Starting up again after turbulent times

  • I read a post by Esther van der Wal on Henri Junttila's blog. Esther writes about re-becoming a socially functioning member of society (my own words) after a major trauma in her personal life. You can read my comment there, but her story got me thinking about getting back on track.
    I posted last week about the huge fear I had that my beloved Border Collie had a tumor (luckily, it's not one, but the fear hasn't totally left my body yet). At the same time, I had a "light" case of pneumonia. Joint problems are acting up. Mom fell again. Money questions. Questions about moving house. The husband of a friend of mine died rather suddenly. Lots of other stuff happened right in the same couple of weeks.
    What happened? I was paralyzed. Overwhelmed. Cried a lot. Had no idea how to do anything but the most essential things. The house was a mess. I wouldn't have eaten anything remotely healthy if Man hadn't been here more than usual to help out. I let my e-mail inbox grow to 200+ messages. Didn't pay bills.
    The thing is, it was OK. Sure, it would have been great to have my fear under control. (Really, really great.) And the messy house didn't help me feel any better. But that's just the way it was. And I knew it. I knew that at some point the fog in my head would lift and that I would gradually get going again. My own tried and true first sign of the fog lifting is that I want to clean something up. This time, it was doing the dishes. I hate doing grocery shopping, so that was an especially tough thing to get on track again, but I managed it. One day I suddenly decided to run the Roomba. And things snowballed after that. 
  • I think we have to be able to accept the times that things just aren't working. If getting some practical help is possible, these are the times to do that. (I felt like I was hiding behind Mommy's skirts when I asked Man to do the grocery shopping, but it helped.) Accepting that it's OK to be like this temporarily makes it easier to notice the signs we're starting to come out of it, and to act on them. Then we can feel the relief of doing something "normal" and trusting that things will work out somehow. That's the beginning of recovery.

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