It’s so strange how one day I can feel really fine—almost “normal” again even—only to stumble the next day back into the bottomless pit filled with grief, despair, and this time it seems, pretty deep depression.
I’ve been riding along relatively smoothly since I moved to Tuolumne County; not “happy” by any stretch of the imagination, but most days nearly content, able to enjoy my new home, even revel in my new surroundings, and free of the really painful emotional state(s) that have been my constant companion over the past couple of years. As a result, I know that somewhere, deep inside, a little ember of hope had begun to burn that maybe, just maybe, I was through the worst of it. A light, if you will, at the end of the tunnel. But last week the darkness came on again big time. Out of nowhere, relaxed and feeling good after two new friends spent a really fun Fourth of July weekend here, it was like someone turned off the light switch and I tripped down the stairs once again into the dark basement.
I’m always reluctant to write a post about feeling awful, even though I remind myself that that was the very purpose of this blog to begin with, chronicling the journey through huge life transitions—candidly and honestly. Yet the truth hits me again and again (will I ever, just really get it?) that the only place I can ever truly be is exactly where I am. And to not honor each moment, to not respect each and every particle of the journey—out of fear, out of some misguided idea of what should or shouldn’t be, for whatever reason—simply does not serve.
If you’re new to this blog, it’s been a year and a half of incredible change and upheaval. Separation after thirty-plus years of marriage. Empty nesting. Moving out of, then selling our family home. One daughter moving out of state. My own recent move two hours away from my lifelong home, the Bay Area. Oh yeah, and menopause right smack in the big middle of it.
Big, huge life changes.
So now, it seems, another pit stop. And more than ever I am seeing that just like walking a labyrinth, there is no clue where one is in the process. I simply do not know where I sit in this journey. Am I halfway through the grief process and mental and emotional exhaustion and transitioning? A quarter? Five-eighths? Who knows. There is no formula or flowchart, no GPS or map; no reference guides, no Chicken Soup For The Woman Who Feels Like She’s Been Walloped By Too Many Changes in Too Little Time. Nothing to light or ease the way, and even if there was, the road, the path ahead, seen from this vantage, is opaque at best, non-existent at worst.
It is horrible to feel hopelessness. Staggering to live in the midst of meaninglessness and lack of purpose, to feel one’s life has evaporated, never to return; to miss one's kids and the closeness of nuclear family so thoroughly it is a constant, acute, devastating, physical aching. It is unfathomable to be so unable to move and function that houseplants wither and die before my eyes, dust and mail and dishes pile up, cupboards begin to empty, bills get paid at the very last minute. To be so aware of how my lust for life, the mere idea of joy, the ability to manifest and create have all disappeared. And most terrifying of all, in some of the darkest of moments (which fortunately for me, though often, are fleeting) to not be able to even glimpse the reason—a reason—for living.
My last post was about wanting to begin writing again. It hasn’t happened. Yet, I can’t let go of the idea of writing through this, not only because I know it can provide amazing insight, movement, and healing, but most importantly because I love it and miss it so much.
To that end, I am making a commitment to write a post a day for the next thirty days. Long, short, happy, sad, confused, tortured, one word, one picture, someone else’s words (as in poems and quotes, not plagiarism :), I will do what I set out so nervously a year ago to do—chronicle this journey through brand new uncharted unexpected unwanted uninvited but here I am this is my life better get used to it might want to start living it land. I will care less about the product and more about the process. I will edit less and write from stream of consciousness more. I will endeavor to leave the pursuit of perfectionism behind. I will not care if not one person decides to read it. (Well, I’ll try not to, anyway…) I will return to the basics and the only thing that really matters: write what is true in this moment. Nothing more, nothing less.
Thirty posts in thirty days... twenty-nine to go.