I I have been suffering from a bout of writer's block, because I have been struggling a lot lately, with depression and anxiety and feeling stuck. I know I am not stuck. The river is flowing no matter what I do, and I am part of that river as surely as I breathe air. I just have hit another rocky run.
Nothing has changed. The pain, which has become a background to all I do, waxes and wanes according some arcane pattern or rhythm to which I have no access. Oh, I know weather affects me, and how active I am, and how depressed I feel, but there is something deeper that I cannot put my finger on. Yet.
I was overwhelmed with the number of people who responded to my 2nd 7.5 minutes of fame, with comments and e-mails and IM's, many of them with promises of prayers and suggestions I will discuss with my doctor. I was also overwhelmed at the number of people struggling with chronic illnesses, and the amount of pain, physical and emotional, they suffer.
I am a lucky one. My pain is fairly well medicated, and I am capable of going back to doctors over and over again, until I get a diagnosis and what ever treatment is available. I have done this before. At the moment, I have enough money to live on, and health insurance. I have a partner who loves me, a house I love, and a daughter who is funny and quirky and self-supporting. I know how blessed I am, and I am grateful to the Goddess in her many forms for all this. Truly. So why am I crying all the time?
One comment (and only one) accused me, among other things, of hating my body and having a pity party. I John Scalzi'ed it, (that is, erased it and blocked her) and told myself she had no power in my life, but it still rankled. I hate that one comment can make me feel guilty, go through a cycle of self-doubt. I am over it now, but it took a while, and I am more aware of the perils of public journaling.
But the crying is not self pity. For me crying is a good thing. It took me years in therapy to get beyond cramming all emotions down, deep inside, never to be looked at or acknowledged. It is a childhood survival mechanism that is no longer needed in my life. I now need to be able to cry the emotional pain out. And so I do, in safe places-like my car, my recliner, my bedroom, and at my computer.
And believe me, I am crying at the drop of a hat. Beautiful song? I cry. Weather changing? I cry. Loving journal entry or comment? I cry. Rene snaps at me? I cry. Therapy session? I sob. Leaves falling? I cry. Need to buy sweatshirts for winter? I cry. See a pattern here? I don't, not quite. Roxy loves it, though; she has taken on the job of washing my face of tears and (less endearingly) snot. She makes me laugh, and then I cry some more.
I can see that it has to do with lost hope. This time last year I was in terrible, terrible pain, my right hand lifeless, my right shoulder immobile, living 24/7 in my recliner, needing help to take a shower, but I expected to rehab and go back to work. That kept me going to physical therapy 3 times a week for 9 months. It kept me going to a personal trainer, on a diet, going to literally dozens of doctor's appointments, all with a smile plastered firmly on my face, and the cheery response of "I've been much worse in the past!" on my lips whenever I was asked how I was doing. Ugh. I HAVE been much worse. I AM much better, just not well enough to claim my old life, and not far enough along to see my new one.
I know that losing hope for one kind of life does not mean I am giving up. I am mourning, and will continue to mourn, even while new hope begins to grow inside me. I will have a new life. It is clear that change does not come easily to me, and that it frightens me, too. But I see a little more clearly now that when I started this journal, I was calling change into my life. What was I thinking? Truth is, I wasn't thinking. On some unconscious level I was setting up a framework in a community called J-Land to facilitate change, however slow and painful. This is not the only community in which I work on change, but I am so grateful to be here, and feel the support many of you offer.
I have put a picture of Roxy and me up, so that you will all know that I DO smile now and then! :)