Saturday, November 11, 2006

Healing? Wallowing? Hhhhmmm....

It's looking like another one of those days around here. After I posted this blog entry, I truly felt so much better - like I had flipped the switch on a pressure release valve. Plus, this week has been busyBusyBUSY, which helps in its own weird way. No time to think, or brood, or feel. (Yeah, I know numbness isn't particularly healthy, but it's very soothing. Just ask any addict of any kind.) Yesterday I worked my way to sore exhaustion helping J put a roof and part of the siding on our new garage extension. Then last night I slipped away into what I thought would be a deep and dreamless sleep, which was stupid on my part because my sleep is never dreamless. I don't remember the details any of those dreams this morning, but I woke up feeling all jagged and splintery inside. Me being me, I might be able to soothe those jagged edges and shove it all back inside if it had been sunny and bright out today, but it isn't. I woke up to a day that's dark and cool, damp and windy - a day where I won't be getting out and pounding nails into boards with every bit of strength and anger inside - a day that makes me feel like making a pot of tea and huddling in a blanket on the corner of the couch and watching sad movies. Some people would probably tell me to go ahead and do that, but I doubt I will. At the end of the day the crying would make me feel physically ill and I'd be angry at myself for the self-indulgent wallowing. (I might even be angry at myself later for posting this blog entry, but I'm going to do it anyway and see if it helps.) When you're going through a bad time emotionally, for whatever reason, how do you balance between owning those feelings and expressing them - feeling what you need to feel - and wallowing? How do you know the difference between feeling as healing and moving forward, and feeling as a self-destructive loop that's leaving you in a bad place you need to leave? I wish I knew, but I don't think I've figured that out yet. I'm working on it. My brother and sister and I are planning to revive a family event that we let go after Mom died. We used to get together in mid-December and make candy and bake cookies, then we'd share them - among ourselves and with friends. This is a photo of (l - r) me, Sandy, and Mom taken 7 years ago during one of our marathon cookie-baking sessions. We intended to keep doing that after Mom died, but on my part I just couldn't. It was one of the things that hurt too much. Strangely though, despite grief hitting me harder this year than it has any year since the first year after she died, this is also the first year where I found myself wanting to revive the family Sugar Coma Marathon. Somehow this year it seems like something that would both make Mom feel close by and would help those of us left behind to form some revised family traditions. So Mark and Sandy and I are planning to get together next month and bake our little hearts out. I figure we'll laugh and cry and tell some "remember when" stories. It feels to me like it could be a step in the right direction. You know, I really DO think typing all this out helped a little. Writing as release...who knew. "Three Leaves" (clickable if you want to see it larger in a new window)

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