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Saturday, August 16, 2014


I'm having lots of ups and downs lately. Stress does that to me.

Father-in-law went home yesterday. Adam was the last one to leave for work and it occurred to me that I was alone in my home for the first time in a couple of weeks. I'm not saying for sure, but I might have done a little dancing while singing loudly. It's also possible that I had my first talking-to-myself session in awhile. I'm a pretty fun person to talk to. I like me. And there is a slight chance that I ate a weird snack in my living room while reciting a poem with my mouth full.

Running is wonderful. Today I hit 21 minutes of intervals. I'm not supposed to do more. Possibly I run 3-5 minutes successively while I'm supposed to be cooling down, but that's against the rules. But if I did that, it would make make me very happy. I'm usually happy when I'm finished running. I have to maintain this until Wednesday, at which point I'm allowed to go to a 1:1 minute ratio of running/walking which will last for another week and a half.

My physical therapist had this conversation with me last Monday:

PT: You've not been able to run regularly for more than two years now. Running-- building up to running can feel really awful.
me (staring at her blankly): Really? I've never done that before.
PT: You've never had to build up your running stamina?
me: No. Except for the time recently when my hip stopped working, I've always run. I don't remember a time when I didn't.
PT: Well, there's a good chance this is going to suck then.

And then we went over the red/yellow/green signs of pain.

Perhaps because I ran about six elliptical miles at an 8-10 mph pace prior to surgery (and I've worked back up to that now), I've felt no cardiovascular discomfort. The one-minute intervals feel effortless (seriously, one minute? Everyone in the world can run that!). I've been doing them at 5-7 mph because PT told me not to go too fast, but I'm anxious to run more, and a slower pace feels ridiculous. I've had no stiffness nor soreness after the first day. I'm guessing my hip had to process the fact that things were a little different, and now that we've made it through that, all is fine. I feel like I never stopped running at all.

This has been very helpful as PTSD presents itself. I don't have energy stored up inside. Energy seems to feed the PTSD symptoms. There have been plenty of negative and difficult feelings, but I'm coping with them fairly well.

These are all good things.

Things I'm not sure are good:
1. I don't feel lonely anymore. Ever. Don't get me wrong. I don't think loneliness is something to strive for, but missing people--wanting people-- seems like a healthy thing when it happens at a low level. It reminds me that I'm not alone and that I need people in my life. But right now I don't feel that. It's not the "I don't care about people anymore" feeling that I sometimes experience. It's more a feeling that people are really nice, and I like them--even love them, but I'm fine if they don't contact me or visit. I know this makes me seem... actually, I don't know how it makes me seem. But it does seem a bit out of character for me. I might ponder this a little bit and decide if it matters.

2. I'm not finished with my syllabi, nor my lesson plans, nor have I downloaded music or visited the wreck of our fine arts center as it goes through a remodel. Actually, I haven't started writing even one syllabus. I have 2 weeks to get those things done. My Intro to Music class is full (150 students). This is nuts. I'm pretty sure no one should ever teach this many students at once. I haven't done it since I was in grad school.

3. I agreed to play the organ every other week in church. I hate playing the organ.

4. I need flowers. Daily. And chocolate. I don't remember wanting those things as often nor as forcefully as I do now, and have done for the past few weeks. It's a little weird.

5. I did cartwheels on Monday this week. I asked my PT first. She gave me a weird look and said I could if I wanted a tone that suggested no one would want to. So I did. But since then I've been wondering why I want to. Most of the people I know don't really want to do cartwheels, but then again, most of them haven't had a hip replaced. Maybe you only want to do cartwheels if you have a fake hip.

6. After nine months of being clean, my cousin Jeff relapsed. This week. I saw him Wednesday. He was drunk within three hours of our visit. I'm not sure he's been sober since. This was our text conversation late last night:

Jeff: It was dark and musty smelling and I never slept.
me: I'm sorry. I'm sorry the memories hurt so much. Do you need to talk?
Jeff: I am losing it and I am drinking...
me: I know. I love you, Jeff.
Jeff: How?
me: How do I love you?
Jeff: How do you love me, and how do I go on?
me: I love you because I know you. I know the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. I will always love you. Going on is the hard part. You're feeling some scary, awful stuff right now. You won't always feel it. You do need to get some help.

He didn't answer after that. I don't know what happened. I don't need to know. This hurts me more than I like to admit. Every word Jeff shares triggers a similar memory for me. Then I get to sort through all the aftermath.

So part of me is doing very well, and part of me feels awful. I don't know how to deal with the awful part. I wonder if I don't feel lonely because there is a persistent feeling that it's pointless to feel that. It is very difficult to battle the belief that Jeff and I were, and are, and will always be alone. Not physically, but emotionally. There is also a very strong feeling that people have tried to reach us, to help us, to love us-- and we used them all up. They have different people to reach and help and love now, and it's time for Jeff and I to become independent-- to figure things out on our own.

But I can't. I can't figure it out. I need a hug tonight, and I need someone to tell me it's going to be okay.


  1. I'd totally give you a hug if I were close by, but in lieu of that, here's a virtual hug. So sorry. I'm so, so sorry for you both.