Monday, June 28, 2010

A Break in the Weather

It was warm today but now that the sun has gone down, it's really cooled off.  It feels good.  Really good.  There's been a break in the weather.  For me too, I'm feeling better these last few hours.

When you don't feel good, you get small in your movement and in your thoughts too.  You go super green and conserve energy like you wouldn't believe.  It doesn't really help to try and do the things that would normally make you feel better, like read or play the piano or watch something funny or talk to a friend.  You don't have the energy for that.  The thought does not even occur to your brain.  You get still and small and quiet, and your breathing becomes your focus.  You're out there, treading water, or riding out a storm, getting pulled under.  It's mostly about the waiting.  Waiting for the weather or your resolve to break.

When the weather does break, it's not all of a sudden.  It happens over a few hours, in the smallest of increments, like a teaspoon at a time.  Then one more teaspoon and you turn some metaphorical corner, and realize you are on the other end of it.  That's how I feel right now.  I am tired but the nausea has subsided, my body feels lighter, my brain feels as if it has come back into focus.  I feel better.  There is a lightness to me.  Now when everyone is winding down the day and getting ready for bed, I am ready to get dressed and come to call.  Leave your front door open for me.  I will read you a fairy tale while you sleep or cook something in your kitchen.  I will let myself out.

In these days after a chemo treatment, the "weather" has not been as predictable as I was hoping. It comes in waves, some like bobbing in a little sailboat on a big ocean, you feel seasick but every now and then it gets quiet and you rest.  Other times it's an undertow that pulls you down and feels like it will never end.  Those are the times that start affecting your spirit.

I haven't really addressed depression as part of this journey; I know you can tell by the tone of my posts when I am swimming and when I am floundering.  It's not just the big picture that gets to you, it's the day to day when you don't feel good, it wears you down.  It really wears you down.  It's a gradual process and each day when you don't feel well added on top of a pile of not feeling well, you give up a little.

A little. Sometimes the give up is a little.  You just want to sleep.  Other times the give up is big, and you start planning your escape!  Getting this out of my head, letting my fingers do the talking, seeing these words on this page, it cleanses me and frees me, sometimes in huge ways, other times just enough to keep me going.

Some days I walk strong, some days I step wobbly like a toddler, some days I crawl, the worst of days I just breathe.  Some days are moments filled with all of these, back and forth, loss and gain and loss and gain.  You go with it when you are wise.  You fight it or try to tell it what to do when you are foolish.

I think the best thing you can do for yourself is to accept that each turn of weather is a passage.  It is fluid and chaotic and unpredictable.  It is always moving towards change even when it is negligible to you.  You just have to hold on.

It takes practice to go with the flow not knowing where you'll end up, what is the plan, is there a plan?

I have found, even with all the uncertainty and surrender required to go with the flow, struggling the whole way is worse.  It depletes energy and soul in ways that are wasteful, leaving you with no reserves.

I was never good at that little game where someone stands behind you, and you close your eyes and fall back and trust they will catch you.

With practice, I am learning to let go of this process, let go of outcomes, embrace those who show up, let go those who leave, teaspoon by teaspoon.  I know now, after spending nights waiting, staying away is what I can count on from you.  I don't look for you anymore.  I am looking at who is on the way.

In the beginning, you regard this as a battle, and believe if your sword is big enough and you can swing it strong enough, you will defeat your enemy like some great warrior.

I found out you have to put the sword down.

What you need is an umbrella, and probably a hat and scarf, and a heart, despite its fear, open just enough to every moment as the perfect teacher.

Good night Baby Bear.  I miss him too.  Hug.  Mama Bear.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are so incredible here you are sicker then sick and you still have the remarkable ability to focus and speak some deep-deep truths, these are life lessons we all need to learn, sometimes the enemy is cancer, or a family member or work or whatever we fear, so we need to learn what your learning, to lay down our swords, surrender and go with the flow, somehow we are under the illusion that we are in control which couldn't be further from the truth. Thank you for putting into words what we all need to hear and know in our hearts to be true. Hang in there better days are coming because you bless so many you yourself shall be blessed. God Bless You!!!!!!!!

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