Come what may (Carry on Tuesday)

Old Man Grieving - Vincent van Gogh

Old Man Grieving – Vincent van Gogh (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life can be very scary. In one second your entire world could change, blow up into tiny, little pieces. Destroyed. The world you once knew would become Before and After. Usually, unless this change is winning the 22 million dollar lottery, this does not usually occur in good situations. Am I right? In everyday life there are always tragedies that come unexpectedly,  probably things completely different from what you worried about and it never is good.

It’s called growing up. Realizing that sometimes there is fear hiding around the corner, which eery corner you have no idea but for a time it will be dark. You tend to forget about the dangers in life for brief periods of time when things go along swimmingly until something happens and then you realize “yes, it’s been quiet for too long.” As John Lennon used to sing “Life is what happens, when you are making other plans.” The unexpected, the things you didn’t plan for, the strong red slap stinging and leaving an imprint across your pale, white face.

Hold on to someone tight, a best friend, a spouse, a partner, a sister or a brother, anyone. Because, when bad things happen you will need someone who you trust and love, someone who loves you back. A person who will try to soothe you even though you think it may not help. Let them try, accept their offer to make you a hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows to comfort you A person that will make you lie down and force you to rest no matter if you can’t sleep, a person you can cry in front of alone or just someone to hold your hand and cover you in soft blue blankets.

Life is not easy, though we don’t realize that until we are older, but come what may, having someone, to share it with, makes it just a little easier to breathe because you have them and their support.  While your heart is still literally in pain and skipping beats eventually your own heart starts beating at a similar rhythm you had before. You are still alive. You will grieve your loss in your own way, take your  time and try to let your feelings out.  Mourn YOUR way. There are no steps to follow to make it easier for you.  My sister once told me after our father died, that I was “grieving too much.” I knew I wasn’t, I was just grieving louder, and expressing my grief differently than her. We also had a very different relationship with our dad. There is no right or wrong, no time limit, no book to follow.

Sooner or later, with time, you will see that while the pain never completely goes away, it becomes less potent, it happens less often and with less severity. You might even find that one day, you will talk about the loss of a person you loved with a smile of fondness and love. You might think that you had the opportunity, the blessing to love someone and have them in your life for so many years instead of focusing on them dying and leaving your life.

Just two weeks ago I held up a new pen that I knew my father would love for Father’s Day. I picked it up and smiled broadly with delight. I was on my way to the register when I remembered I had no father to give this to. Life will get better, with time, after loss. Truly, it will, I know that. But don’t let anyone tell you that you will never have any tough moments. I can’t lie to you, once in a great while, you will.

Carry on Tuesday: “Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

English: a little shy girl Русский: ЗАСТЕНЧИВА...

English: a little shy girl Русский: ЗАСТЕНЧИВАЯ ДЕВОЧКА (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

She had always given up too easily. As long as she could remember, she chose not to fight but to deflate, like the air sizzling, slowly, out of a big brightly colored blue balloon. Why, she wondered now? Was it just her character or was she never able to feel safe and confident as a young girl even in her own home? It was hard to differentiate one from the other. Nature vs. Nurture?  Was it because she had  been six weeks premature and had to stay in the hospital for that long in a heated crib? She had always been a shy girl, an anxious one too.  Whose fault was that, she asked herself, in her older years. Surely it was not hers alone? Did her parents not think this was unusual enough to warrant some extra attention?

She didn’t like “playing board games”like Scrabble because there was no game that she thought she could do well in and she was easily embarrassed and ashamed. Had she dug right in, like others she knew and practiced feverishly, she could probably have been on top in at least one or two things but she never stayed long enough. It was a shame, she thought, later on in her life. No one had ever encouraged her to keep trying, it was almost as if they expected little so she gave them what they expected. She felt just like a tiny speck against a world made up of giant red rocks and icy mountain peaks, even large green valleys. She could disappear easily and no one would notice.

She tried to disappear one day when she was about thirteen or fourteen. Their family had a shared cabana at a beach club and one day she took off walking a very long distance and stayed away for hours. She wanted her family and friends to worry, to look for her, she wanted to be missed but when she eventually started walking back, and came “home” no one said a thing; they never even knew she was missing. She was upset, and mad that no one had even noticed.

She gave up all the time, but it didn’t seem like giving up when she was doing it, only years later, while looking back at her youth she figured out that she had been too scared, too fragile, too afraid to try new things. She gave up before she could fail; that was a very lonely and limiting life. She pushed boyfriends away before they became too close. She knew they weren’t serious, so she ended the relationship, knowing it would never be more than what they had then. She regretted that only once in her life but she didn’t have the emotional capacity, at the time, to communicate well.

