Add to Technorati Favorites

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

I stopped writing. Real writing. I mean, you have to write stuff at work-- lesson plans, email, shopping lists. But all the things I've been doing here for more than a decade, I stopped. I wanted to understand why I kept coming back. I wanted to know if it was helpful, or cathartic, or just a place for me to be moody and brooding and maudlin.

Also, I got to a place where functioning at all was nearly more than I could manage.

It's not easy to teach 500 students weekly when you're tapped out. I did it, but probably not very well. And there was this weird social need to make sure no one really knew how badly I was doing. It wasn't pride. It felt like, if anyone knew, that would be the end. I'd give up. As long as other people thought I was doing okay, I would be.

But I would look in the mirror and not recognize the person at all. And I lost so much hair because of the stress of being ill and trying to be okay. I would pull my hair back in a ponytail to go to the gym (because why would I stop trying to keep running when I had no energy?) but the ties had to be looped again and again; the small ones I had bought because they would only have to be looped once when I was healthy and had hair.

One day, my nose began bleeding. I'd had small bleeds in the preceding days, but this one didn't want to stop. For three hours. The blood was going down my throat even as I leaned over the sink. I was vomiting it up. I guess stomachs don't really like to have blood in them. And it was filling up my sinuses and ear canals. So Darrin took me to an urgent care clinic which sent me to the ER where they shoved six inches of dry packing up my nose because they said they couldn't cauterize it.

I tried to laugh it off. I told jokes about it. But it wasn't funny. I mean, it probably was, but the PTSD the process triggered was more than I could manage. I was reduced to sitting on the couch and trying not to hear loud noises or talk to anyone. I couldn't sleep at night unless Darrin held my hand. I was, in short, pathetic. Because of a nosebleed.

I didn't cry. Not ever. I didn't cry when the nightmares came or when the pain of the packing being shoved inside my head had me writhing in the stupid ER chair. I didn't cry when I had to go to the ENT who said, "What did they do to you?" then took out the hateful packing and carefully, gently, stabilized the bleeding so he could cauterize my nose. Which all hurt nearly as much as the ER visit did, but not emotionally. And I didn't cry when I went to talk to Therapist about how I felt.

I'm crying now. A month later. Because, finally, I have the physical and emotional strength to allow it. Yes. I'm crying over a nosebleed. And hair loss. And being ill for a year. And having to look for a job again. And Darrin having to look for a job again. And having to live with my father-in-law still. And living in a place where the air is poison to me.

All of it. I'm crying over all of it.

And did I mention that it's 99.9% certain that one of the people I love most in the world is moving far, far away very soon? Yeah, that's happening, too. But I'm not insisting that we spend every free moment together until he leaves, mostly because he would say no. Also, it would make me crazy because I don't like to spend every free moment with ANYONE. But still, I'm not insisting. I believe that shows great restraint.

So I'm back here, writing, because I have a tiny hope that if I leave some of it here, the crying will stop someday. I think it will.