Diapers and Dragons

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Standing in the Shallows

I have a craving for sad songs lately. I found myself singing "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt in the car the other night. Not on the radio. Out of the blues, so to speak. I've been listening to Pandora.com all day on a new station I created based on Moby's "Porcelain," giving thumbs-up to all the semi-trancey wistful songs by Enigma and Zero 7 that tug at my core. Tonight Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" was on the radio and I sang along, remembering those times back in December and January when I would listen to that song, despair spreading its poisoned agony in my belly, and wish I could feel that way.

I'm toying with the idea of putting together a mix-CD. Mourning music.

I'm not exactly plunged into depression--certainly not despair--but I sense that I am once again slowly cycling back through the stages of grief. The phases reduce in intensity each time, but still I can feel the grieving roll over me like a long slow wave, inexorable in its roiling strength. I've made my way to the shallows, so the wave no longer flings me down and sucks me under, but still I feel myself strain to hold balance in the shifting currents.

There was a time when I would not have withstood the grief. I remind myself that I am infinitely more whole than I have been in...well, as long as I can remember. I am growing strong. I am learning to be comfortable in my own skin.

I spent a lovely evening with a close friend tonight, a woman I've known for ages and who has been there for me even through the years when it must have been hard to be my friend. I remember as little as a year ago--less than--being tense, on edge, self-conscious, every time I was around her. I appreciated having her friendship, but I always had a sense of inferiority and fear of comparison. I second-guessed everything I said; my laughter was often strained or forced; my muscles tensed and flexed until they ached.

Tonight I realized I was simply carrying on conversation, laughing, advising, being truthful in my words and being. I thought a little more and recognized that even though I'm still learning to relax and just Be with people, I am doing so more often than not. In return, I feel that people are also more relaxed around me, more able to relate with me. At least, I hope that is the case.

So I'll breathe. I'll take in the air, take in the Spirit, and release the anxiety and anger and grief. And in time this too will roll on, leaving me standing strong in the shallows and, one day, on higher ground.

8 bits of love:

mom said...

I grieve with you, but I'm full of a deep joy,too, when I read how you know you are now in the shallows. We see and feel your growth, your increasing health, too. And grief does take a long time to process. Keep mourning, and hold on to hope and the same reality check you're expressing here!

Kathleen said...

What wonderful insight on YOURSELF! I say forget the mixed CD of mournful songs! ;)

Sending you {{hugs}} and lots of love and prayers...

Dad said...

I too grieve with you, my dearest, and send you my love and support!

Draft Queen said...

I need to make you a Mix.

Sometimes you need to feed into your grief a little. Let it know you acknowledge it so you can let it go. You just have to be mindful not to let it overtake you.

momZombie said...

After my father died, I played a rotation of mourning music in the car during my morning and evening commutes. The music made me think of him and it validated the grieving process I was going through. I had privacy and time to get it out of my system. Sometimes I had to pull over.
At some point I tired of the music. I knew this meant I had healed just a little bit.
Glad to hear you are moving closer to shore.

Jake said...

I am worried about you. I hope you are well. You sound profoundly depressed and that is no way to live.

Monica said...

I was describing my own battles with anxiety and depression the other day, and my listener remarked that my troubles were extremely circumstantial, that I was having a hard time because, well, my life is hard right now. For some reason, that was a revelation...I think we (people) sometimes equate how we feel with who we are, and that's not always or even usually true. We are so much deeper than whatever feeling is enveloping us in any one moment.

I am heartened by your description of realizing that you can just relax and be with a friend, the same friend you felt anxious (my word) around before. That gives me hope, because I struggle with the same thing. I am praying daily for the ability to lose myself with friends, so that I can truly relate to them and not worry about myself in their presence. I think this post was a gift to me, to let me know it's possible.

GingerB said...

Hmm, I love to read how many different people have such different reactions. I think this sounds like you are indeed moving forward, but, as for anybody dealing with grief, it goes unevenly in fits and starts. Sometimes the progress is evident and smacks you in the face, sometimes it sneaks up on you, and sometimes you go backwards some. I've been watching someone I love grieve the loss of her marriage and it is messy and gutwrenching and really, really hard. You are doing quite well, I think. I am proud of you!

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