Friday, May 24, 2019

It's Going To Be Fun

Friday. The end of a busy week although weekends haven't meant much to me since I've been off work. Right now there is an 8 week old baby sleeping on my office rug as I type this. I wish I could post a photo so you could see his sweetness.

I sent the saying on this graphic to my therapist today. She gave me work to do at my last session that I have yet to do. I spent most of the session telling her 'this is hard, but I can do it'.

I want to do it and I want to run the other way from doing it. It's a week until my next session. We'll see how long it takes me to do the work. The plan is for tomorrow. Wish me luck. She also told me I sent her a fuck you vibe the whole session. Funny what one will fork over money to do. Sigh.

Every single step I have taken in the direction of my healing and growth has been worth it in the end. Even on the days when it is so uncomfortable that I squirm. I sometimes think of myself as an unruly two year old who needs her face washed and is wrestling her face out of the reach of the one trying to help her. It takes a while for me to hold still and welcome help.

That little baby sleeping on the rug is one reason I persevere in healing. I am so grateful for all the goodness we can affirm in him because we have learned to affirm it in ourselves. No matter how messy and seemingly unbearable life gets, it is good. Holding a baby reminds me of that daily.

But I do sometimes wish the getting there was easier instead of feeling like I'm going to die trying.

I have a speeding ticket notice sitting on my desk. It's not due to be paid for a month so it will sit there until then. If I am late in paying it, it will be equal to the amount of one therapy session.

Obviously I must've been in a hurry to get somewhere that day, but I can assure you that it wasn't in the directions of personal growth.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Nice Things

I sent this meme to my therapist the other day. She works hard at helping me re-frame things. At helping me see where I'm doing things well. I can tell you in a millisecond how I'm screwing up. That takes no effort at all. But, in reality, I'm no different than anyone else. A mixture of attitudes and actions that, in the end, mean I am human. Simply human. Not super human. And not a villain, either.

I'm headed back to work in a few weeks. I would never have predicted I'd be off work for 8 months when I walked out of there last October. I thought six weeks was being generous in time off to get my shit together. That's what I thought my goal should be. Somewhere along the lines of get a grip.

If only healing was that easy. Give oneself a pep talk and all will be well. Akin to rubbing a genie's lamp and getting your wish granted. Instead it's more like signing up for a roller coaster ride and hanging on for dear life with all the twists and turns, mountain tops and valleys. Such fun.

When I was a teenager I went on a student exchange to the other side of the country.  One day we boarded a boat to go to an amusement park that was situated on an island. Among all the typical rides there was a gigantic roller coaster. I remember going on the ride that left one pressed up against a wall while they dropped the floor out while the centrifugal force kept you up against the wall. On another one we were in a cage that rolled over and over while at the same time we went up and around like a Ferris wheel.  My friend and I swore our way up and over so loudly that they let us off after one trip around the wheel. We went on the log ride through the water. I liked that one.

The roller coaster at that park was renowned enough that it made headlines that week when it malfunctioned and some people were hurt. Back in those days long distance phone calls were a luxury that only happened after six o'clock at night. My mom phoned to make sure I hadn't been on the roller coaster.

I told her that while I went on rides that took my breath away, I did not get on the roller coaster of a lifetime. I saved that for now.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Space to Grow

Monday morning. I got up and went swimming. I haven't had a regular swimming practice in seven months. It feels good to begin doing things that were a regular part of my life pre flashback.

As I was driving home from the pool this morning I was thinking about how I didn't do any housework for 8 weeks post flashback. How I kept looking around my house and not caring one whit about doing anything, really. I read a lot of books. I crocheted until my wrist was sore. I slept.

My physiotherapist told me that I was being given a gift of rest. That I was not to spend my time off caring about picking up the socks from the floor. I was not to see my time off as a time for getting things done. It was a time to heal.

When a person feels lost it's hard to fathom caring about anything ever again. It feels like a slow motion one foot in front of the other journey with barely the strength to lift one's foot.

There truly isn't a short cut to get to a better place. I'm grateful for medication that has helped me function again. I'm waking up feeling hopeful. I'm grateful to have had the time to heal.

One time when I was visiting my physiotherapist, after I'd had a misstep and fallen down in our entry way, when I somehow managed not to hurt myself even though I landed with a loud thud and whacked my head, she looked at me and said, "You're not fragile."

