Tuesday, 1 December 2009

On Dropping Out and Then Coming Back (or, Trying to Ignore Physics)

This feels awkward. I'm still here, and I've desired to write lately, but there's a little something that keeps getting in the way, so I'd like to deal with it. Namely, not being around for a couple of months. I'm going to go beyond a simple apology because although what's been occupying my time and life really has been personal (and broader than what I'm going to write about now) and there are a lot of details that I'm going to omit here because yes, they're personal, there's something really important that I've learned that I'm going to write about because it's a lesson that I cannot let myself forget.

Mr. S. was right.

Ha! He'll like that....Actually, it's more along the lines of him, frustration in his eyes, sitting across from me at the kitchen table, saying "you can't take care of everybody."

Now, most of you who know me could probable take a stab at what would be my usual response to that. "No, but I can try...."

Guess what, I failed. How do I know? Because in trying to take care of everybody, I failed to take care of myself. I ended up with a huge thyroid hormone imbalance (I'm dependent on thyroid hormone replacement as my thyroid decided to mutiny a couple years back and I had it dealt with) and a massive B12 deficiency. While being pregnant. (p.s. baby's o.k. and kicking up a storm) Crawling on my hands and knees up the stairs to go to bed at 6pm wasn't a big enough hint. Having to bow out of volunteer commitments wasn't a big enough hint. Mr. S. doing the laundry, the cleaning, etc., etc., to cover for me wasn't a big enough hint. Even Safiya looking at me with a smile after a rare moment of light-heartedness from me and saying "Mama, I like your face like that!" wasn't a big enough hint. Not caring; being too tired to care after a lifetime of being able to find a little bit of beauty, no matter how small, in every single day didn't do it either. Actually, it was the not caring that frightened me the most (although, at the time....)

I don't do weakness well, and I certainly don't do vulnerability well. I understand that many, many people are dependent on something external to themselves for their mental health. To be brought to that lesson in a physical way (and by my own doing) was a harsh lesson for me. I am dependent on this:

That's my daily medicine. That is one molecule, one vital link, in all the hormonal workings in my body. And to this I say to myself, to remember: You cannot argue with physics. If you don't pay attention, sooner or later the physical world is going to smack you, and you'll be caught by surprise. Which brings me to gratitude. I have a great husband and daughter, a social safety net that provides free access to excellent physicians, and I have education and experience enough to know my way around the system to get what I need when it hits me that I am in need. That is, I am fortunate that my life has back-up and resiliency to allow for stupid self-care.

Hopefully I won't have to use it again. And it is my hope as well (and it's been proven already) that the lovely people around me also have back-up and resiliency to allow for my stupid self-care (which regretfully translated into neglect for some of my loved and much-liked ones). And to them I say, with much gratitude and humbleness....thank-you.

Now, let's carry on......