Lisa had warned me not to be surprised if I experienced a headache (which I did) or felt extremely fatigued (which I did not) after the radon gas treatments. All in all, I didn't feel much different the next day, especially after taking a couple of ibuprofen, so I kept wondering to myself, "Did the treatments work? Am I cured?"
Well, I guess that brings me to saying what cure it is I sought. As I drove from Helena toward the mines before my first visit, I thought about what it was that most needed curing in me. The obvious thing, of course, is my knees - arthritic and the source of almost constant pain. But when I thought about it, my knees are really only a minor annoyance compared to what really pains me more than anything else: my insatiable need for people to love me. My knees hardly register compared to the persistent voice in my mind that continually seeks approval. That's the damn ailment I'd like to eradicate! "Well," I reasoned with myself, "there's no rule book written about what can be cured and how, so who's to say that I can't cure this devilish desire with radon gas!" I resolved then and there that that would be the the cure I would seek.
I expected to be asked in pretty much every conversation I had in the mines about what it was that had brought me there, what cure I desired. But in all the conversations I had, only one person asked me what it was I wanted: John at the Earth Angel (the one who really just wanted to help people). I told John and his daughter flat out what I sought. John's daughter responded with some encouraging words accompanied by a few nervous laughs, John didn't really say much of anything. Pretty much just looked at me with what I took to be understanding in his eye. But I think they'd probably heard just about every outlandish suggestion possible when it comes to people's hopes, dreams and desires so I passed with flying colors anyway.
So, anyway, I'm in Sheridan, Wyoming yesterday afternoon catching up on some writing, getting ready to go to Gillette for the pyro convention, and I hear the voice. "Blah, blah, blah blah blah because you aren't good enough blah blah." Before I can even register what's going on, another voice says, "Oh no. You were cured of that, remember? You don't need anyone to love you now." The voice was just as clear as a bell. I was stunned. I distinctly remember stopping dead in my tracks on the way to the car. The cure had happened. In the very act of accepting that I had been cured, I was.
I was immediately scared that this was all a lot of cognitive posturing elaborately disguised as intellect, but then I started to play with it. Every time I would feel a worry coming on, I would remind myself of the cure and the worry would disappear. What I noticed is that I was training myself to get out of my head, start noticing what was going on around me and recommence to start enjoying myself. If that's not a cure, I don't know what is!
And I am pleased to report 24 hours later that the cure has STILL not worn off. It won't be long here before I feel the need to add my name to the list of miracle cures in the Montana mountains. And then maybe I can update my rock in the mine each year when I visit.