Somethin’ gotta give with the way I’m livin’
Seems I’m gettin’ down everyday
The more I strive, the less I’m alive
And seems i’m gettin’ further away
(taken from Amos Lee-Supply and Demand- lyrics)
It’s May and this will only be my 2nd post in this blog. What happened, you ask? Well, since I had written a longer version and then hit the wrong button on my keyboard and lost every single word…I’m in no mood to spill it out again. So here goes a nice summary:
I’ve been tired- that kind of tired that knocks you down and you just don’t even care to get up again. So you exist. Do what you have to at a minimum pace. I thought I was just depressed or grieving because my son, Zane, had left for Marine boot camp in January. I was grieving, but this tiredness was not part of the grief.
I then began experiencing dry mouth so intense that it interrupted my sleep, as if I needed just ONE MORE SLEEP INTERRUPTER! Ugh. The dryness got so bad it caused my mouth to have sores and I was absolutely miserable.I even got thrush. Yuck! Nothing helped for long.
Many blood tests later- I’m told I have an autoimmune disorder called Sjogren’s syndrome. On one hand, I was relieved to hear that all these body aches, tiredness, dizziness and weird brain fog I’d been going through for a couple years had a name. It gave a name to what I’d been experiencing. But, then, on the other hand, “oh no, I have an autoimmune disorder?!!” I was down in the dumps about it, to say the least.
Fast forward, weeks later: I’ve taken a proactive stance and decided my health is something that I can work on. I’ve done research, read a few books on the subject and gone gluten, dairy, and soy free. I eat tons of veggies and very little meat. Its working. Its been a slow recovery, but its working and that’s what matters. The dry mouth still comes a goes but I’m learning ways to live with it. I chew gum. The irony of that is that I’ve always thought gum chewing was a disgusting habit. Now its my vice and my relief. I think I should own stock in the chewing gum industry. I wake up every hour to drink water or else my throat will stick together. I even fell asleep with a glass of water in my hand – dropped it and woke up soaked! YIKES!
Probably what is most important in this time of healing and recovery is not only the physical healing, but the emotional, spiritual and mental healing I’m going through. I’m experiencing recovery from absolute utter burn-out. I’ve spent so much time taking care of the ones I love, I’ve neglected myself. That is, until my body and soul cried out for nourishment.
So, I’m on a journey of healing…a journey to rediscover my relationship with God and with myself. This journey is about slowing down; not living at the speed of light in a desperate attempt to keep up with whatever or whoever. Its about putting my foot down when being taking advantage of and asking for help when life begins to swallow me up again. Its about telling my family that they are important to me, but that I need to carve out time for doing things I enjoy, instead of 24 hour a day laundry and dishes.
This journey is about letting go of the past and what and who left me with scars. The scars are there but life goes on. I’m a survivor. As long as I’m breathing, God must still have a plan for me. Much of His plan is that I enjoy this life he gave me. I truly believe that he means for us to enjoy life. And working myself to a frazzle over this huge house and yard isn’t bringing joy into anyone’s life. Seeking that kind of perfection is an endless, futile and useless bad habit. My house is clean enough. I do enough. (repeat this mantra daily as I fold yet another load of laundry)
This journey of healing is also about picking up my pieces and moving on without the baggage that I’ve carried so long. Its about new beginnings, change and even new friends. Yes, new friends, because, sometimes the old ones are part of what drags you down. Looking back: who was there when life got messy, painful, etc. I’m building a new circle of support, rediscovering who really cares and who’s worth my time investment.
I have no idea how long this journey of healing will take place but meanwhile, I live at a slower, more forgiving pace. I’m easier on myself even if others aren’t. I’m less obsessive about the junk that clutters my peace. The only good thing about getting older in this life is that you learn to NOT give a rat’s patootie about what others think of you. And when you start to let those critical opinions creep in and steal your joy, you must stop them and remind yourself of what’s really important…and its not others’ opinions(unless you ask for it).
Oh, and about that grieving- that son who left for boot camp in January has graduated and is now officially a United States Marine. I couldn’t possibly be any prouder of him. I’m enjoying having him home on his leave and hanging on to the wonderful memories. He’ll be leaving soon and getting on with more of his training and I’ll be getting on with trying to accept the distance this will cause and running to the mailbox for letters.