A Fretful Day

Another horrid night. Enthralled in the unraveling of a life…watching…waiting. The ground ebbing away. The gut stuck to the spine. A pressure cooker waiting to explode. She sat at the table staring at papers that “seemingly” held life and death in it’s lines. The words “DO NOT RESUSCITATE” glaring at her; daunting her. It’s meaning incomprehensible, yet it’s reality could not be escaped.

How did she go from signing a birth certificate to signing papers that would mark her daughter’s demise? She sat numb, frozen…staring into nothingness. A frigid chill enveloped her from within; from without. Was she even breathing? Finally, as in a trance, hand to paper as ink flowed. “Ready pen” was not ready for this.

Her daughter’s screams, “Help me Mom!” Her whisper, “No more appointments, Mom.” That tender and loving stare speaking without a word, “are you going to be ok?” My audible words, “Angie, it’s ok to go. I give you permission. I’m going to be ok. I will miss YOU so, so much, but it’s ok to go.” Her surrender, “ok”.

Tumbling, tumbling in her brain…words, gestures. All ending at this table, making decisions that could never be changed.

Two years have passed since this fretful day, yet its memory is as palpable as today.

“only to the extent that we expose ourselves over and over to annihilation can that which is indestructible be found in us.” ~ Pema Chödrön

Diagnoses

“A diagnosis doesn’t define me.” A liberating statement, indeed. However, there are times one can not just “speak away” once ailments. We are all different. There is not a one size fits all remedy. Trial and error, and try again is the name of the game. A cooking cutter mentality is not a healthy approach.

In 2002 I ended up in a fetal position, seemingly out of the blue, unable to function. Tests, tests, and more tests, with frustration and annoyance as part of the ride. The end result a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. Meds, home remedies, etc., etc., trying everything to beat these ailments. Yup, even got the typical “it’s all in your head. Just push through.” I’ve learned that it’s chronic. Sometimes I know exactly what brings on a flare up and sometimes I have no clue.

Then there was the time I was diagnosed with degenerative osteoarthritis. No, this diagnosis didn’t define me, but it sure did change the way I do things. Amazing doctors and physical therapists have educated me on what to do to keep myself mobile and what not to do to aggravate things.

Now I’m faced with debilitating anxiety and depression. With the help of my medical doctor we decided it was time to see a therapist. With the support and guidance of my medical team and my family we are exploring ways to help me deal with and cope with these new companions. Will they come and go? Will they stay for a season or will they be with me for the rest of my life? These and other questions are on the table.

My diagnoses don’t define me, but they are part of me. They don’t undo me, but, at times, they do cause me to be laid out. I find accepting this is easier on my physical and mental health than trying to “push through”.

Learning is liberating. Fighting is exhausting.

Mourning

Mourning began the day of your diagnosis, and so it went…

your body, your face…changing before my eyes. somber faces all around, unable to tell me what I “knew” was coming…BUT had no idea the train wreck it would be.

oh, there was laughter and glimmers of hope, BUT  sorrow and grief were waiting at the door. Ah, the tsunami that would soon engulf me…no way to prepare.

your body, a shell of what it had been. your face, tiny, ashy. your eyes, sunken, shut. your mouth…no more sounds. how? why? ugh!!!

Mourning continued…BUT, oh what awaited, who can prepare?!?!

cold, horridly cold…a shiver shaking my body…that hasn’t stopped

relentless reel playing over and over…your little body placed in a bag. a dark, cold van. a white box – why?!?! how is this even possible?

AND then the inevitable. You know it’s coming, BUT…

the white box, that contains your earthly shell – so precious – is lowered, covered AND you are forever GONE!!!

Unraveled! Undone! Short Circuited! Forever Changed!

Almost twenty-three months…mourning continues…

it will continue until the day we are together, AGAIN ❤

Unwelcome Friend

Ah, my unwelcome friend, you’re back!

Your unannounced visits can be so aggravating,

the length of your stay unknown.

The continual task of learning to welcome you, to embrace your presence

can be exhausting and debilitating.

Your mysterious character unravels me

I don’t understand you! I can’t figure you out! I can’t defeat you!

Accepting your presence; embracing your constant companionship

…is…well…healthier…I guess…

Dare I ask that your visits be less often? shorter? or none at all?

AND, so, I sit with you, my unwelcome friend…

in acceptance and surrender

learning to simply be…

It’s Me :)

Howdy y’all 🙂

Checking in. Wondering who’s still “following”. Desiring to keep writing freely. It’s been down right brutal around here. I’ve taken my therapist’s advise to just “surrender” and let the waves “hit” until they pass, but man this has been a tsunami-type episode. The thoughts of ending it all have been fast and furious. Soooooooo, grateful for the amazing grace of God and the unconditional love of my family.

I’ve been “out” most of the time. Yes, the nightmares don’t stop, but somehow sleeping gives me some relief.

AND SO, we continue to walk; to limp; to crawl or to be splattered on this journey of life. Until God calls me home – I type it, accept it and pray for endurance beyond my human ability. Hope to have you along 🙂

Grief Group

She decided it was time. One day short of twenty-one months. Tic-Toc, Tic-Toc…can you hear time churning? Thankful for a peaceful commute, and a settled mind focusing on navigating directions. It’s here! Deep breath, prayer…more breathing…let’s go!

Two women buzzing around. Do they see me? No smile, no hello…wait, am I at The Writer’s Club? Deep breath…just stay; fight the urge to run out. “Oh, wait, another women just arrived. She’s too bubbly to be here”, was her immediate thought. This is so painfully awkward. Being an Introvert makes the silence worse. And, so began a grueling two hour ordeal…

“What am I trying to prove? Who am I trying to impress? Why put myself in a torturous situation? Do I not hurt enough? How is it that my mindset is so skewed, so jumbled? I HATE THIS!!!”, and so went an onslaught of chaotic waves of thought, upon thought, upon thought.

There were times I thought, “Yes, the Plastic Faces are coming off!” NOT! Only a glimpse was allowed before the masks were securely fasten, back into place…let’s continue the masquerade.

“Why? What are we afraid of? Is reality so difficult, I’d rather live a lie? Do I not want to be open and vulnerable because of fear? Fear of judgment; fear of being misunderstood; fear of what?”, waves and waves of punches of the mind.

Someone decides to vomit; to splatter all she has been holding onto; to open the gates of her mind in a relentless way. The vent up guilt, trauma flowing. The wrestling with what she thought she knew, which pales in comparison to what is happening to her day after day. She doesn’t shut up! She keeps going! Only to get cliches and pat answers. GRRRR!!!

As I am in my chair, shaking uncontrollably! Being horribly triggered by the rawness of this woman. “Run! Go! Escape! Make her shut up! Why is she saying that? I can’t hear this anymore!”, thoughts that came into the spiraling mind. With the added guilt of not being compassionate enough. However, how do I help her out when I’m in my own spiral?

Home now. “How did I get home? What happened?” Unceasing crying and screaming with tumultuous spasms ensue. Beating myself up for not knowing better; for going, too soon; for not being in control.

Finally safe, curled up in a ball…spaced out, exhausted…sleep is welcomed. BUT the nightmares and images assailed my already beat-up soul. And, so, goes my journey with grief…an unwelcomed companion.

Yeah, I’m thinking it wasn’t time – for this :-\