My first day back to work is halfway over and I feel exhausted. Maybe I shouldn’t be so stubborn and listen to the doctors who said it was to early to return. But here I am.
I forced myself to eat a half of a salad and I’ve drank my water as I’m supposed to but I just needed a Pepsi so badly. I’m just tired. Physically exhausted and my body is refusing to help me through the next four hours.
Flu, pneumonia and now a touch of depression has stolen all my spark. All my determination is somewhere else besides here. I keep thinking to myself, just push through, just keep going but I’m just pure exhausted.
Love is patient, love is kind. We all know the verse and all it represents but a lot of times I find myself trying to live in the love of a made up fairytale. One that saves me with a kiss as I sleep in the dark woods of my mind. Why can’t he save me? But, he’s more than a fairytale, he’s my husband who lets me take a nap in those woods if I must but refuses to let me fall into a deep slumber. A quiet reminder that there’s more than darkness in these woods, there’s him waiting at the edge of the forest.
I remind myself, He’s not meant to save me! I know that task is mine only and He leaves that to me but he also pulls so tenderly on the guide rope that he secretly has tied to my heart, soul and mind. Why doesn’t he get exhausted like I do? Why?
I know passion dies and the thrill of something new fades. I’ve been told many times over to always keep the flame burning but a lot of times that is just plain exhausting. There is where the toxic circle begins.
Toxic? What does that even mean? I know the definition provided word for word from our trusty dictionary so readily available through google but what does it mean when applied to me?
Lazy, selfish, wallowing in self pity, crumbling to my insecurities and constant excuses? Is this my meaning of toxic? I tend to do this more than I like to admit. Trying to find that piece of myself that has all the energy, the passion and the determination to fight for what is mine and has become such a huge part of my being is almost impossible when I fall from the high of my manic state. How is it so easy for him?
Love is tough to experience in those dark places but it’s a choice. My choice to make! I pray for strength to make that choice again tomorrow as I wake. I pray for a strong foundation and pray for the ability to rely on the trust I have that we will make it to death do us part. The trust he has earned a hundred times over that he will love me through it and the trust I have in the secret guide rope he fastened to me years ago. And finally the trust that he holds it firmly as I visit the deep, sunless and thought embedded wicked forest that I have created for myself. I pray I choose to use this anchor he has created to make my way back to the edge of that wicked forest and bask together in the warm sunlight and in all our choices. But right now, I’m exhausted!
A dream! Who would have thought such a simple thing could cause such chaos and yet be just as miraculous. A dream of a friend lost young to death in such a sudden fashion. It was destructive to my emotional well-being. So much so I couldn’t bring myself to go to your memorial. I decided I would say my “till we meet again” in my own way, alone!
This dream, now just a few years later, was like no other. It woke me from such a deep sleep with emotions I couldn’t control. I felt you in my dream as I walked into your home. I felt you as I saw a figure of your once jolly father now left lonely and withered. I felt you as I sat down on a small, old and faded burgundy velvet couch riddled with cobwebs between the legs and on the wooden trimmed backing. I felt you as I randomly gazed across your home looking for something that I knew wouldn’t be there. A dog, why a dog when you never owned a dog. A voice reacted to my curiosity, “he isn’t here.” I already knew that and felt that loss and heartache as I continued my dream.
That dog, why can’t I find that dog!!! True, you never had a dog but you wanted one so fiercely. I wanted to find that dog so badly in that dream because if I did discover it then I would take it home with me. To care for it and it would be a part of you that I felt I needed to take away from this dreadful place. No dog appeared!
A notebook was in my hands. How it came into my possession? I do not know but it was there now. I thumb through it and see writings and worksheets stapled to blank pages. The worksheets looked to be worksheets that an elementary school student would do but I couldn’t read any of it. Some how I knew these were your writings. I suddenly stop on one page and again I felt something. This page was about me! I still couldn’t read it but I felt happy that you cared so much for me that you wrote this page only about me. Then I awoke.
Awake now, I was shaking my head to try and gain sense of my whereabouts. So many emotions flooded my soul and heart. Sadness, fear, grief, loss and confusion. I stood up from my bed and stumbled to my kitchen. There to my surprise I saw I had left my living room curtains wide open before going to bed. Then the fear took hold, someone is watching me but no one was in the windows or in my home. I checked the locks after slinging my curtains closed. No one was here! Was it you? Oh how I hoped it was!
I made my way back to bed all the while I spoke to you like you stood before me. Telling you that I loved you and how much I missed you. Thinking to myself how happy you would be to see that I finally removed myself from the toxic situation I found myself in before you passed and how I was truly happy now. I told you to come see me again when you could and how much joy you brought to me in a time that I needed happiness.
I easily slipped back into bed, as not to wake my husband because Lord knows he would hear me talking to what he thought was myself and think I’ve lost what little mind I do have left. I drifted to sleep wondering and hoping to catch another glimpse or feeling of you in my future. This time my thoughts of my dream and what it all meant felt different than when I first jolted awake just a little while earlier. I felt peace! My how lovely a dream could bring so much peace!!!
My head is pounding as I wipe the sleepiness from my eyes this morning. I think back to my night time rituals and try to gather reasons for why my migraine has chosen to make it aware that any altered step in my nightly routine could result in pain so deep that it produces a ringing in my ear. Nothing….
