Sunday, September 25, 2011

A good day

Here I am, sitting at home. It's pretty much all I've done for the last few weeks, well, sit and then clean in spells. For two days after my last entry, all I could do was stay in bed. Recuperation definitely means learning your limits again. What's made that hard for me is that on a good day, I feel better than I have in nearly a year. I wake up with energy, ready to get on with the day, work in the house until something hurts, rest awhile and then do more, because I have the energy to do more. Then I'll have a bad day when I know that despite the nearly invisible incisions, I still have a few hundred internal stitches that don't like being pushed and pulled. The weakness is much better, but unfortunately the fatigue is not. That's due to the insomnia.

I'm averaging about two hours of sleep a night. I cut out caffeine after noon, because the two hours will become minutes caught in snatches if I don't. That hurts. I really want my caffeine. I'm used to two cups of coffee in the morning, a generous soft drink or two in the afternoons, and a cup of Earl Grey at night. A friend suggested that I go to daily wine instead, and that does sound better all the time.

Being at home does get really old. I'd wished for months for some time to get caught up in the house, but not having paid medical leave has meant that being at home is my only real choice. I am determined to do a labyrinth walk at Jackson Madison County General Hospital before I return to work. It's something I've wanted to do for years, and now while I have time, it's time to do it. It's supposed to be a small replica of the labyrinth at Chartres.

We've had beautiful early fall weather here, temperatures in the seventies, low humidity and brilliant skies, and the only real rain we've had has come at night. Lately, in the afternoons, I'll take my iPad to a nearby restaurant. You can't call what they have a patio. It's really the walkway of a mini-strip mall, but they have tables outside and free wi-fi. (The reception at my home is terrible.) I'll sit outside, enjoy my new tech toy. (I haven't learned enough about it to make it a tool yet.) I'll enjoy the breeze, watch the traffic on the four lane highway and feel grateful that I'm not rushing anywhere. Those have been my most pleasurable moments.

Yesterday, I was watching The Tudors on Netflix while out there, and my mind was rambling. What I was finally able to admit is that I've been badly broken and unable to pick up the pieces. Was it just my husband's death? No, but that was a brutal, shattering blow. It's been an accumulation of wounds. I finally admitted all the hurt I'd suppressed while moving from one life challenge to another, not just the challenges. This may sound odd, considering all the whining I've done in this blog over the years. I've sought peace, balance and healing for so long, and I've tried desperately to be strong. Yesterday, though, I finally admitted my weakness, anger and resentment, my shame at what my life has become, how much I hurt, how fearful I've been, the tremendous emptiness inside, and that all my striving to peace and strength has been a front.

I did this calmly, no tears, no self-recriminations, just a straight up confession and dropping of my denial. And then, the peace I've wanted for so long came to me. Now, later last night, I had a doozy of a panic attack (daily panic attacks have been one of my symptoms of instant menopause), but after my heart and breathing returned to its normal rate, the peace was still there. Maybe I just had to step out of denial. Maybe I had to quit making lists and trying to structure everything. Maybe, I just surrendered, and I'm glad I did.

I'm still broken. Certain things still hurt badly. I'll never again be who I was, and maybe I don't need to be. But I'm no longer ashamed of being in pieces. I can see myself picking them all up some day. I don't know when, but I feel like I can.

I've always liked the title of my blog and the image of a life as a quilt. A quilt, though, can be heavy. There are times it can feel suffocating. Tonight, I'm thinking of a mosaic or of stained glass. You can see the breaks in those, and yet, they still form a whole. Sometimes they reflect light. Some times they let light shine through. I can hope for that, and if I cut myself on a jagged edge every now and then, well, that's the way it goes. I'm not afraid of blood, at least not tonight.


Blogger Robin said...

Beautiful expression of some serious living. Love to you.

September 25, 2011 10:42 PM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

When I saw there was already one comment on this post, somehow I knew it would be Robin. :)

I think when you get to the point where you are no longer trying--however weakly or lamely--to make lists and pull yourself out of it (whatever "it" is) you are at the point where healing can begin.

I am getting there myself.

Sending love to you as well, my friend...

September 25, 2011 10:53 PM  
Blogger Nelle said...

Is the Earl Grey at night decaf? I found that all my insomnia was caused by caffeine and rarely have it. Even if I have it at lunch time I may have trouble sleeping at night.

September 27, 2011 3:06 PM  

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