It’s been a while since I’ve written here, so I figured I should assure everyone that I’m still alive.
I’m still alive.
It’s been a rough winter for me. I don’t think I realized exactly how rough until recently, when I was talking with Crystal. I realized that I’ve been tired and depressed pretty much all the time. We’re into analyzing body language these days, too, so we knew that I’ve adopted more defensive body language, which is not characteristic of me. I’ve felt like I haven’t enjoyed reading. I’ve felt a total lack of creativity. I’ve felt cold and lifeless.
Yes, winter is usually rough on me, but this has been particularly bad, and I know that a lot of it is because of the fire.
My parents would talk about times in their lives that were simply dreadful, memories that they would rather not revisit. Oddly, these times were often times that my siblings and I would remember fondly. We simply didn’t understand the situation at the time, and we had no real idea of how hard it was.
My children look back on our stay at the hotel as a happy memory. They cheer when we happen to drive by the hotel and then race to share their memories with each other.
For me, it was only recently that I could even bring myself to look at the place.
I was talking with Crystal, and I realized that December 2009 was essentially expunged from my memory. No, that’s not quite right. Rather, I would dodge around it in my mind. I couldn’t face the memories or the feelings that went with them. The sparks flying from the ceiling. My desperate dash to the basement. Smoke billowing. Firefighters tramping through the house. And then, the power being shut off, everyone leaving, and being alone in a dark, cold house.
After I threw the breakers, I remember thinking, “Well, now what? How do I get this fixed?” I know the answer now.
In my head, I acknowledge that there has been life before this winter. That there were happier times, when life was joyous and warm. But I have no memories of that. Before the fire, I can remember having a popcorn kernal lodged in my lungs. Before that…nothing.
Yeah, I’ve been in a cold, dark place for a long time. And that’s why I took this week off of work. I needed to take the time to stop. I needed the time for my body to heal, for my emotions to rest. Crystal and I planned it all out, too. We had certain food we were going to eat, a daily walk planned out, and fun events to do.
And so, of course, I got sick.
Now, to be clear, that’s not an “Of course I got sick, because the universe is out to get me”. That’s a “Of course I got sick, because my body finally slowed down enough to realize that it was carrying all this stress”.
My vacation started on Friday, which is about when I started getting sick. Today I woke up without a fever. Yep, four days being sick, not counting today as a recovery day. That’s a long time to be sick, especially for me.
But I’m not complaining. Really! Now, to be sure, I don’t like being sick, but I think it’s what I needed. I actually think that my being sick was God’s gift to me.
I think my body needed to collapse. I think I needed to have the time to be purged of my stress and sickness. I think I needed to be able to justify accepting help from Crystal. I think I needed to stop.
And I did.
So, it’s Tuesday afternoon. (Right? It is Tuesday, isn’t it?) I’m sitting on the back patio, typing away. The sun is out, and a warm breeze is blowing. Crystal is grilling turkey for dinner. I just had a beer.
And I feel like I’m at peace.
Like, maybe, winter is finally gone.