Thursday, May 8, 2008

Event horizon

It seems like my world is hovering right on the event horizon of a large black hole. My life- my little existence- is moving as fast as it ever has. One emotional storm after another hits. I think I have hit the highest level of stress I can manage and then another stress rolls in right on top of it and I realize I'm not at full stress capacity yet. But outside my little life the world is moving even faster. People can look at my life and it looks like I am doing nothing. I appear to have just disappeared.

When I am under stress I tend to become a recluse. I deal with the things that need to be done. I cut off all outside communication. I cut out all outside "distractions". I minimize everything into a model of efficiency and micromanage everything I have under my control. I make priority lists. I concentrate on getting the job done. Success is when I have dealt with the day's list. I go to bed when I have been successful. I get very little sleep when trying to "fix" my life. And the days seem to fly by- though the hours stretch on.

What I am trying to say is sorry. I have cut myself off from the world and really miss it. I would promise that I am now going to start participating again but that would be a lie. Problems are not resolved. I am personally fine (even in my extreme exhaustion). I am physically fine. I am usually cheerful. It's just that right now everyone around me is needing TLC and while I don't get any medals for being a tender and loving person full of empathy and compassion I can get things done. I am not saying I don't feel those things...I just don't radiate that caring personality. I'm the type they turn to when the phone calls are made, business needs attended to, and knee-caps need to be forcefully realigned. I do these things well.

This all started with a two week unplanned vacation to Oregon. I then came home only to return to Oregon for 48 more hours. I did see the ocean (therapy). I got to smell the forest and wet grass. I got to take a four mile roll on Eugen's bike paths. I enjoyed the comfort of traveling on a series of planes as a wheel chair user. I met interesting people and started to try and realign my reality. It's strange when I think of how interconnected all people are. One person in the family experiences a crisis and suddenly the whole family comes together with great haste. I am back in Tennessee and now my mother is staying with us.

I love my mom. She's funny, loving, and energetic. She has more energy in her little toe than I do in my entire body. While I am sitting on my porch drinking coffee and reading a book she will mow my lawn, build a flowerbed, and go shopping. I try to keep up but the end result is not always pretty. She forgets that there is a reason I live a slower pace of life. She hates being bored and expects me to help stave off all chances that she will ever sit down. I hate watching people work harder than me so I try to keep up. I know that eventually I will crash. She resents the fact that I will crash. We should have learned by now how to deal with this but, alas.... I think the usual pattern is unfolding.

My good friend's mother passed away while I was in Oregon. She lingered for an entire week and then....well I was still in Oregon. I wanted to say goodbye. I wanted to hug my friend and help the family (not by cooking - but I am good at dealing with the other stuff). I came home just in time for the funeral and sat numbly through the ceremony. I was too emotionally worn out to even shed the usual tear or two. Then I turned around and flew back to Oregon. I kept trying to tell myself it didn't matter that I wasn't there. I couldn't have done anything. I would have been in the way. But the truth is I needed to be there for myself. Grief is a funny thing. I kept telling myself I would deal with Dad's death when I knew mom was okay. I am still waiting for that time (or maybe I have dealt...just don't know it).

Other things keep happening. People get hurt in life altering ways and nothing can stay the same forever. But I keep grasping at my relatively simple and idyllic life- the one I had before April first. I keep telling myself this will does always get easier (do I have sucker written across my forehead or what?). But for now....I am just trying to stay on my feet. Just trying to get through. Tomorrow may always be better. Tomorrow might bring another unprecedented disaster. Tomorrow....I might get another chance to catch my breath. Tomorrow I might get my handcycle.

So to those of you I have neglected. I think of you. I feel guilty for not keeping in touch. Just know...I am thinking of you. And when I finally achieve that which the law of physics states is impossible and pull myself away from the event horizon I will make contact. I miss you guys.


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Katja said...

Good to see you back.

Sara KE Slack said...

Thinking of you and your mom. Sending healing energy and hugs your way. Feel free to write and let me know how things are going. Love to all of you.

Elizabeth McClung said...

Thank you for letting me know what is up and I'm sorry that so much time flowed for me that I took me a month to notice, (someone tells me it is june now).

keep on keeping on.

Elizabeth McClung said...

I am still thinking of you too, I hope you can break the event horizon soon, because I worry and have for a while.