I enjoyed the longer days, the warmer weather, and having my kids around more. It was nice not having to help with math homework that I wasn’t good at when I was eight and am even less adept at now that I’m 47. That part was great.
But this summer has brought a case of the blues–a feeling I’m not at all comfortable with.
I am wired to avoid bad feelings at all cost.
Sad about a project not working out, jump into a new project right away. Feeling nervous about some new symptoms my special needs daughter has been showing, grab a cookie or ten. Grief over the recent loss of my beloved aunt, make an appointment with a family therapist to help my kids grieve.
This has been my pattern for years.
I coped with having four miscarriages in a little over a year by finishing up my degree, moving out of the city, fixing up a new home, and learning everything there was to learn about miscarriage and infertility.
My daughter was six weeks old when I first realized that something was wrong with her. I spent the next several years looking for an answer, getting her the help she needed, and aided my boys with their learning issues.
I occasionally got very depressed, but I quickly moved on. There were things that needed to be done.
I was lucky to get medical care when it was very tough, but most of the time I got through whatever crisis that came along by action. If I had to use some ice cream or chocolate on occasion, so be it. The extra 60 pounds I carry around is evidence of the pain and frustration that the last 11 years has brought.
It’s not that I don’t know I have to feel my feelings.
I have no problem seeking help. I’m a doer.
Eventually though all that doing has to stop and I have to feel.
I hate this part.
This is where I am now. And I feel lost. And tired. I would rather stay in bed than clean or go out or do any of the things I have to do.
But it’s not the type of depression that needs a doctor’s prescription and a tweak of my medication. I’m pretty sure this is the type I have to just feel.
It’s normal to grieve loss, especially when it’s so fresh. To feel sad and even angry is part of the healing process.
I know that in my head. It’s my heart that’s the problem.
I realize that I prolong the pain I have endured throughout the years by all my doing. If I was to just surrender to the pain of whatever loss I’m feeling, I’m sure I would heal sooner.
Perhaps that is the lesson that I am to learn this time around the “pit of despair.”
Maybe my aunt’s role of teacher and mentor is not quite over.
Learning that sadness, loss, and pain are a normal part of life may be her greatest gift to me.
And for today that thought gives me solace.