Detoxing in Costa Rica: Family Style

Good morning. I am sitting in a small open balcony with white marbled 12 x 12 tiles. There are mountains all around me with a volcano in the background. The worker ants are carrying bits of nonsense back to their queen. A howler monkey made his presence known by screaming at me while keeping his location a secret. The Heliconia are still mostly closed waiting for a burst of sunshine so they can spread their petals wide and magenta. I am on a family vacation in Costa Rica.

I have had three sips of coffee, almost a pack of Marlboros and a Power Aide over the past three days. No food, ice coffee or weed since we arrived on Sunday. I have had to avoid the smell of food – which isn’t easy unless you hide in bed. Thank God my brother-in-law came with us so at least my husband wouldn’t be alone in entertaining the kids.

{I am also glad my husband has somebody to bounce his worries about me off of}

I really do like to travel. I have big dreams of going to Africa and India. Half of the problem is that I don’t like being away from home. I don’t know why and it has always been like this. I end up sick and in bed.

{Real great travel partner!}

When I was fifteen or sixteen, we went on a camping trip in school. Like, twelve of us up to the mountains. It was a four-hour drive and we laughed and had a great time on the way up. I was very anorexic at the time and had of course my own way of coping with the world. We got to our cabin, played some games, people ate food and made the campfire to chill and get ready for bed. That’s when I decided I had to go home. Not tomorrow, not in a few days. Now. I asked, I cried, I paced and I tried to come up with a better solution than stomping my feet and saying I’m going to kill myself. That is what ended up working. It wasn’t the first time I left a vacation. The firs time I was 12 and in Washington DC with my father, brother and sister. I stayed for a day and then he let me get on a train back home.

I shake my head at that now – but at the time it was fine. I remember stopping in Penn Station all alone and some conductor or something bought me a slice of pizza and put me in a little area of the train. I can’t imagine doing that with my child this day in age. But my father was not a man who could deal with anything uncomfortable and I obviously was baffling to him. So he sent me home when I said I wanted to leave.

I am not going to leave my family today.

My daughter very sweetly said, “Mom – please don’t go back to America, I want you to stay, you can rest.”

I am going to stay with my kids. I opted to not go on the zip line this morning, though filled with guilt that I am not living up to my children’s expectations. I will walk with my children on a nature path later on the ground. It’s okay. I am doing the best I can today.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi.

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