Monday, June 10, 2013

You probably don't need to know all this...oh well.

Today is the first time I have worn make-up in several days. Several.

Or real clothes that weren't pajamas or a swimsuit.

Or the first day that I cared.

And to be honest, I only kind of care today. Only to the extent that I am afraid I am scaring my family. And the mailman.

Benjamin is doing really well. While he still has pain issues, the bouts of pain are much fewer and far between and he is sleeping longer spurts in the night. He still needs me during the night though and so I haven't slept much. Last night, he needed me at 2:30. I was with him mere minutes but lay awake until 4. And he needed me again at 4:10.

So my excuse for staying in my jammies has been exhaustion. I might lay down and nap. I might rest.

But I don't. Napping is not my thing. (I know. I wish it were.) No, I just walk around exhausted. Snapping at loved ones and being an absolute joy to be around. Absolute. Joy.

Exhaustion is playing a part. No doubt. But it is more than that. And I desperately want to put my finger on it. Explain to you how one can be so comforted by the healing happening before my eyes with my boy; so encouraged by the precious notes from friends far and near who are praying for us and loving my boy; and yet feel so alone, so down, so unable to put on real clothes or make-up.

But amid the lovely gifts that have arrived this week for Benjamin -- wonderful movies to brighten his days, wonderful games that only a mom who has walked this road would understand were perfect, an amazing Mickey statue that makes him smile -- there was a package with my name on it. A sweet friend sent the sweetest heart:

And a note that let me know I am not alone. She said that she knew from her own experiences (She has walked a very similar path a few years ahead of mine.)  that: "I tended to hold up pretty well through the hardest parts. And then, perhaps a week or two, or even a month after the worst was over, when I felt on some level, consciously or not, that I could finally let go or relax just a bit, I would go through a time of grief or post traumatic stress or emotional and physical depletion, or combination of all of those things...."

And suddenly my spirit soared...yes. YES. That is what I have been trying to explain. That physical and emotional depletion is what makes sitting at Little Red's swim meets -- so thrilled to be watching her -- so hard. So hard to be where people aren't worried about pain med doses; or timing the rehab process of sitting up straight; or fearing every single transfer will inflict pain. So hard to be where children run, jump and their parents look fit, trim, rested.

This post traumatic stress means that I feel acutely alone in all of this. I feel the ache of knowing there are only a handful of people I KNOW that get it and we are scattered. I know that we are loved and prayed for -- and I am certain this is why we are here, recovering, feeling stronger every day.

And I know it is why I am here, dressed, wearing make-up and ready to tackle today. I don't know about tomorrow yet. But I know the timing of my friend's letter was no accident. It was exactly what I needed to hear, exactly when I needed to hear it.

Oh, my emotional depletion is not cured. But someone understands. And there is blessing in feeling a lot less lonely.


andre pizon said...

don't feel alone, I know very well how is this really a desperation but as a praise of my church "of weakness will be born the strength of a volcano. You are a great mother, as my wife and mother. This makes them a blessing. God is faithful to understand their pain and act at the right time. We at prayer

elissa said...

At the risk of sounding like a walking cliche I'm going to throw out a "one day at a time!" and a "we're STILL praying for you!"
hang in there!

Brooke Zimmermann said...

For fun; you might enjoy my sil blog. shes a photographer and is raising her 24 weeker preemie who is now 9. If you wonder where those people who "know" are scattered; she might be another kindred spirit. Many prayers

Krissy said...

Joy O. sent me the link to your blog- we go to the same church- and I am a new mom (year old girl w/ some disabilities) and I know you may not have meant this to be encouraging, but it is. Thank you for sharing this very personal journey. I feel less alone just reading this and I really thank you for putting all of these struggles & transparency down for the rest of us Mommas in similar situations. I will pray for rest, for strength, for you to not feel so alone. God bless! Ps I'm lucky to wear 'real' clothes and/or makeup even once a week! So you are not alone!! :)