The crucial moment of the Elite Trainers Boot Camp, for me, was in a breakthrough exercise. We were told that we had only 24 hours to live, and were asked to write down all the stuff that we regretted, never completed, dreamed about and never went for… I didn’t have much on my sheet. I heard heavy breathing, an occasional sob. I was peaceful.
Then we were lead to where the “execution” would take place, and before we were blindfolded, we were reminded that this will be the last glance we would have at the world. I looked around, and noticed how blue the lake was, how striking the reflecting of the trees looked in the water, and had a deep pain in my heart. I found something that I wanted.
In the whole process, while blindfolded, I was seeing the lake and the trees, and I was softly weeping. Other than that image, I was very OK to die. It was long overdue.
In fact, 37 years overdue.
I “lost” the desire to live in February of 1969. On the night of December 30th I had a one-night stand, and got pregnant. I was sick every morning, so I decided to interrupt the pregnancy, in spite of the fact that I was in the middle of midterm… 3rd year architecture student, a tough year for everyone, pregnant or not.
I scheduled the abortion on the phone, went to the hospital early-early morning. The gynecologist, someone I knew, was an older woman… it turned out, it was her last day at work before she retired.
She decided to teach a lesson, she said, so she performed the abortion without pain killers or anesthesia, forced me to look at the bloody fetus, and called me a whore.
After the surgery I took the bus to the University, because I had an exam that same afternoon. I never stopped to think or process what happened, just went through the motion.
Later that year I was hospitalized for depression and suicidal thoughts. They never left me. I never developed anything of my own to live for. I have lived because I set up my life such that I was needed. What got me up in the morning is what others needed me to do.
I had no desire: even chocolate has bored me. Until that exercise. That blue water, the striking reflection of the trees on that lake… that was for ME, and that, ever so trifle, is worth getting up in the morning.