Looking back forty years, she could see when her life had come to an emotional halt. It’s as if the brakes were firmly pushed and there she stood, alone and apart from most of her friends. Her husband still teased her about playing with Barbie dolls at fourteen with her friend, Linda. She was definitely a “late bloomer,”  her comfort companions were stuffed animals that surrounded her bed for many years. Even now, one or two are tucked under her pillow.

Now, as an older person, she sees the world in a different way. While physically she cannot run anymore, her mind jogs like the wind, as fast as possible. She is no longer shy and introverted but strong in her opinions and in her intuitive feelings. When she walks now, she walks with a brightly, colorful cane to help her balance issues but that does not stop her from walking, it fuels her with confidence, a confidence she never before had. Lastly, if she doesn’t like the sound of something she has written or a photograph she has taken, she will take another and another and not give up, until she knows, in her heart that it is exceptional and only she has to love it for it to be magnificent and divine.

Bad Habits that Need to Go

there's no need to worry this is just a vacation

Image by Robert Bruce Murray III // Sort Of Natural via Flickr

A Buddha, I’m Not

 

I worry sometimes like a mother-trucker and it is not good for me (or anyone else). Of course I have tried to stop doing this but I was born worrying, straight out of the womb, six weeks premature (immature too?) and into the incubator for another six weeks. I am convinced that the separation from my mom is a cause. Perhaps I never felt soothed or comforted in the hospital, that’s just my own philosophy. The effect? I was also an anxious child who had to have my “questions” answered by my father every single night. Anticipatory anxiety, intense worrying, convinced something bad is going to happen before I have actual facts. I’ve tried the occasional anti-anxiety drug (which can take a slight edge off) but mostly, I try to breathe, sing, distract and write. Will I ever stop worrying? Doubt it.

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We Laugh, We Cry

6/24/10

Last night, on instant chat, I talked with my friend P. for a long time. She and I are sisters in this crazy world of  chronic pain and difficult, unusual symptoms. The auto-immune disease that I call my own, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis,  has its own set of innate problems, cells attacking cells. She has more physical pain and I wish I could take some away from her.

When we started talking, we were both subdued. We discussed our achy, ouchy  (I know that’s not a real word but it fits) symptoms. We were tired, tired of being tired, tired of being lethargic and uncomfortable. We talked about our day (some would consider this complaining but in our world it really isn’t). We were merely reporting and commenting on “the symptoms of the day” (you’ve heard undoubtedly about the ” soup of the day” well, this is different) and sleep deprivation, medications and diagnoses. We sound like we are pharmaceutical “reps” weighing in on different medications (we just don’t get paid for it and no free samples).

I got so frustrated at one point that I decided we were in desperate need of a new direction for our conversation. We decided on fantasies. (No, not that kind, get your minds out of the gutter!). We fantasized about a huge beach house (for me) and a very small one for her (so that when she cleaned it, it would be manageable. ) In MY fantasy, I don’t CLEAN my house, I just live luxuriously in it. I wanted neighbors, she did not; I kid her about being anti-social, she kids me back.

P. asked me questions about my ex-guru doctor and I updated her that the ex-guru doctor was still the guru doctor and I loved him (gee, had I not?) again, still, anew.  We’re a fickle bunch, we are.  She told me about natural remedies and I grumbled about how expensive they were and that I could barely leave the house to get the mail, much less drive to a costly massage or have a homeopath give me their remedies. (I’m sorry but I still have somewhat of a problem with the word” remedies”). We encouraged each other to plow forward, and she reminded me that “at least I had had one good day” which I was beginning to lose sight of in my quest for another.

We ended up laughing on both sides of two computers when I mentioned that perhaps we could have a “reality” show of all of us in the chronic pain/auto-immune/fibromyalgia/ CFIDS  and “other”categories.   I guess you had to be there but we took it so far that she was going to pitch my idea to producers. We LOL’d and ROFL’d so much that I had to help her up (virtually) from her  chair at home.  It was silly, it was ridiculous but it  felt so good to laugh and smile. In our world of chronic pain/illness  it’s an actual honor to be able to make one another laugh or put a smile on someone’s face.

I have been helped by so many kind people on this blog. But, I am the worst technical person in the world. It’s a wonder that I can even manage this simple blog (you’ll notice the elementary style with no photos or fancy techniques-sorry). If I were more technical, I too, would cut and paste and give awards (that are so special to me) to all my dear friends on this network (you know who you are!).

In my own way, I just wanted to tell everyone how thankful I am for the support, the humor, the  advice and encouragement and the friendships that have been made. We may have different symptoms but we have a common bond.   We take comfort in each other because only we can truly relate to one another. Doctors may sometimes not hear us, loved ones may not always understand us and we may feel a little crazy at times but, it’s our glue, our bond, that keeps us together.

Dedicated to all my blogger friends and to my friend P.