In summer, I usually feel a great surge of vitality, of intense focus and a jovial enthusiasm for life. My body didn’t get that surge of vitality last summer. My focus was blunted and instead of being jovial, I felt a far softer kind of enthusiasm for my life. Whatever has been on my to-do list that was priority or a “must” was about all I had the energy for. That waxed and waned a bit, but my description is the over all inner experience I had in 2013. I was tired, to put it plainly. I wanted that not to be true, but it was and still is.
I know now that it’s because this thyroid cancer is long-standing and it’s very advanced. The doc said it’s been there for years and that, as advanced as it is now, it’s no wonder I’ve been so tired.
It is my custom to draw my circles of activity and attention inward when I feel so tired…to make my life simpler and easier. This is so that my efforts are successful in holding all the balls up in the air without dropping any. I just start saying no to things I know I can’t accommodate enough energy to do. So I invested my time and energy away from writing about my relationship with Remus; to focus instead of enjoying it without any internal dialogue…what dialogue I felt like having about anything in my life was relegated to a rare poem or letter to a friend. I focused instead of writing that relates to achieving my degree and my goals for myself as a writer.
I feel restless about writing though. It is not going smoothly now. I feel creatively stifled by feeling this tired. I wrestle with creative choices and critical writing because I am having trouble engaging my brain in critical thinking. It’s so frustrating…I think I’ve returned to this blog now because I am creatively restless and writing about life in a bloggy sort of way is easier for me. There’s no critical thinking…no hiding either. I still have to construct a sentence and string together a point for a post. The activity of writing is the point here. I’m writing and I’m staying on the topic of this blog…sorta.
It is difficult for me now to be around other people. Not because I don’t want to spend time with the people I care about. On the contrary, I think I’m a bit lonely. The fact is I’m finding the worry others feel about me is like sandpaper. Also, I’m far too serious right now. I’m like a dirge in some ways. It’s annoying me…and I can’t seem to get up enough energy to be otherwise. I’m too tired to be the cheery self I actually feel inside…because I do feel cheerful.
I wish that I could express the depth of my contentment and happiness. I wish that I could express my tenderness for Remus, for my son…and for their open hearts. I wish that I could express my sense of blessing at all the people who have reached out to me lately. I’m so touched and so grateful…but I don’t know what to say.
How can I say to them, “Jeez, I know you are scared, but I’m not comfy with your fears. It’s projecting negativity into my life. Can we just enjoy each other’s company?” I just don’t think most of them would get it. Plus, any complaint I might make (like any other normal person with some discomfort) only seems to bring on more expressions of worry. I had a friend ask me for time with her because she’s worried about me. I don’t want to. Not even remotely.
I was realizing recently that I need to add to my list of emotions I’m not comfy with others feeling in my presence:
- ptsd regarding me directly (you can have it about anything else you want, just don’t make it about me)
- jealousy (its like an acid on my heart and mind and I feel suffocated by it)
- judgement (it’s another acid-like emotion that makes me feel sick to the stomach)
- worry about me (I feel stifled by it and resistant to giving it my attention or to being compassionate)
It was a great deal of work figuring out I didn’t like others feeling this way around me, but I’m glad I know. I have compassion for these emotions and for those who feel them around me or about me…but I just don’t want to be around it. I have a story about why for each of them…likely many stories. They still haunt me a bit, but I’m slowly making peace with them…and I am not sure that recounting them is really constructive. I understand myself, my stories and I have shifted from impatience and frustration toward others into compassion, but it doesn’t mean I feel comfy around you if that’s how you feel. Unfortunately, I have a great many stories about being emotionally lacerated by people who felt this way and made it my issue…especially blaming me for their own emotions and experience. It’s made me hyper-sensitive to the presence of those emotions. I may have no idea why someone feels that way, but I can tell those feelings are present, even if they don’t want to admit it’s the way they feel. I am especially uncomfortable with spending time with folks for whom such emotions are so huge and pervasive that it’s like a heavy black cloud around them and it seems to color everything I do with very biased assumptions.
My mode of operation is to deflect, plaster a polite smile on my face and avoid contact…and when I can’t avoid that social I contact I try to make an absolute effort to be fair and to be kind. I am not always very successful, but I try like hell. I try more than anything not to lose my temper and say something to jolt them into self-awareness and hopefully to stop directing all the static toward me.
It’s a self-defensive mechanism…and it’s not especially productive. I’ve been working on just being compassionate….no more, no less…with quite a lot of success recently. I want my impact on the world to be as kind and productive as I can make it…but mostly I just want to be at peace with myself…to not create reasons to be disappointed in myself.
I was wandering toward a specific point when I went down this lane of emotions and ideas…but as usual the point has moved outside my grasp and I’m left wordless and frustrated again. I suppose I can end with the idea that I’m here to do what I call writing practice….to simply get words moving through my heart and mind until the creative flow returns. (Hopefully my ability to think critically will return soon. I need to hand in a paper.) And along the way, I’m processing my life. In particular I’m processing things about Remus. In fact, he’s the only one who has expressed his deepest fears with me without poking at my resistance…and it’s likely because he did it in his sleep. I remember him reaching out to tangle his fingers in my hair and to wrap his arms around me in his sleep and muttering quite clearly, “Don’t die.”
I didn’t feel uncomfortable with that. Perhaps because he didn’t need a response from me. Just a loving touch and for me not to move away. I am equally comfortable with folks who just ask without all the emotional drama of fears and projections of bad things happening in future…and when I respond, to move to more fun topics and make it all in right relationship with other aspects of life…
I never said anything to Remus about his actions. We got word I had cancer while he was away in November…this happened the night he came home. I have offered reassurance to my friends and family with great patience and kindness…but it’s weighing on me. But not Remus’s feelings. His I feel touched by. I have finally found some words in this moment. He might feel surprised when he reads it…but to Remus, I must say, “I’m not planning to do so any time soon Sir…but I cannot promise not to ever, ever. Someday I must. It’s just part of life process. I’m okay with that. I love you…”