Fear affects a persons perceptions. That is one of my biggest challenges right now, fear control. Even small changes, small shifts, invite me to fall into a state of near panic… what does this or that mean, are things going to get a lot worse now, and how, what don’t I see coming, what shocking surprise is around the corner. I am controlling the fear, for the moment, with writing. I write down every outrageous thought that enters my head, be it founded or unfounded. This is helping considerably; and particularly when the unfounded fear turns out to actually be unfounded. I have quite a collection of recorded fears, and some of them have been crossed out, not all though, not all.
The cold is bitter today. If I sit near the exterior walls of the house I feel chilled. Tonight the low is predicted to fall to -27C, with a wind chill of -39. Indoors is the only reasonable place to be. When the world warms, the snow is supposed to arrive in force. Winter is making herself felt.
I slept for six solid hours last night, for the first time in weeks. When I got up in the morning and saw the time I felt like crying with gratitude. If I hadn’t looked at the clock I would not have known that I had slept that long, I was not refreshed, because these days I do not feel sleepy tired at any point in time, I feel weary to the bone all the time. Although I am not perceiving the benefit of six hours sleep, I am very sure it is helping me to work my way through my present life situation. My diet is good, I am eating regularly and well, I am keeping hydrated, exercise is not something I have a handle on yet though, I keep looking at the elliptical machine, but have only managed it once a few days ago… something to aim for.
I have been writing poems, or pieces of them. Lines come fast, heavy with feeling, and then suddenly they stop, midline, or mid stanza, or on the final line, and I, staring blankly at the page, have no thought in my head. That needed thought, word, concept, it just won’t come out to play. As much as I am thankful for the blank mind, really, couldn’t it wait until the poem was complete!
EXTREME COLD WARNING IN EFFECT
Date: 6:00 AM EST Saturday 6 January 2018
Condition: Mainly Clear
Pressure: 102.3 kPa
Dew point: -32.0°C
Wind: WNW 22 gust 35 km/h
Wind Chill: -39
Visibility: 24 km
“Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
I can remember those feelings of fear, and being overwhelmed and without control from when DH and I had stepdaughter living with us, and the first year after she left. It was very hard. Stepdaughter’s therapist was even worried for me as she knew how hard everything was plus she had an inside track on knowing how stepdaughter and her mother were setting us up for falls. Not at all a fun time in our lives. I’m so glad it’s long over!
You too will eventually come to a time when this will all be over and you can look back and be glad you’re not anymore. You’ll probably start sleeping better once you can get a bit of a handle on where things are going. I hope so.
Sometimes life is so unkind and unfair… but I hope that you will have a time of happiness that will balance it all for you.
Maggie, I know I don’t know you well but maybe I don’t need to to feel compassion. I read your posts and I want to bring you a hot chocolate or take you out for a car ride so you can just get out for a bit. I went through a divorce many years ago now and I can tell you without a word of a lie that I cried everyday for a year. I cried the next year as well but not everyday. A lot of days but not everyday. The third year in things started getting clearer. Don’t get me wrong. I had happy times and it wasn’t always horrible but it was so, so hard. It’s like your entire world has unravelled, isn’t it? It’s scary. It’s a whole new level of grief. People joke about separation and divorce in a way they wouldn’t with true death. But it isn’t very different. You have lost a loved one. You are losing a dream. Your entire life is going to be different.
I think remembering the acronym HALTS helped me. Never trust your decisions when you are Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired or Sick. Trust your feelings but don’t trust your feelings, you know?
Teri, I remember how hard that situation was for you and DH, it was horrendous. It is good for me to hear stories like yours, of coming through to the other side, thank you!
I too hope that there is yet a time of happiness for me in life, one never knows. Someone recently posted on Facebook, “what doesn’t kill you makes you old”, instead of what doesn’t kill you makes you strong. And I like that, because I feel about a thousand years old these days. But when the pain recedes for short periods, I can see that this too will pass.
Birdie, thanks for sharing, I was divorced from my first husband, and it wasn’t this hard emotionally, mostly because we were a very bad fit. This is quie different I am finding, and the scary thing is that after 25 years all structures of life are intertwined, friends, family, finances… everything. It is all changing, and quite fankly, I am not as young as I used to be, employment is unlikely, resources will be minimal, and there will be nothing I can do about it, I can’t work hard and change those aspects of my future, as I could when I was younger… some of the fear is very, very real.
I like the HALTS acronym, and it is definitely not a time to make decisions if I can avoid it… they will have to be made eventually, but I need to nurture myself through this initial phase of shock and disorientation, and gather information, before trying to initiate any change myself… I am not ready for that yet, although you never know, circumstances may push me forward, ready or not. Right now I have the luxury of a little time to gather myself together before forging ahead. I do know what you mean about trusting my feelings and not trusting my feelings. I trust that they are real, and necessary, but that they will be changing and I need to give them a chance to stabilize before putting any weight on them.
Maggie, it sounds as if you really are doing the very best anyone could do under such circumstances. Self care is so important. One thing that helps get me through tough times is what I call the Silver Rule: “Do unto yourself as you would have others do unto you. If you don’t set them a good example, who will?”
WendyNC has a good maxim up there. And you seem to be following it well. Good. Now back to the hats. xox
Thanks Wendy, for the pat on the back. That is a great Silver Rule! I think I should start a little notebook with all the good ideas, thoughful affirmations, and suggestions that I am getting, so they are at the ready when I need them. And because I read them here, in the context of genuine concern and kindness, that energy will carry through every time I read them.
Bex, it is something to live by, isn’t it! Thanks for being here, loving your hats, loving them! xox