Sunday, September 18, 2011

Grief: Off Balance

I'm taking care of my body these days.  Not with eating yet... but Mondays and Fridays I go to this balancing exercise class where I stand on slant boards and a rocking sort of half ball on one leg at a time and do various things - luckily while holding on to a handsome young man with a sense of humor.  He says, "Stand on your left leg, leave your right leg straight, do slight knee bends, if you put both feet on the rocking half ball you'll fall on your butt.  Now. Relax!"  Tuesdays I have this chiropractor that works with a team - heat, electric impulses, deep massage, Active Release Technique and other things.  Thursday I get Rolfed - a deep massage that separates what sticks muscles together.  It all hurts and I am tired. It's hard to take care of myself without Artie.  However, I have hope for the first time that some of my pain will go away.  I wish my medical doctor (some medical doctors are great) would have come up with these things.  When my chronic pain goes away what will I blame my lack of action on?  It is not unusual to wish for death to be with a loved one.  It is different than committing suicide and doesn't necessarily need to be treated.  I am grateful that I am 60 not 20.  On the other hand I don't want to miss my granddaughter growing up. Ouch.

My mind is snarky because sometimes I get tired of all the happiness bubbling around.  Sometimes I enjoy the happiness bubbling around.  I'm contrary and too sensitive and not sensitive enough.  Do I want to be thin?  Do I want to be a great poet, a great writer, a great story teller?  Do I want to have something happen with my solo show?  If I was motivated to DO things.  No, I do things.  If I was motivated to do MORE things.  A lot of the time I don't seem to care much.  Do I want to care much?  Does it hurt less if I don't care?  I'm honestly scared to go back to my first post and see what I have written.  I am great at having good ideas and rather poor in executing them.  Self discipline is not my natural way.  Artie being dead makes me tired. 

I actually have a very busy week next week.  Lots of potential.  Every day has a lot of potential.  It doesn't feel safe in the world without my husband waiting at home for me.  I was always a procrastinator.  Maybe being snarky is another way of protecting myself of not feeling how sad I still am.  It's a lovely sunny day.  I did work on poetry today.  I was going to go out afterwards.  I don't want to.  The temper tantrum kid is back.  I don't wanna, I don't wanna.  I wanna stay in bed and watch DVDs.  That's my pacifier. 

I don't feel excited about anything today.  I don't feel depressed either.  I have a little digital alarm clock where Artie sings a song stanza and then says, "I love you. You're my heart."  I put it up to my ear and it feels like he's whispering in it.  I make jokes about there's nothing wrong with being married to a ghost if that's who you're in love with.  It's lonely sleeping with a Yankee jacket and stuffed leopard with a bag of ashes in it. There's a Sondheim song...Am I Losing My Mind?

Whine Whine Whine.  Someone called them grief bursts.  The thing is, right now, I don't even feel like I'm grieving.  I feel like I'm going through the motions of being alive.  Like a robot.  Laughing, crying, being entertaining and all the time wanting to crawl back in bed and pretend it never happened.  When is my husband coming home?  Never.  When am I going to learn to live, really live even though he is dead.  Tomorrow?  I'm lazy.  I want it to be easy.  I need his hug.  I need his smile.  I need his eyes to look into mine.  No way, kid.  Not going to happen.

Tomorrow morning, balancing on one leg.  What a metaphor for my life.  Some days I balance rather well, exquisitely well.  Other days I spend falling on my butt over and over again or not trying to get up at all.  I don't want to hold on to a stranger.  I want to hold on to my husband - and that means going backwards not forwards. 

No words of wisdom here today except to say I am still here.  I will not stop because sometimes I don't succeed.  We're here together.  Last week I remember feeling happy that my body was getting stronger and thinking maybe the way to a healthy soul was through a healthy body.  Today not so much.  Just when I think there are calm waters ahead another storm comes.  I don't want to stop loving Artie.  I want to be more fully alive but some days his death is like a knock out punch.  All the things I've learned, every good thing I know disappears and I'm down for the count. 

Tra la la.  I hope today some of you are balanced and are laughing at me being like a clown doing pratfalls.  Maybe tomorrow I will feel balanced and surprise myself by letting go of the handsome young man with the sense of humor and be able to stand tall without holding on to anyone at all - no matter how rocky the earth is beneath my feet.  Is this what they mean by growing pains? xo

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