Superwoman is Dead



Curled up in bed on my left side, I opened one eye and viewed the Life Manifesto hanging on my bedroom wall. I struggled to discern the words in the dimness of the coming morning . ‘Life’ the largest word on the canvas, filled my vision as Eddie the Wonder Pup glued his body to mine. I reached behind me and gave his back a soft pat, his crooked tail began to beat against my crippled right ankle. I dreaded getting out of bed. Not because of chronic pain, because there’s always that. No, it was the chill of winter in my bedroom, that made me want to stay snuggled under two comforters with a little baby puppy by my side.

The promise of daylight was beginning to spread across the manifesto on my wall. I could now read the line ‘Life is Simple’, and I shivered. I wasn’t sure if it was because of the line I read or the chill in the room. In the last 16 months I’ve learned how complicated life can be. I ended a 24 year marriage, had a horrific car accident that’s left me disabled, and the job I’ve been doing for the last 14 years has been dissolved and moved to another department.

I shifted my weight on the mattress enough to wake my drowsy fur baby and he moved from my side to begin poking at me with his paws and kissed my ears and face. His eyes smiled as I stretched and lifted the covers from my body. He kept jumping on me and biting at the a few errant strands of hair that had fallen from my hair tie during the night. He knew what he was doing was bad, but he also knew his cuteness would let him get away with it. I slid my yoga pants and slippers on, then Eddie and I headed to the living room to grab his leash.

As I stood outside Eddie relieved himself while I continued to shiver. The wind cut through my rebuilt ankle, and I thought about all of the people that have told me how much worse my situation could be. Though I do agree with them, I alone know how much the last ten month have just plain old sucked. Each time I work with my PT or try to walk more than the length of sidewalk outside my apartment, I’m reminded that the minutes, days, weeks and months have sucked swamp water, wind, and a big old giant ass!

With this final angry thought, I unlocked the door to my apartment building. After entering my unit, I set about the tasks for getting ready for my day with my right foot dragging. I worked hard to shift my weight to the right side of my body while I stood in the shower, brushed my teeth, and did my hair. Though it was painful, I knew the more I stood on it, the stronger it would become. My surgeon and PT have both told me that I’ve healed and progressed more than they thought I would. Superwoman may be dead, but I have been bound and determined to work hard. I’ve fought through pain, depression, suicidal thoughts, and hopelessness, but I still haven’t ‘got’ this. And if one more person tells me that I do, I might lose my shit.

At work I checked the photo stream on my phone and grouped together all of the images of my accident, surgery and early recovery. I wondered, should I delete them or save them for posterity. The post surgery images made me feel sick because of all of the blood, swelling, discoloration and railroad track stitches. I decided to speak to a dear friend about the photos, and get his take on what I should do with them. His advice, look at them one last time and delete them. Let go of the last chapter of the experience and move on. I haven’t deleted them yet, but I swear I will.

There is this shyness to me now, and a realization that being a manic pixie girl doesn’t always pay off. Sometimes it’s good to let the grass grow beneath my feet, and feel the grounding force of a foundation where I once didn’t want one. For even in my slowness, there is a passion that burns within me. A smoldering ember where a wild fire once burned, and it emits heat all the same. I’ve often heard that the embers burn hotter because the fire is contained in the core. It doesn’t burn out easily like that of the brilliant orange flame that can die quickly, even though that flame dances with an unadulterated exuberance.

I’m not afraid of death, and I wasn’t before my accident and the death of Superwoman. After the car accident, I’m even less afraid. No, I didn’t have a near death experience, but I experienced extreme shock. I nearly drowned in the abyss of it, and I can tell you I welcomed the feeling. If it had been my time to die, I would have gone without a fight. I wouldn’t have railed against the dying of the light. There was such peace in that cocoon in the early hours of my accident, that many times during my recovery, I wanted to go back to it.

Even as I continue to heal and realize that the old me is dead, I often wish to return to the cocoon, never to emerge, because I hated the moth I’d become. The one that kept flying to the light and dying each time it was zapped and suffered a setback. I miss the butterfly I once was, and it pains me to know she won’t return. As I endure ongoing recovery, I know I’m going to emerge from my chrysalis. I won’t ever be the same, but I will be beautiful again. And I will dance, live, love and fly…again.

**This will be my last post about recovery and chronic pain. 2015 is already a better year. It’s time to stoke the embers, and write with passion again.**


Even flow, thoughts arrive like butterflies
Oh, he don’t know so he chases them away, yeah
Oh, someday, yeah, he’ll begin his life again
Life again, life again

8 thoughts on “Superwoman is Dead

  1. This is the part where a beautiful hug wouldn’t go astray Renee. Yes, that lovely bundle of fur gives them unconditionally, and if you let him he would do it all day 🙂
    But that too has consequences. Spoilt rotten and needing that constant attention would become a little strained I be thinking.
    Now is time for you. You have slogged through a very painful, emotionally and physically, part of your life. It has taken you to some depths that you would like to forget. But it is because of those depths that you will appreciate so much more what your future will bring.
    Even you have to admit that on looking back at those photo’s that it is a place that you no longer want to be a part of. Yes you’ll always remember it, which in its own way is good because otherwise it had no meaning.
    Well we know that isn’t true. It took you to places only you know, but now allows you to greet what you can become.
    Change is being forced onto you and it will lead you to where you want to go. Where do you want to go. What has meaning in your life. When do you wish to change that direction.
    I only ask these because my journey asked me the same. And the only thing that kept me silent was the fear that ‘I couldn’t do it or wasn’t good enough’. And I’m not just talking about what you have around you now…as in your life of work, or the relationships of all kinds around you. This is about the change you want within because of where you have been. This is about being in control of what you want in your life and grabbing the strength to say ‘this is what I want to do now, these are the changes I wish to make in my life’…and taking those first steps towards your hearts desire. They don’t have to be done overnight, mind you if you were like me, tomorrow would be fine thanks 🙂 But it is in making those choices, and even adjusting them as you go, to find that place within that seems to have been lost somewhere on the journey.
    It has in fact always been there, just covered over by the many things that you have faced. That change has now taken place…now it is ‘you’ time. And trust me, once you really set yourself something, the universe responds in kind. God likes to fill heartfelt hands…by the bucket load. Now be gentle with yourself, you’ve been on a long journey. Start out slowly…imagine what your heart really wants first.
    Big gentle hug from across the water coming your way. Love is always there…even if it has a big sloppy grin and a waggy tail. Namaste

    • Thank you so much for the heartfelt message. I will take every single hug you want to give me. I promise not to spoil my little doggie too much. He has been my light in an otherwise dark world, but he is only a dog. LOL

      Today I was greeted by white snow as I traveled to a meeting to confer with my new work team. It was mostly positive and I got a great sense of belonging while there. I think it will be a good change.

      I’m taking it slow and learning that life is to be savored, even if I walk a little funny while making my way through it.

      Here’s to a new life and a new journey!


      Love, Renee

      • Onward and upward Renee 🙂 It’s like a spring clean, do I keep this or throw it out…until a sparkling fresh way is created. It seems like a big job in the beginning, and you’ve done the hard stuff, so now is the creative part. What do you want?
        Hear, hear to a new life and new journey! Namaste

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