Photo by me.

Photo by me.

I can imagine
that turning into
a butterfly

Not so much
the cocooning –
the wrapping
yourself up
in a warm dark place –

But waking,
blinking and disoriented,
in a different state –
every fundamental
thing about you
transformed –


the struggle
to be released
from where you put

The unfolding
of new, damp wings.

The flexing
of muscles
you didn’t know
you had.

But Oh!

The glory
of that first flight –

bird song in your ears
sun in your face

the horizon

vast and welcoming.

(20 March 2004; © D. Savannah George)

I wrote that poem well over a decade ago, never expecting that I myself might one day feel like I am struggling to become a beautiful butterfly.

Because that is indeed how I feel, or at least, it’s what I compare myself to in order to bear the pain that is always with me: I’m simply going through a metamorphosis. A transformation. A change from who I used to be into who I’m supposed to be.

This is, of course, in no way means that there were things wrong with my past life, any more than it’s wrong for a caterpillar to do the things it does in its life. (Tho, I’ve just learned that some caterpillars can be a pest, causing damage to fruit and other produce… Though of course, that is how they were made. However, many “do no direct harm. … various species of caterpillar are valued as sources of silk, as human or animal food, or for biological control of pest plants.” [source: Wikipedia.])

As for me, obviously I have regrets at some of my past actions (some big, some small), and I have regrets for things I did not do, but in general, I don’t regret who I was: a marketing guru for non-profits and big companies and small companies; a self-taught artist; a volunteer and a giver; a person with genius-level IQ and two degrees that I paid for myself (a bachelor’s and a master’s in communication); a person who found the strength and courage to make it past almost-debilitating fear to change my life, not once, not twice, but numerous times.

But in the middle of the night (or, right this second, practically morning), when my back hurts and my eyes hurt and I just want to sleep but can’t because of said pain, for lawks’ sake… it’s hard to not wonder what I did to deserve the suffering I’m going through. It’s difficult not to wonder where/when things went wrong for me, difficult to think about where I thought I’d be versus where I am: a shell of a person, who goes nowhere and does nothing and contributes nothing to society. Someone who sleeps a lot. And cries a lot. And barely does chores around the house because it freaking hurts and wears me out. And I could go on and on, beating myself up, but I’ll stop, and try to remember:

I’m turning into a fearless butterfly, unfurling my wings, casting off the dark, and the pain, and the fear of change and unknown, and finally, once the healing is done, fulfilling my true purpose. And that includes doing laundry any ole’ time it needs doing.

Thanks to everyone who has donated thus far to my gofundme campaign, or shared it. It helps ease my depression/anxiety over money. I have information on the campaign site regarding my health issues, if you’re so inclined to read about them, as well as a current update (posted today).

In yet other news, Tuesday, 8/11 was the third anniversary of my blog. Thanks to everyone who has visited and rambled along with me over these three years. You’re the best.

More ramblings / other posts you might want to read...


About dSavannah

~ #disabled #spoonie fighting numerous, chronic, painful #InvisibleIllnesses ~ also #wife #feminist #ally #advocate #papyrophiliac #DogCatTurtleWrangler
This entry was posted in art, childhood, depression, dreams, fear, hard work, health, illness, insomnia, inspiration, making a difference, mental illness, nature, perseverance, photography, shining a light. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Reconstruction

  1. Elaine LeDoux says:

    You ARE a beautiful butterfly!!! Just not ready to fly again. But you will. I loved the poem….so incredibly well said. You may think you do not contribute anything right now and that you are just a shell but you have no idea how much you have and do give other people. I have a wonderful book in my nightstand that you wrote and I treasure and I have a special pocket in my heart to keep extra love and prayers for you in. Love you!!!!!

  2. Lyn says:

    Beautiful poem, Debbie. Thanks for sharing it. There is no “deserving” suffering….it is the human dilemma. Wishing you peace and an expanding capacity for self-compassion.

    • dSavannah dSavannah says:

      Intellectually, of course I know that NO ONE “deserves” suffering, but it’s difficult not to blame myself for these things. Thank you so much for your kind comments and your sweet wish.

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