I wonder, does this happen to anyone who gets ready to write a book about lessons learned??
Ever since I have started collecting materials to write the book about overcoming deep depression, which I myself have mostly done (recovered), and I think of each aspect of this tsunami (DEADLY disease) that claimed so many years, I recall parts of my journey that I have been free to leave behind for many years, and I relive my life from a new perspective.
Still, I really want to write parts of the book in a way that fully describes the torrents, the tears, the fogs, the terrors. I remember drawing a picture just like this, showing it to my teen son, and he burst out in tears, “Mom, is this how you feel?” I so wish I had had it in me then to see his pain too. I won’t forget the hopelessness that the tsunami inside me would ever NOT be able to catch me unexpectedly and drag me underwater. The sadness. The broken relationships. The trying to act normal. The despair that that (normal) could never be me, and I would always, always be sad or numb or in a panic. The sense of being “less than”others, flawed, broken, and unlovable. The having to function anyway. The wish that someone somewhere knew what it was like to be trapped here, and could even at least give me words for it.
I knew most people didn’t walk under an everpresent cloud of gloom, but I resented when people who had never been there would say, “Oh, cheer up,this too will pass,” or I saw the quote “You are about as happy as you make up your mind to be” at Al-Anon meetings. I wanted to rip the quote off the walls, because I knew if that COULD be true, you surely couldn’t prove it by me. I tried everything I could think of , as hard as I could, every day, and I would still be transported to that deep dark hole without my permission.
I didn’t understand HOW to get from where I was to a sunnier place for more than short periods of time.
This reliving is a lot like cleaning out a closet, I’m thinking. I don’t know, disorganization is just a part of my persona and I don’t have a lot of experience with clean closets, but…you pick up this shirt or that pair of dress boots or that old show ticket from a past life, and you go back in time to when it was important to you. You have to decide – “Keep it? Dump it? Will I ever use/need this again?” It’s easy to get lost.
Cleaning out a closet can take a long time.
With the wisdom born of time, I see many things differently. I pick up a piece of time in a way that I experienced it during that part of my life tableau, and I sort through its memories and meanings. I look at the people or places or situations I loved or hated, or was terrified of, how I behaved, how they behaved, what I felt, how I interpreted things, and I see where it might fit in my loose outline and what, in hindsight, it actually meant.
It’s taking a little longer than I had hoped.
But what a wonderful adventure, to re-write my inner story from the perspective of the current “me.” I think it may be the final step of my healing.
I am smiling.