After the soil was removed from one side of the Tower's foundation, it was sturdy enough to support the seven bells--the weight could now be managed comfortably.
The support lines were carefully removed, townspeople could safely return to their homes in the Tower's shadow without fear and tourists returned to climb the almost 300 stairs to the top to take in the gorgeous view after the 12 year closure.
With the Tower stable, restoration efforts shifted to the façade where lasers, chisels and syringes were employed to clean the 24,424 blocks of marble and limestone. Constructed only 12km from the Mediterranean Sea, the tower is at the mercy of storms coming off the coast and has had to battle both human and pigeon damage!
I couldn't think of a better image to represent my journey than with the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
For someone like me who likes to have a plan.....(thanks Dad!) the Tower of Pisa is me. The danger of collapse has been identified and the experts are here to evaluate the issues and provide support.
A combination of medication, individual and group therapy, some time off work, family, friends (old and new) --- these are my guidelines, my lines of support.
Together they wrap around me and hold me up and remove some of the weight so I can start to look at my foundation and figure out what it is I need at my core, to keep me upright and open to life.
So what comes next? Well for the Tower of Pisa it took 12 years of discussion, examination and excavation before it became stable. After all, it had been hundreds of years of subtle shifting to compensate for a tilt; more stories added, and 22, 000 tons of extra weight added to the very top.
I didn't get sick over night--so I am trying to be patient with myself (not very successfully) and recognize I won't get better over night. Tiny shifts in my thinking, over many years, slowly set me off balance.
I took on too many things that just weren't mine--convinced the weight was mine alone to bare.
I have been out of the hospital for 5 months. Out of the adult day treatment program for almost 8 weeks and will be leaving the after care program after this Tuesday April 30. I see my psychiatrist on May 6th. We will discuss how far I have come and how far I have to go.....
Like the Tower, I am a work in progress.