Last night we had Pizza Night. I sat on my stool in Caren’s kitchen, cupping a glass of wine and nibbling on my first food of the day. Our friends trickled in and soon the house was full with my Mountain People. Normally, this is one of my favorite things. Last night I just wanted to run. Half way through the night I honestly told my friends that it was taking everything in me to not bolt and go home.
“Today I did a load of laundry, dishes and swept the floor. Then I laid in bed and listened to music the rest of the day.”
“That’s not a bad thing,” Melissa said. “You need to take time for yourself and give yourself the opportunity to grieve.”
“Yeah, it’s just hard. I wish I were ill or injured so I have a real reason to lay there.”
That sort of freaked my friends out.
“You call me if you ever think of hurting yourself.”
“I’m not going to hurt myself and I don’t want to be around other people. I want to lay in bed and listen to music but I don’t want to feel guilty about it.”
“You call me anyway and I will just sit there with you while you lay in bed and listen to music,” Melissa said.
“It’s sad that you feel like you need to have a ‘legitimate’ reason to lay down and rest,” Kathy said.
“I know how she feels though,” Caren added. “Sometimes when the kids are sick I think it would be great to catch a cold so I can lay on the couch and read. However, I just sat with a friend today while she had a chemo treatment. Afterwards we went out to lunch and then she left to chaperone the Lacrosse team.”
So I need to take time for myself but I’ve got to get over myself as well.
I want off this ride. I’m ready for something more calm and numbing like It’s A Small World. No that’s not true. I want Rockin’ Roller Coaster with the loopty loops and the rock n’ roll blaring! I want to feel exhilarated again. I’m in It’s A Small World already. My world. The same song is playing over and over and these animatronic people are looking at me with the same concerned expression. It’s numbing and annoying at the same time. It’s my world and I need to get out of it.
My friend Anne sent me a message of encouragement and in the end she said, “you need to get out of yourself.”
She is so right! That’s why when I am rehearsing for our show my chest stops hurting. I am out of myself. I am into another character and when I’m not doing that I’m doing hair and aiding in a variety of ways to tell a beautiful story with a group of people.
Life’s a stage and I have a story that I am living with my husband and children. My Man is in the lead role right now and the boys are soon to make their big appearances. I need to find the joy in my part again as a kid wrangler, stylist, set designer, costumer, etc. My Leading Man helps with all of those parts too so I’m not just running around back stage doing it all myself. He gives me the opportunity to throw on a costume and run out to sing my solo and take a bow.
I used to love running my errands with the music blaring in the car but, to try to cut down feeling over stimulated, I have been turning the music off. The intention was to have some quiet and to maybe take that time to pray. Only I’m not really praying. It starts out that way but I start picking through the rubble, kicking rocks, to see what’s under them. I end up just crawling all up in my Self. It’s time to turn the music back on. It’s time to sing in the shower again.
Man says it’s mind over matter. That’s not true. There is so much more to fight here but it is part of it. I am trying to change my stinkin’ thinkin’, as they say, and adjust my perspective on this whole thing. And really I’m just grieving. It’s as simple as that. I have experienced the greatest loss in my life. Grandma was my life line and my support system. Now I need support and she’s not here. Not that I don’t have friends and other family members to lean on but they don’t do it like she does. Ya know?
I used to love take weight training classes. There was one instructor who I just loved. We would be doing squats with a bar bell across our backs. Just as the burn was hitting a peak she’d shout, “5 more!” No one groaned or said anything but she would immediately get in our heads and shout, “Yes you can, yes you can, yes you can!” I can. I will walk out of this on wobbly legs, skin drenched in sweat and muscle popping out all over. In the end I will be stronger for working through this.
While snuggling in bed with Bug this morning he asked, “Mom, what if I join the army and then I’m called out onto the battlefield? Will you be sad for me?”
“I would be worried about you. I would pray for you and I would be so, so proud of you.”
That’s about all anyone else can do. I have the artillery. I have to endure and I will do it myself with the strength of others thoughts and prayers. It’s just me and Jesus at this point. I am attacking this from all angles: spiritually, chemically, physically. Well, not physically really but I need to. I need to work out and get sleep. I need to get out of bed in the morning and not climb back in. I need to start eating again. (Never thought I’d say that. Ha! I have finally, FINALLY lost my appetite!)
I talked to Shalah Wednesday for a pep talk after working through a very tough situation.
“Lola, you are always there for everyone else when they are going through life’s struggles. It’s your turn. This is your struggle.”
“I know,” I sobbed. “I knew it was coming! I knew life couldn’t keep trucking along the way it was because that’s not real life. Real life has pain too.”
“Yeah but look at you! You are handling it beautifully!” she gushed over my blubbering.
“I am?” I asked as I wiped tears and snot on my sleave. “How is laying in bed with wine and music ‘handling it beautifully?”
“Every time you have been met with a tough choice you are making the right ones. Even if they bring you more pain. So what’s the plan? You’re going to keep taking your meds, keep seeing your therapist and you are going to stay the course.”