Sunday, March 28, 2021

Be Still?

 I just googled "trauma and loss". then "Grief and loss", then "loss over and over". No answers for me there.

I recently talked about Dermot to some hockey moms who asked me questions about him. How old is he now? Do you have someone stay with him when you go out of town? What does he have? What is his prognosis.

I appreciate these questions. I welcome the opportunity to shine a light on our experience, but I also underestimate the power of saying the answers out loud. more than once in a day. its real, it always is, but when you say it out loud, other people hear it. Other people ponder the possibility. that is scary. 

I spend the majority of my time "running " from these feelings of reality. running from the constant loss that permeates my life. 

I have "be still" tattooed on my body as a reminder to stop running, but it's the hardest thing for me to stop.

I run in various ways. I actually run, 3-7 miles every few days. I run by keeping busy. I run by spending money, ordering things off the internet to feel some sense of power that eludes me. I focus on others and their problems and try to help them. I run by trying to orchestrate my surroundings and the people who live in them.

Then things happen...

  • My emotional support dog, a six year old Weimaraner, dies suddenly of a brain tumor. 
  • My caregiver for Dermot lets me know that she is done on June 1st. 
  • One of Dermot's nurses gets removed from his schedule. 
  • I get a notice from the high school inviting us to a virtual open house for Dermot impending move the the high school. 
  • My husband sells his car, 
  • My 50th birthday sneaks up on me
  • My mom's brain continues to evolve and change into different less improved versions of who she once was.

My question is. what do I do with all of this? How do I cope? I am certainly not alone in any type of constant change or trauma sneaking back into my life at unexpected times, but what's my next move?

Should I order another pair of running shoes online? should I decide to stop eating carbs and only eat "natural" food? do I retreat and hide under the covers until everything goes back to "normal"? I don't know.

I don't know...It is spring though. Spring always bothered me. I could never trust the first warm day, I knew there was always six inches of snow right around the corner. I prepare myself for the worst so I don't feel like a chump for taking my snow tires of my car too soon. I don't plan ahead because I'm positive nothing will turn out the way it's planned. Our team loses, the dog dies, the kid can't walk, the mom is getting old and the nurses quit.


I just went through Step two with a sponsee in the Narcotics Anonymous book. (We came to believe that a Power greater that ourselves could restore us to sanity.)  Its not a book I read too often, but for some reason I picked it up and we read out loud. "We trust that we are undergoing a fundamental transformation, even though we may not yet understand its full implication for our lives. As painful as it seems, we must change."

My whole struggle has been about getting to the finish line, to be done with the changing, be done with the pain of transition and loss, every ounce of my being fights the change. my instincts take over and I attempt to control the uncontrollable, to keep what I have steady and juggle everything without dropping anything. the book goes on to tell me: "If we trust that there is growth despite the pain (Which I totally know already!) we can walk through these difficult periods more readily.

So don't underestimate your feelings, don't try to suppress or manage your feelings. FEEL your feelings. Could it be that simple? Probably. But its just as simple to forget how simple it is.

Loss will always occur, Change is ever present and I get to choose how to react. I can always run, but the growth happens while being still.