Sunday, October 25, 2020

it's been a hot minute, y'all

Dearest friends,.....  it's been a hot minute since I've written on this site.  And I can explain. ... Sounds like retro-me in college on one too many an occasion.   

And in my fully transparent, no secrets on this page, truth, ... y'all, I've been in bad way and there just aren't any nice words to say it.  I see that my last published blog post was seven months ago, but to me it feels like a lifetime.  I will say  -  short version - that a few months ago I hit probably an all time low on this new journey and had to admit to myself and others that I couldn't do it anymore; Months of unemployment, financial stress, broken cars, broken plumbing ..... and yep, broken hearts all trying to get along in a socially distanced way of life wasn't working for me ... so I called my doctor, told her those same words and she put me on a new anti-depressant medication that may or may not be helping.  But even a small chance is better than none; so I'm in.  

I've written a bit here and there during this time - mostly for my church blog, where, thank you Jesus, they welcome my outbursts of grief and despair.  And I feel a little nudge in my heart to start to put together some of my more honest words into a published journal for others that might be struggling, too.  

Y'all, I know that I've lost some, if not most of my regular readers here - some due to time, some due to differences in what that time has brought about in each of us.   I will miss them, but I welcome the new friends even more.   So leaving the excuses to that, here is something that was published last week on another site.  My words, different blog:

I'm hoping to one day write a really happy blog post. Tell the truth, have I ever written a really happy blog post? Maybe I should aim for hopeful cynicism and amusing yet manageable life lessons instead — temper my expectations and all that. But, y'all, today ain't gonna be the one.

Yesterday I held back tears as I taught my older adult class at the Y, because I just wasn't feeling my best and could already, in my all knowing, well experienced state, predict what was coming. Then I left the Y, cried through the Aldi, and then sat in my car and ate a bunch of chocolate-covered mini donuts to up the joy factor of my morning. But then, feeling like I was having a full-on heart incident, and in constant fear of dying and leaving my kids orphaned, I went to the urgent care clinic, got plugged into an EKG machine and was told that I have a textbook perfect, suitable-for-framing heart report. Turns out Kristi's heart isn't sick, just broken.
And this week I found out that my COBRA insurance price is going up even higher, that I paid a tree trimmer fella quite a large sum for him to just cash my check and not do the work — yes, lesson learned — and that I have a child that is just now starting to admit to his grief and is seeking care for depression. Y'all, I feel fully justified in my imaginary heart palpitations and Friday-afternoon urgent care visit. On a lighter note, does anyone remember the part of the show Hee Haw where the guy laid around drinking his moonshine out of a jug and sang, "Gloom, despair and agony on me?" I think he might've been a Walters.
Anyway, I think my sweet niece said it best when she commented to me about her daughter's progressive and degenerative illness — which will one day take the life of a not-yet out-of-her-teens, sweet young lady. She called what she feels every day as a tired and worried mom, "anticipatory grief." A term I actually had never heard, as I prefer to do my own grief counseling in my car with mini donuts. And because half of me is sweet and kind, but the other half is sort of edgy and impatient with people in general, I've chosen not to attend grief share groups. Maybe they work for some, but honestly I feel like sitting in a circle listening to other people's sad stories would just make what's already awful feel plus-sized awful. “Why cry alone when we can cry in a group followed by a snack and visitation time” isn't a big selling point to me. So I tend to speak to groups, yes, but here at the computer, writing what should be a diary entry, but then isn't.
I actually have some really decent days. Don't let my sad words make you think that I'm that way 24/7. I used to be, and I deserve a prize for giving it my all for such a long time, but these days, thanks mostly to modern medicine, I go about my business on a fairly even level. Lonely, but level. But y'all, tomorrow would be my wedding anniversary — and there's that crying, donut eating, anticipatory grief. (I googled that term, and I think, technically, it means the grief of anticipated death, not the anticipation of an upcoming grief trigger. But Dr. Google might be wrong.) Then the whole month of November isn't fun, and dreading the holidays when others are celebrating makes me even grumpier than normal. Ask my kids.
So, getting to today's God talk... Sometimes I think about the talks between myself and God as conversations between me and my very old, toupee wearing, World War 2 POW survivor neighbor. He and I would stand in the front yard talking, usually politics that I didn't ever understand — he thought I looked like Hillary Clinton, which was to him the highest praise, thank you very much — as I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes and he wouldn't even get a bite. Then he'd watch me wiggling around scratching and tell me that he doesn't get bitten because he smells bad. And sometimes I think God is watching me hop around getting bitten by all the things and just keeps talking world events that have nothing to do with me. And especially ones I don't understand. I ask him a lot of whys; a lot of whats; and mostly a lot of whens. And I know I'm not the only one. I feel that one in my very soul.
Y'all, as my young EKG fella was hooking me up to the things yesterday to see if I was dying —um, let's remember that I wasn't — he told me about his fears for his young kids and questions about what kind of world he's brought them into. He's worried about school shootings for when they're old enough to start kindergarten; he's worried about policies and politics and what his kids will deal with; but mostly he's worried he can't protect them from any of it. Me, too, my new friend. I think we can all say a collective and big “what the hell?” to our current way of life.
I was asked if I discuss my teetering faith with my minister. "Does your minister know that you say these controversial things?" Oh, he knows. She knows. Everybody knows. Because I share my tears and fears with almost anyone who will listen. Maybe that's my new thing. My own version of grief sharing, sans donuts. (Seriously, maybe the only word I remember from high school French class.) It's no secret, and especially no shame, that I worry that I'll leave my young adult men in a world that's already traumatized them completely, and that I won't be here to protect them. I worry that I'll feel this sad all the time. I worry about provision and care and mostly the state of our hearts as we walk around in such a strange world right now. Maybe ... probably ... you do, too.


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