First off, I cannot believe it's been almost a month since I posted.
I went to see my family and friends in California and with several exceptions, I had a lovely time. Those exceptions included being stuck over night in the Phoenix airport on the way out and getting grounded in Charlotte, NC on the way back. Fortunately, after much hassle, we got our luggage and I hired a driver to drive us back to Roanoke, VA.
Of course, during the eight days that we were there, a lot of things happened. I had two Thanksgiving dinners, lots of conversation and quality time and I got sick. Sister was also feeling bad. She was sneezy and I was experiencing nose and ear problems. We both think or thought it was allergies. I'm still not sure, because by the time I got home from vacation I was well into it and probably past the stage where antibiotics would have helped, if at all.
I took Zycam for colds and benadryl for allergies, and aspirin or Tylenol for sore throat. You know the drill. After about four days at home, what ever it was moved into my chest and I started to cough. I got cough medicine similar to Robitussin and even though I was taking the proper dosage, I had slight hallucinations.
Actually what I experienced were not exactly hallucinations, but it was a weird feeling. sort of like a drug trip where you are really able to connect with yourself. Do not concern yourself as to how I know about these things. The first thing I noticed was that I could hear my thoughts. They were so loud that it was almost like voices in my head, but it was my own voice. They were the most intense when I was in the shower trying to let my sickness slide off of me and exit down the drain.
What were these thoughts about? Mostly about me. I found myself telling myself that I needed to make some more changes. My entire life I have done things according to how they will appear to others. I don't know if this is nature or nurture, but it is how I have always been. This next sentence shows that I am still of that mindset. "I hate to bring everything back to my husband dying, but seriously, that event really changed my life in many ways". Why do I feel that I have to apologize for still thinking about my husband's death? I have always felt like I am different than other people. Mostly because of the abundance of thoughts that I have always had. I think so much. Other people don't act like they have a running dialog in their heads. They just run and play and work and whatever. It must be me, I must be different...I know now that I am different. With this in mind I should have known that my grieving and mourning would seem different.
Grieving and Mourning. These two words are usually used together and because of this, people sometimes think that they mean the same thing. They do not.
Grief has many stages and most of us have heard of five of them and they are usually listed as: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. As we know, these are not the only human emotions. There are certainly other emotions that occur when someone loses a person close to them. Grief is your emotional response to the loss, while mourning is basically your physical actions. How you present yourself to the world that you are now entering into. What you do. I know now that everyone deals with things differently and each person has his or her own time period.
Back to the voices in my head. As I mentioned above, I could almost hear myself think as I shampooed my hair and used my body scrub to ease some of the tensions that my body was holding. Being sick is always a great excuse to marathon watch television and I have been watching a television show with several American Indian characters. This sounds odd, but I have always thought I was an Indian. I am not. Physically. My heritage is not native American at all. Even as a child I related to the Indians that were on the shows that I watched and in the books that I read. Maybe it was just that feeling of not being like the other kids. I still have that feeling. I'm just not like the other kids. My sisterlaughs at this. She understands. She gets it. We are not twins but we are often of one mind.
In my shower, I am an Indian, in a sweat lodge, having my visions of change. I add more hot water to the mix that is helping me shed my old ideas. My new ideas start to form. I will be more mindful when being convinced to do things I do not want to do. I will be stronger about being me. I will do the things that I want to do and not feel bad about them. I do not care if you cannot sleep. I can and I will. I will sleep twelve hours if my body needs it. I will continue to be nice to my friends and family but I will not be bullied into things I do not want to do. I will be more about me. I will listen to the only voice that really matters...my own.
This sounds so conceited. So vain, so self-centered. I really hate those qualities when I see them in someone else, but I know that I need to be stronger and listen to my inner voices and thoughts more. I think sometimes my thoughts are only questions, questions to myself.
I try to have a balanced life. I ask myself is a balanced life really what I need? Do I want a balanced life because of what someone else has said? Is it what I want? Do I really need to set aside a certain time for a project? Why cannot I paint when the mood hits me? Why do I only wait until winter to work with yarn. Why do I have so many rules? Is it time to question my own rules? Is it time?
My thoughts were so loud I could hear them in my head...now my thoughts have put on fuzzy sweaters and are huddling happily and more quietly back where they usually reside. I am different from the other kids and I'm happy about that.