Carol LaChapelle | November 4, 2018
It was the worst of times.
November 2016. I’d just turned 73 and my life was in free fall financially, emotionally and, as I would later realize, spiritually. Divorced and childless, I’d just moved again, this time into a “garden” apartment, a studio more basement than garden.
Increasing my slow-burn claustrophobia was the opaque plastic film that covered the five small windows ringing the room. A bit of light, but nothing more, could penetrate.
There was something aptly metaphorical about that basement: I felt no more at home in it than I was feeling in my life. A sense of purpose and meaning eluded me, and for the first time in my life, I couldn’t imagine where I was headed.
I wanted to remarry, but was hopelessly out of relationship practice. I wanted to live in a comfortable place, but was increasingly unable to afford it. And I wanted to re-examine my 30-year career as a writer and teacher, but didn’t even know what that meant.
And so, the free fall.
The weight of it all made me anxious and depressed, my mind chewing like some ferret on the ankle of my growing angst. Worst was the nightly tossing and turning and waking at 4 a.m., the ferret firmly in place. All of the things that had once calmed me at times like these — meditation, walking, self-help books, journal-writing, good friends — offered little to no comfort.
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