit.”

I heard that saying for the first time yesterday, and loved it. You’d think I would have heard them all by now, but no. This one brought a badly needed smile to my face.

The trouble with coming out of a depressive episode is that you return to find life waiting for you. If life happens to be full of some problems that are worrying or stressing you, there’s a part of the brain that wants to retreat back into the cloud rather than face them. Right now, I’m facing my family’s financial issues and some other things with a distinct lack of aplomb. I bravely opened a stack of mail and found that the deluge of bills from my appendectomy, as well as some others, has begun.

I would like to tell you that I rolled up my sleeves, called about each one, wrestled the insurance company into paying what they are supposed to, set up a payment plan for everything, and finished my day with a celebratory kale smoothie.

The truth is that I rolled up my sleeves, punched holes in all of them and put them into a nice red binder, then backed away from it as if it were radioactive. I called my sponsor and burbled about how overwhelmed I was for a while, then spent the rest of the day munching on carrots and sugar free popsicles so I wouldn’t hit the high carb foods while compulsively solving Sudokus.

I’ve written before about feeling overwhelmed by life showing up, and by so many aspects of life showing up at the same time. Money. Marriage. Parenting. Health. Family relationships. Creativity. Sexuality. There are things I don’t write about in detail because too many of the details are someone else’s story, but believe me when I say that there is activity in all of these areas.

So when do I get my pony?

Well, the mature, recovery-oriented part of me (annoying twit that she can be sometimes) reminds me that expecting any kind of reward for living in recovery only leads to trouble. I can reap great benefits, but the only reward I can really expect for living life on life’s terms is more terms. And I won’t always like them.

Also, I’m pretty sure the pony is a metaphor.

It’s also important to remember that I am very Jungian in my outlook. Which means I love alchemy. And in alchemical terms, the horseshit would be seen as the prima materia, or base material, which gets transformed and worked on in various ways to yield a final product of great worth. So perhaps I need to alter the saying:

“If you work with the horseshit enough, you’ll make a pony.”

Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?
 Oh, well. The point is process, and a belief that the process has a desirable goal. Belief that even if life gets harder it’s still leading somewhere, and staying present for it is worthwhile. I need that, and sometimes I need a dozen different metaphors for it in a day. Realistically, it is unlikely that certain parts of my life are going to get easier. Several of them are quite likely to go through tough transitions.

But I believe there is something being created. I just don’t get to know what kind of creature it will be–all I’m really sure of is that it will need a bath.

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