Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I can't believe I haven't spoken to my dad in six months.

It has been longer than that, really, since it has been six months since he passed away. It feels like it happened years ago. I can barely remember how lost I was feeling even before the news ripped my life apart. I was drowning, certainly, despite the best efforts of my loved ones. I had one foot out the door of my west coast apartment, ready to catch a flight back to Ontario, back to unemployment, homelessness, and family.

Now, for the first time in.. years, probably.. I feel happy.

That's the most difficult part - not being able to phone and tell Dad that I'm happy. Next to that is the sly guilt that creeps in; I'm happy on this side of the country, away from my family.

Strangely, it also feels like I just talked to him last week, updating him on my promotion to  manager (in training) of a dog daycare. He doesn't feel very far away when I find a solution to a problem at work, or when I come across a new financial blog, or I watch a show about horses.

It's those things that I try to focus on - keeping his memory close, and that he would be happy that I've found a definition of success that feels authentic for me. I wish my vision wouldn't get fuzzy on long days, when I'm tired and sore, but.. I'll do my best, and I'll keep on trying, even when I feel like I'm drowning.

That's all Dad ever wanted, ..I think.
Sunday, April 29, 2012

I'm taking some time for myself today.

I'm pampering myself and doing so guilt-free.

I've had a hard week (although it hasn't been any harder than most), and I need to recharge. I usually reserve Mondays for a break from the world. I wait for my body to realign itself and my faulty collagen to repair from 36h of work in three consecutive nights. More often than not, it ends up feeding my guilt and I feel as if I've wasted a day lounging about. When I feel physically better on Tuesday, I don't feel any better emotionally. I feel useless and get little done. Wednesday, I realize I only have one full day left before I start nights again, so I rush and get as much cleaning as I can done, as well as go to medical appointments.

It hasn't been working. So, I'll try something new this week - even if just for today, Sunday.

I've painted my nails and, while I wait for them to dry, I am reading blogs. I've showered and followed my all-too-rare skin care regimen. I've even scheduled three dates with friends this week. For a hermit like me, that's a big deal.

I'll be entertaining new friends and catching with some old ones. Hopefully, today will restore my confidence in those realms, too.

But for now, I'll just breathe, remember that I must help myself before I can help others, and enjoy feeling as if my sunny afternoon with new nail polish and a good book is well-earned.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Grief is the ultimate liminal state.

It’s a gap in time that can’t sufficiently be bridged by the love of friends, family, or lovers. 

It is unique; it can’t be shared the way love can, and I wouldn’t wish to burden anyone else with it.

I can do my best to delay it, out of denial or necessity, with chores and work and school, but only my body is temporarily removed from the process. My mind is still busy, always so busy, trying to convince my heart of the simple and logical fact: my father is dead.

My mind often stumbles, as my bendy body does when it automatically calls his house;
no, he won't answer the phone when you call.
no, he won't help you out of this mess.
no, he won't make you laugh about this.
no, you won't feel awful when he says that.

As I'm working through these negative spaces in my mind, my heart has no chance of catching up. One day, I'll move on to the positive spaces (a terrible misnomer);
yes, he would've loved to hear about this couch controversy.
yes, he would've given anything to see you perform again.
yes, he would loved that you're writing again.

But, as I fall into the future conditional tense, I'm reminded that no, you don't have a future with him - not like that. and 
I hold my breath.
I choke.
I sob.
I forget how to breathe. 

And I realize that my body has to relearn how to function before my mind has a hope in hell of convincing my heart that everything will all be okay again, someday.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Darning versus Damning

I'm spending the day crafting and watching BBC documentaries - Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm, particularly.

Not really crafting, I suppose, so much as mending; attaching buttons, repairing split seams, darning socks. I'm not very good at it, but I'm enjoying the work. I like the precision required and the utility of the finished products. Feeling useful is important to me, and it is also a rare feeling.

Perhaps it's that I haven't finished my degree yet, or that I don't have a career in my field. Hell, I don't really have a career at all, but a job. There isn't really any room for advancement unless I go into business for myself. I wouldn't rule that out in the future, once my debts are paid off, but for right now, I have to be content that I'm doing a job that requires observational skills and quick-thinking. And I am content, mostly.

I get down on myself for something that is entirely out of my control: the way my faulty collagen affects my movement, strength, and pain levels. I push myself to ignore my body's warnings and to not make excuses - "Sure, I can pick up an extra twelve-hour night shift at work" - but, I fear that I'm rather awful at it and that I cop out when I should adapt or innovate.

It's difficult to remember that my mind is subjective rather than objective in situations like these, and that my depression-and-anxiety-riddled brain is especially subjective. At times, such as in November, it is dangerously so. But really, my family is right; I shouldn't be so hard on myself.

Sure, my sewing isn't perfect and my knitting is quite slow, but I enjoy the work. It keeps my hands busy, of course, and it keeps my mind too busy to confuse my subjective and harmful thoughts for facts. That's probably the most important part.

Well, that, or that I'll finally have some socks to wear that don't have holes in them.

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