I'm continually searching for new and fascinating podcasts to listen to as I drive my Odyssey of Love. Podcasts by people who think outside the box. Live outside expectations. See beyond what we've generally been taught, whether intentionally or culturally.
This perception in thinking isn't new to me; I was raised to read and question and educate myself.
When Chuck and I started our traveling days together, we let go, willingly, of our material possessions. A huge bit of it was donated to friends. What we kept, we'd go through each time we visited our storage unit.
And what I found was that, as our pile of possessions grew smaller and smaller, I began looking inside of myself.
Why did I believe what I did? Where did my absolutes come from? And were they serving me in my adult life?
When Mike died I felt my foundation shift and collapse. I buried him, but it was me who was buried alive by the wreckage of our dilapitdated life. For a long time I thought that maybe if I stood still he’d come for me. I thought he would somehow find me and save me from the ruins of our lost life. Then, after a while, I realized that Mike was not coming back - ever. I recognized that I was on my own. I knew that I had to rescue myself. But, I felt disoriented and far from battle ready.
Early on, Grief had the upper hand because my confidence and self identity were lost and buried deep in the rubble of our shattered life. Even now, I can barely process all the changes that have occurred.
To soothe my Soul, I catch myself instinctively rocking and clutching my collarbone - as I choke for breathe. I do this more often than I care to admit. Daily. My life is not easy anymore. In fact, it is often so overwhelming that my breath is chaotic. I'm tired of being out of breath.
I have to starting participating life in, or it will pass me by. I know this. Yet, despite what I know, I am stood still standing on the sidelines waiting to catch my breath for far too long. I feel myself watching life unfold. And, I know that I need to get back in the game. I hate that I have benched myself because I am tired. I hate that I am sitting out rather than engaging in the game of life. I am growing impatient with myself and my lack of commitment. I can't just write about actioning change. I need to bring my ideas to life. And, to do this I have to leave the safety and predictability of the sidelines behind. When I start participating in the game, I will bring myself back to life. I know this. So, it's about time I do this.
I recently had a scare over someone close to me dying again. It wasn’t even a true emergency, or anyone in fact having a close call by any means. But this wasn’t just anyone. This was one of my oldest friends and someone who has been a mother to me since my own mom died when I was nine. Now that both of my parents are gone, she is one of only a few people left who were there when I was growing up. And really, she is the last of the keepers of all of my history. All of my stories.
The other week, after having just returned from a Texas where I got some time to visit with her, I found out she was in the hospital. It wasn’t anything life-threatening, an intestinal issue that she has dealt with before. But, she is getting older, and I’ve been becoming more aware over the last year that her health isn’t as good as it could be. So my brain went into immediate overdrive when I heard she was in the hospital. Made worse by the fact that I had just seen her 3 days before, and was now sitting in my house, some 1400 miles away in Ohio. The pain of not being able to be right there by her side was so big.
I don’t usually react to triggers in such a big way. But this time, I did. My brain immediately went back into that place of shock and trauma that hit me when Drew died seven years ago. That place where suddenly my life is completely altered and though I am there, still breathing, and my life is still there, something about it is very very wrong. Suddenly I felt the room spinning around me, just like when he died. I began to hyperventilate and exploded into panicked tears that I could not stop for what felt like ages.