I “follow” a lot of writers on social media, and so I often see #amwriting on various posts. Certainly given the amount of time that’s passed between posts here on the blog, you can guess that I #amNOTwriting - at least not for public consumption.
It’s been a queer couple of months since my last post. I feel lethargic. Tired. But agitated at the same time. Disinterested in my normal activities. An odd feeling of disassociation with the things I usually do. I feel myself pulling inward, spending more time alone than usual. Not really caring about much.
During the first year after I lost my mom, I wrote a lot about grief being like a roller coaster. There were huge vacillations in my emotions - one day I was riding an almost manic high, while other days I was in the depths of despair. I kept extremely busy, scheduling social activities with friends, trying out all my mom’s recipes, gardening like crazy, looking for ways to stay close to her, to keep her presence alive in my life.
With the passage of the first anniversary of her death, it’s as if the roller coaster has come to an abrupt halt at the bottom of the hill, leaving me strapped inside the carriage, motionless.
When I was a little girl, I recall my Aunt Sylvia talking about my cousins as “going through a stage.” It became something of a family joke: whenever anyone, old or young, was acting oddly, the grownups would chuckle and quote Aunt Sylvia. “Oh, it’s just a stage,” they’d say. “It’ll pass.” Nowadays, that would pass for a hashtag of its own.
There are so many stages of life, aren’t there? I have been in depressed stages before. I recognize the signs and symptoms. I know the kind of effort it takes to pull yourself out. I know I need to be taking walks, planning activities, rewarding myself for “good” behaviors. I need to be writing, at least in my journal.
Nowadays, we parse our living into a lot of “hashtags,” pithy word salad descriptions of how we perceive the world around us. We try to fit ourselves into those neat categories, the ones the rest of the world tells us we belong in. #happymommy #luckywife #livingthedream #grateful #blessed
I am all of those things, for sure. But sometimes I’m also #feelingsad with #noenergy. I’m sure it’s #justastage, as my Aunt Sylvia would say. So maybe I’ll let myself hover here on the bottom for a while and see what happens. Be kind to myself - something I have a hard time doing. My inner critic continually berates me for not accomplishing more, not being more #grateful.
There is a lot going on in the world these days. Most of you know how I feel about all that - there are thousands of appropriate hashtags for it, and I’ve used most of them. The country’s unrest takes root somewhere in our own emotional landscape, no matter which side of the spectrum we fall upon. In three days, my son and his family are coming to visit. I always tell people my “kids” are coming, because that’s the way I think of the three of them. My #heartsoars at the thought of their presence, so I know there is #stillhope alive and well somewhere inside me.
I hope you’re all finding #momentsofpeace in these late spring days.