Thursday, May 09, 2019

Hard Days

Today has been a hard day. I need to type a little before I go to sleep. So that I can sleep.

A friend and I went to the hospital today and delivered thank you cards to those who cared for our mutual friend who died from cancer nearly 4 weeks ago. I hadn't been back there since the last time I sat with my friend. I think I was on auto pilot a little bit, today. There are many moments when I can't wrap my head around the fact that she is gone. I sat and watched as people got dropped off outside the front doors of the hospital. I sat where I normally sat to wait for my friend. It was a beautifully sunshiny day and we would have gone outside after her treatment and enjoyed the sun. I miss her.

I had my own appointments to attend and those went well. Skirted around needing oxygen although that brings me mixed feelings. I would love to feel rested and I think oxygen would help me with that. I am just a few numbers above the cut off line to qualify for government funded at home oxygen. On the other hand I am not tied to a machine and hoses 24/7. Some days I admit to being weary of feeling weary.

I went from the hospital directly to the vet's office where we sent our little dog over the rainbow bridge. For the first time in 30 years we have no dog to call our own. It's just sad. And empty. Well, except for youngest son's Doberman and Great Dane. One of them likes to crawl into bed and sleep at my feet. The other one likes to think he's a lap dog. A 130+ lb. lap dog. They fill the void but they aren't our own.

Our youngest son and his newborn son are living with us. We are getting lots of baby snuggles and those are healing. It's a complicated situation that has the baby's mom largely out of the picture. Situations that are bittersweet circumvent normal celebrations that a new born baby brings. It's hard.

Our older son was diagnosed with cancer in March. He is in between his first and second rounds of chemo. I think he can check off experiencing nearly every side effect of chemo. The other night I watched as he held his head in his hands and let the tears flow for a little bit. I felt my own tears rise to the surface and I swallowed them. You so want to make it all better for your kids no matter what their age. And you can't. You try and do what you can to ease the load knowing full well that there is a place in a cancer journey that is solo and belongs only to the patient. The one that goes on in their head when the world is asleep. Please pray.

Earlier this week I listened to two different people share their journey with me as they walk the road of recovery from addiction. Doing my best to hold space for them to gain greater self awareness and drop the heavy load of self judgement that can weigh one down. For one of those people I sat in the same group treatment room at the rehab I went to all those years ago. Wanting recovery takes courage, honesty and willingness along with a dose of desperation. It is a privilege to walk with others on this path.

It's way past my bedtime, now. I had a friend who used to say, when times were hard, that she was grateful for a night between two days. Tonight, so am I.

Sunday, May 05, 2019

Blankets of Grace

Our little corner of the world has been turned upside down of late. We have a newborn baby in our house and we are sleep deprived. 

We have the most giving and kind friends who are bringing food and offering to spend time getting baby snuggles. To be able to take a casserole out of the freezer is wonderful. To put one's head on a pillow and sleep without needing to have an ear out for baby noise is, too. 

Every person who has offered to help I have said yes to. That is a new thing for me. I need help. I know it. I accept it. It feels so much better than trying to be self sufficient with no needs. I've spent far too many years dragging my childhood survival thinking into the here and now; that having no needs keeps one safe. If you only knew how many times I remind myself these days that I am safe. I have a voice. I know how to use it. I am okay.

I have had limited contact with many of my friends, especially in the time I have been off work. There hasn't been the interest or energy for interaction on my part. Depression will do that. I've wondered, and sometimes worried, if that would affect my relationships negatively, believing you have to give in order to get. Wow. I didn't even know I believed that until it popped out onto the keyboard just now. 

It turns out that friendship doesn't always work like that. People have come out of the woodwork to help us. At least that's what it's felt like. Grace upon grace. 

I've spent the winter crocheting baby blankets. A simple pattern that looks beautiful when it's done. One I can do without thinking. Working back and forth, row after row, until something beautiful has been created under my fingertips. Last week one of them was auctioned off for a community fundraiser.

This week one of them cradles my newborn grandson. Another comforts the granddaughter of my friend. Yesterday was three weeks since she passed away. 

No matter how tired one is, if you're lucky, the morning does indeed come. 

And somehow one finds the strength and grace to get up and do what needs to be done. 

With a little help from one's friends.