“Sometimes when I have something negative happening I imagine I have a balloon. I fill it with that negative thing, tie it off with a string and then let it go. I imagine it leaving and floating up into the sky. I know it sounds hokey but it’s been working for me,” my sister said.
“Good idea. I’ll try that sometime…”
For the first time in my life I feel like my prayers aren’t touching base. They keep getting blown away. My thoughts seem to be tumbling like a dryer and that same pink sock keeps falling in the same place over and over. My hurts are misunderstood or disqualified. I share my thoughts with the intention of them getting folded and organized and put away. I share my hurts hoping that they will receive ointment and bandages and start to heal.
When I talk to my therapist she validates my feelings. Well, that’s nice once or twice but I want some direction too. I’m not that fragile. Tell me you hear what I’m saying and understand it but also tell me if I’m off base. Give me instruction for how to fix it.
“I strongly recommend that you take yoga and do some meditation to center yourself,” she suggests.
I don’t want to sit peacefully and center myself. I want to kick some ass. I think I need to hit or punch something. I want to inflict all the pain I feel onto something else. Validate that, lady.
My Sister and my Friends are full of advice.
“Time to stop grieving.”
“Let it go.”
“Take a trip.”
“Get over it.”
All good advice.
I’ve recently come to the conclusion that both are needed. I feel best when I talk to the friend who says, “Ugh! I know! I was there. That sucked. I fell into a pit and then fell in it again and again. Here’s the thing though: you’re going to have to do _________.” I appreciate the friend who validates and then gives me advice. Less lecturery that way. Feels less judgemental and more understanding. Well, because they do understand.
I think if you haven’t been here then maybe you say, “I have no idea how to relate to what you feel. You can climb out of this though and then when you do, you’re going to be able to help me out of it when I’m there.”
‘Cause you’re going to be.
‘Cause that’s life.
Shalah reminded me that it was just a few years ago that we were sitting on my bed and I was crying and telling her I was scared because I knew the good life wasn’t going to “keep.” Every life has trouble and I wasn’t afraid of what my trouble would be but afraid of what it would reveal about myself. I was afraid that it would prove me to be weak and a person of little substance.
I’m still afraid of that.
Before Man went out-of-town last week, we went out on a date.
“I think it’s time I get busy,” I told him. “I appreciate your efforts and they are needed but the only person who can fix me is me.”
“I saw a poster and it said, ‘Be so busy living your life you have no time for hate, regret or fear.’ I need to get busy living.”
I saw my doctor to discuss options since I was not happy with my meds. He recommended yet another one and a psychiatrist. Yep. It’s shrink time. I called Man. He was at the airport boarding to leave the country. He googled the med and, for the first time regarding any medication I’ve been prescribed to take, sounded positive.
“I think this one might work!”
“Really?” I asked. “Why do you say that?”
“Well, just reading up on it, it seems to target your symptoms more than those other ones. They were too general.”
I was pumped! If this worked I wouldn’t need to see a shrink either. The kids came home from school. I helped with homework, made our dinner, ate our dinner, dressed them for karate and as I loaded the dishwasher I optimistically popped the new med. I took the kids to karate and sat in the parking lot reading while I waited for them.
As I read I started to get nauseous. I reviewed what I had for dinner. I wasn’t very hungry so I had just ate salad. Hm.
When karate ended, I went in to get the kids. They are always the last ones out because they are the only children in the world who take 1400 years to tie their shoes.
“Bug was complaining that he’s not feeling too well,” Sensai reported.
“He and I both.”
As we drove home the nausea built and I started to wonder if I was going to make it home to throw up. As I pulled up the driveway I wondered if I was going to make it in the house or if I was just going to puke on the side of the car. Parked the car. Jumped out. Opened the garage door and ran into the house. PUKEVILLE. Luckily in its proper place…
The boys got themselves ready for bed. Aaron called to see how my day was and to say good night.
“I just puked.”
“Oh no! Really?”
“Nausea and vomiting are the top side effects of that pill.”
“Seriously. Don’t take it again until I get home. K?”
The next day Bug claimed that he couldn’t feel his legs.
“Listen Bug, I still don’t feel all that great from yesterday. You don’t have a fever and you aren’t throwing up. You can feel your legs just fine because you are walking on them. Off to school.”
I couldn’t have him home while I was freaking out that the most promising pill offered me makes me vomit and that I had to research psychiatrists. I didn’t want him home because I just went down into the laundry room and cried my eyes out because there wasn’t just a load or two to do but mounds and mounds and the cat’s litter needed changing and… “Yes, fine. Just buy your lunch.”
He’s always trying to get out of school. He’s faking. But….Sensai said he wasn’t feeling well. Probably trying to get out of push ups. He’s going.
About 2 hours into the school day I got a call that Bug was in the nurses office, pale and feverish.
I was buying groceries at the time. I ran out of the grocery store and smirked as I noticed a pink mylar balloon taking off from the grocery store parking lot. My sisters advice to Let It Go came to mind. I sort of laughed it off again as I imagined myself stuffing medications, psychiatrist phone numbers, lectures/advice, yoga, all of it into a bright red balloon. I tied it off with a string and practically tossed it out the car window as I tore out of the parking lot and headed to the school. As I drove I checked my rear view mirror, half expecting to see my balloon floating off and disappearing into the atmosphere.
The rest of the week Bug and I laid around watching movies and sipping orange juice. Coughing, blowing snot, cold chills. Just loving life really.
Really. It was a great week! Bug and I did nothing but rest and watch our favorite movies. He from the recliner in the basement and me from my bed. When Man was home he took care of everything. Dinner, baths, laundry, etc. This is all I’ve ever wanted. Since I was sick, it was legitimate! Ha!
“You know what’s weird, Babe?” I asked Man. “I feel awful physically but emotionally I feel really good.”
“Yeah, I noticed you seemed better when I came home. It’s like your whole spirit has changed.”
I’ve felt awful this week. Physically. Seriously boogered up. I’ve been busy though, taking care of Buddy and Bug, getting Christmas cards made and addressed, rehearsing for auditions. Busy living. I’ve still cried every day for various reasons. I’ve still found my mind watching that one pink sock fall, fall, fall in the same place over and over. I was walking up the stairs and just had this flash of anger. Just wanted to punch someone. But mostly…I’ve been more balanced. More happy.