Saturday, August 9, 2008

A Week Later

Well, I'm still here.

Thank you for all your responses, and for checking up on me. I'm doing better than I was, still not great, but better. Hard to believe it's (only) been a week since I last posted: it feels like forever, and yesterday. Like many things, I guess.

I'm at school right now, late on a Saturday afternoon because I wasn't getting anything done at home. I've been working in fits and starts, but every so often I feel a bit of the rhythm coming back, if that makes any sense. I need to just get up at the crack of dawn, hole myself up and just do this, but I don't seem to be able to do that.

It kind of feels like, well, it reminds me of when I played the piano or cello, when I was growing up. I was never a great musician I would play, and sometimes engage in the music. I felt the rhythm and the tempo and it sounded good, felt good -- and as soon as I realized it, I would stumble and lose the flow. This is a primary reason I didn't like playing duets, you know, there's so much energy, between the music and the other person and me, and as soon as I realized I was caught up in it, there it would go.

I've experienced similar things in writing and, it occurs to me, when I would run as a little kid. Do you remember just running for the hell of it? Just getting caught up in the movement, the experience, the feeling of your body doing what it's supposed to do? Yeah, that's when I would slow down because it kind of felt like my body was getting away from me, out of control, maybe.

So, I've been stopping and starting, starting and stopping. Afraid to engage too much, I guess. And, yes, I know this is progress from not writing at all. From being caught up only in the pain and anxiety.

I can't tell you how comforting it's been to read your comments from my last few posts. It really makes such a difference to know that it's not just me. The enormity of this experience is amazing. I was talking last week with a woman in my program who has had to cut back on her classes, from full to part time, because her son has been ill. He's about 2 or 3 and is non-verbal, and (I think) non ambulatory. He was born at about 33 or 35 weeks, with severe intra-uterine growth restriction -- only about 2 or 3 lbs. He has lived, but it has been a struggle for both my friend and her son. His father is not in the picture. Since I've known her, she's struggled with getting appropriate home care for him, IEPs for Early In.tervention, medical care -- you name it. In the last year, he has had escalating medical problems and you can see the weariness in her eyes.

"They just don't understand. You can't understand unless you've been through something like this." We were talking about friends and support from our department, colleagues, faculty... "It's amazing how it seems you really have to go through it, or have a loved one go through it, to have any conception of how it changes you, changes your perspective." We are both trying to figure out how our degrees, our experience in this program, fit into our perspective, working out what's important, how this work we are doing may be important. What we really want to focus on and in what way.

That's what I heard from you folks, too. Immense loss, trauma, illness... of course, these things change you. Having a child changes you, but losing that child seems to change you further. The word asea, comes up for me. Adrift. I wonder if having a child, a healthy, living child grounds you. It feels like losing that child -- at least for me -- shakes everything up, leaves you with little or no stable ground at all.

I guess there has to be some level of trust to recover from this. Or hope. That things will get better. That the universe doesn't completely suck ass. That all of our hopes and dreams will not be crushed, even though it feels that way.

There's a line from Camus, I think, that talks about an undeniable spring despite an unending winter, or something (I'll see if I can find it). It's about hope and trust and faith in our own strength, that we can get through, and that there is something worth living for, worth fighting for. That it's not all pain. That every time we stand we will not be knocked down and ripped apart again. That there is a point to all this, something good shining through the rubble.

I want that. As sad and angry and despairing as I feel, and as scary and painful as it is to want it. Even the idea of it, of hope and trust and faith that something will work out, is scary as hell.

I'm working on it.


Julia said...

Small progress is progress.
I made some this week too, but not nearly enough. Glad you are doing better.

Mrs. Spit said...

In the midst of winter,
I discovered that there was within me
an invincible spring.
Albert Camus

Aunt Becky said...

Progress is a good, good thing. Also, sometimes an impossible one.

One foot in front of the other, my friend. That's what I tell myself on days when I feel like I cannot do it anymore.

luna said...

you sound a bit better. glad you have a friend to talk to. nothing makes sense, so at least you can not make sense of it together.

thanks also for your recent comments. it means a lot, especially with what you're going through.

loribeth said...

It really is a gradual thing... and sometimes you don't realize how far you've come until you meet someone whose grief is even fresher than yours, and they look to you for support. I hope your friend is a comfort to you!

c. said...

I hope you find that quote. I'd like to read it...