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On Life : The Energy Lady - kale & cigarettes
On Life : The Energy Lady

On Life : The Energy Lady

February, 2020

Amy is here. She’s staying in my house so she can work on my system. 

Maddy thinks she’s cooked up quite a life – charging thousands of dollars to clear energy out of rich, stupid Californians. 

I would normally agree. 

I didn’t want her at my house. But nothing else was working. I had been making incremental gains for years with books and therapy but I knew I was still deeply afraid to be myself. I was still playing a game for others. I needed to try something different. 


She’s sitting on my couch in San Diego with a pink hoodie and shorts with her legs folded and her eyes closed. I’m on the floor looking up at her wondering how she created a business like this for herself. There is no way to validate what she does. She doesn’t have a degree. I can’t explain her work to other people. All I know is that after all of my sessions with her I feel a little closer to who I am.

We talk about my propensity to run away. From relationships. From work. Even from home as a kid. 

“You’re not running away. You knew these things weren’t for you when you started and then it became unavoidable that you had to leave. You are moving towards other things that you’ll enjoy more.” 

A lot of her work is rooted in not creating excessive narrative. Charlie works like this too. I think that because I don’t want to be in a relationship anymore I’m somehow a bad person with something wrong with me. Or that wanting out of a business venture means I’m incapable of commitment.

“What if you just don’t want to be in that relationship anymore?” 

“Can it be that simple?” I ask.

“Why not?” 

I think for a second. “It sounds like an avoidance of responsibility.” 

“Sweetie, all you do is try to take on responsibility. You’re doing too much. What if you’ve been working too hard at too many things your entire life?” 

I don’t really like having her in my house. Almost feels like an invasion. I want her to leave. I think it is all stupid. But she’s here. And I’m here. Might as well make the most of it. 

Classical flute music is playing on my speakers. It was raining and now the sun peeks through dark clouds and the air smells fresh. 

She told me to picture something. Or rather, she asked what I was picturing.

“A little boy.”

“Ask yourself if that boy is you or someone else.”

“It doesn’t feel like me anymore.” 

“Right. Who is it?” 

“It’s someone from my dad’s side. It’s a long time ago.” 

I had no idea what was happening. Where these images were coming from. My body went numb and then it started to vibrate and tingle. 

I saw his eyes and his hair – dark and tightly combed to the side. His sneakers and tall socks. He was idle on the bike. He was sad. I became sad and nearly started crying. 

“Maybe sadness is just settling in,” she said. 

She went into a thing about the vagus nerve and how it was protecting me from my stimulation-seeking personality that was always looking for deep thrills. She told me I wasn’t sad, just grounding and protecting myself. 

“Let’s go to the ocean,” she said.


It was raining so I was worried about getting my car dirty from the sand. 

“If I go barefoot on the sand then I’ll have to get a carwash after,” I said.

“Do you hear yourself?” 

We went into Rite Aid and got some towels to put on the floor mats to mitigate my neurotic breakdown.

When I was pumping gas she moved a marker that was next to the cupholder. I didn’t know this until I sat back down and immediately straightened it. She laughed. “We’ll work on that too.” 


We walked on the beach. It was my favorite kind of day there. Morning, middle of the week. Grey and stormy with big waves crashing into the pier. 

“What happens if you let that anger out?” she asked.

“Like what, scream?”

“Yeah.”

I did nothing.

I realized that was why I had her here. That deeper fear I can cleverly cover up in normal therapy.

“Just visualize screaming then,” she said as she observed my paralysis. 

I imagined myself screaming but it didn’t feel like anything. I just felt weak because I wanted to scream but I was too worried about all the people around us.

“Do you think it’s fine if I just scream?”

She looked at me. “Nobody else is here.” 

I screamed a deep and cathartic rage and began laughing immediately after. I had never done that before. Like Natalie Portman in Garden State, I had just experienced something truly unique for myself.

Then she asked me to growl. And I did. An old man was looking at me, as well as two younger women. But they weren’t scared. They looked at me like it was my first trip in public since being released from the ward. There was tenderness in their eyes as they saw this side of me that no one else ever has before. 

“I want you to squeeze my arm. With everything you have. Put it into my arm,” she told me.

“What do you mean?”

“Grab it and squeeze it until you can’t anymore.” 

She was all of 5 feet tall. I thought it was absurd. I tilted my head to the side.

“You’re not going to hurt me.”

I grabbed her forearm with both hands and squeezed so hard I became dizzy. She just stood there. 

“Does it hurt?”

“I don’t feel it.” 

She told me to picture myself doing it to Alexis.

“I want you to imagine what it would be like if you completely lost control of yourself. Gave into the anger completely.”

I had a raging scene of violence in my head. It felt real. All the hate I had for her being expressed through my body in a way I could never have imagined. And then it stopped. Everything became soft.

“I’m not ready to let go of her,” I said. 

“That’s interesting. I was just working on cutting some cords between you two.” 

“I don’t want to let go all the way. I’ve been feeling nothing for so long and now I feel it all and I’m not ready to lose that yet.” 

I sat there, on the ground, wondering if I should’ve stayed and fought through it with her. I feel her in my body. It’s deep and familiar.

Then I concentrate on the day-to-day of what it was like to be together and it’s sobering. Perhaps I had changed enough to fix those things. If I could just provide a little more tenderness and reassurance. I always kept her on her toes. She didn’t deserve that.

“You’re going to cling to the idea of her while I’m untangling you two. Just feel it and then let it go.” 

We drove home quietly. I felt lighter than I ever have. 

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