My friends are amazing. The typical “How are you?” that we all mutter and don’t even wait for an answer has turned into a sincere “I really want to know how you are doing.” The problem is the “today” at the end. I’ve been trying to come up with a good answer, but I cannot. Asking me “How are you today?” is like asking “How are you this week?” or “How are you this month?” My days are full of emotional highs (relatively speaking) and emotional lows. “How are you this ¼ hour.” would be easier to answer.
I’m a morning person so I generally wake looking forward to the day to what I can accomplish. I like getting out of bed and getting things going. That’s what I open my eyes to. Then the reality of this new world hits me. If I get out of bed quickly enough I can avoid a session of sobbing before I get up. Some days I do. But, if I lie there long enough the tears are inevitable. Sometimes it’s anger, sometimes it’s frustration. This morning it was feeling like a failure. I let Shayna down. I let Ty down. I let Kayla down. And no one’s lives will ever be the same because of that. Whatever the reason is, I will cry. Then, I dry my tears, get up and start doing my thing. The day will be a series of getting by, getting things done (that’s when people tell me I’m strong) punctuated by moments of utter despair. I mentioned I have been getting gifts lately. I’m being filled with insights every day. So, those come along and I feel pretty good. I’ve been getting signs that Shayna is still here. I feel I’ve got a handle on this. I’m not only going to survive, I’m going to thrive. Catch me 15 minutes later and I might be in a heap on the floor.
When Ty and I met with the counselor yesterday we talked about people telling us we are strong. I have rejected that because first of all I have realized that we all do what we need to do and we are all stronger than we think. And I know that what most people are seeing from me is my best. You’re seeing all the energy I can muster to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You’re not seeing me when that energy fails me. However, yes. I think I will accept that. We are strong. This is difficult. This sometimes seems impossible. People say “I can’t imagine what you are going through.” That is true. You really cannot. As bad as I thought this might be, as much as I consider myself an empathetic person, there are times when it’s far worse than I could have imagined. The ripple effects hit me and I realize my life, as it was, ended on June 24, 2015. The fact that I am sitting here, trying to pick up the pieces and construct a new life with Ty and Kayla is taking a monumental effort. There are moments- moments when I feel I cannot take another step. I just don’t want to do it anymore.
So, you ask “How are you today?”. How much time have you got?