I’ve done everything that I grew accustomed to. Nothing was forgotten, no medicine was taken to late or to early. I took all the right steps to insure that I awoke with nothing but wishes of more sleep. I have this pain. A migraine, one of the things I’ve come to loathe and pray to never experience, it’s here and it reminds me of how unpredictable life, pain and even the hearts of who I choose to be part of the close knit circle of others around me. “Oh geez,” I mouth, “why today am I reminded”
I chose a dear friend many years ago and tried to take all the right steps, nurtured the relationship and let it grow wildly. I listened to needs and pain. Gave advice when asked and could tell instantly if it would be used or abandoned. It didn’t matter if it was abandoned. I listened to advice many times before and just like my friend, I would choose to uphold it or leave it in the air. Days and even sometimes weeks would go by, our busy lives interfered and took away thoughts of picking up that phone to call instead of the quick text to one another saying “hey, hope you’re okay” or “hey there you”. Texting never went into a huge discussion, just a quick check-in to see if the other was still alive so to speak. But, when the thought stuck to pick up the phone and just talk, it was always right on time. Like we never skipped a beat. That is, until the one text a few months ago.
All this love and nurturing, growing and watching our friendship bloom into the life-long friendship or” bff” status everyone uses now, it all died. In one text, one heart wrenching moment. It’s was gone. The new love of my “bff’s” life made a choice for my life-long friend. A decision that the world we built many many years ago to get away from real life was not needed. So I received the text that had the dreadful, “I’m sorry but I have to stop texting and end our phone conversations for good.” The words still ring loudly although they were unspoken by him but spoken by my own inner voice as I read his text. Yes, it was a he and a lot of people made assumptions that we were always “fooling around” together but, we never had, never did and never would. Our love was pure and simple, he was my rock for twenty or more years and I was his as well. I imagined he cried as much as I and I held on to hoping my imagination was truthful. I let him go. I didn’t respond back, didn’t plea. I let him go. My husband understood my pain being that he lost a dear friend to an accident many years before and he tried so hard to help me understand that no matter how much we try to make others realize we were just and only friends, some would always refuse to see we could be only that.
My friend and I, we had boundaries! We never discussed the problems we had with our significant others because we felt that those problems were better to be discussed with the person we were dating or in my case, married to. We did share work and other life issues and joys of all kinds. He respected my husband and my husband got that, my husband appreciated that fact. My husband felt safe in knowing that our relationship was just that, OURS! I always made sure my husband knew and felt that way and we all would meet and the two of them would have a few drinks together, laughing at all my life’s uh-ohs and they became friends as well. Why couldn’t a girl that newly came into my friend’s life appreciate it as well. Why is it that she forced herself and her cruel intentions on a life long friendship without thinking of anyone but herself? Those questions I couldn’t answer but I could only say….. he let her.
You see this is what my migraine is teaching me, yes a migraine! It doesn’t matter how solid your routine or how much care and love you give. Sometimes life throws you curves. It can be cruel and it can be heartless but it can also be a lesson. Just because a friendship dies it doesn’t mean you shelter yourself. Then I remember, A GLASS OF WINE!
I enjoyed that glass of wine with my husband last night, laughing at tv and sipping but my migraines truthfully, they hate any and all alcohol. I took a risk but I gained something. A memory! One I will always treasure. The laughter so loud and so deep while we watched a movie together. A migraine of all things help teach me that no matter the pain or the heartache you feel, there is always a reason to smile and hold on to the good times and just let yourself recover.
Do not allow pain and heartache to rule your life. Never let it dictate your ambitions to go and grow and make a new friend or build on the friendships or relationships you have and never let it dictate letting a new friend join your world BUT by all means, never let it hinder you chances of making a memory. Take a chance because just like my lost friend and my glass of wine, despite any pain or feeling of loss, I gained something! Memories!!! And that my new friends is something no words, no texts and no person can take away from me!!!
Today it starts as any other. But today can end like no other. Groceries, laundry and a quick bit to eat made by hand. All look to be normal, nothing fantastic in another’s eye. I woke with a drive to do not a damn thing but I push through the fog and what spews from my brain. It’s poisonous today, here to rip the sun from my day. It’s cold and riddled with thoughts of just sleep. It was a tough day to begin with and it’s still going strong but I refuse to succumb to to the dragon within.
Like a knight in shining armor, to my right side at the moment, the whole reason I fight. My husband smiles that toothy grin and big brown eyes and whispers, “supper was good, I love you.”
As I gather myself this morning, still slow moving but moving, I cant wait to pull up into that driveway again and let all the memories flood back of my childhood. How am I going to keep my emotions in check when I walk into that place again and remember all the love and all the cherished memories. Keep it together Jill, keep it together!!!! Oh who am I kidding!!! I’m already crying and full of excitement and grief.
Asking someone to understand fully is just simply impossible. They may know your reactions to situations or they may know the signals you give away but complete understanding is inconceivable. Asking someone to live inside your own mind to gain clarity isn’t going to happen. So why ask, right?
It’s not about gaining full understanding of what you’re feeling or wishing they knew how you felt. It’s having that someone you love understand your triggers, your reactions and your signals and still…
Love you for you.
Love you for all your imperfections and all your worries and struggles. Who doesn’t plead with you to get up and get over it. Someone who just loves you as you lay, sometimes in tears and sometimes in worry and even those laughing moments.
No one is going to truly understand something meant for you only. Just pray for a person that even though they won’t “get it”, they will still love you through it.
This is where I feel I’m truly blessed.