You might have noticed I haven’t been posting every day lately. There are two reasons for that (at least). There is the lack of anything new to say and lack of the desire to say it. I’d like to say the days are getting easier, they are not. I’d like to say I am making “progress” whatever that means. If I am, it’s measured in very small steps. I’m in a holding pattern right now. The goal of each day now is to get through the day. Feeling better, feeling good, those things come in fleeting moments, but the goal for what is now three months in has to be realistic. There isn’t going to be happiness, joy or even any sense of normalcy. When you’re in the storm, you can’t expect sunshine, you hunker down and you wait for it to pass. And it will pass, it all passes, everything- Thank God. Accepting that I’m not going to feel good right now is, in a perverse way, soothing because I don’t need to try to feel good right now.
Ty tells me I’ve been drinking too much lately. Yep. She’s right. And I know it. She also complained that I was smoking too many cigars. She was right about that, too. I’ve given up the cigars for now. And, yes, I will need to cut back on the alcohol. Am I self-medicating? Another affirmative. Maybe there’s a reason they call alcohol “spirits”. It does help get through the evenings. It doesn’t raise my spirits. But, it does take the edge off of the pain.
Kayla has been home a lot this semester. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that. She is in an extremely stressful major that was stressing her out before Shayna’s passing. Trying to deal with the death of her best friend and sister at the same time is more than any 18 year old should have to bear. Yesterday we picked her up from school and brought her home so she could attend her best friend’s birthday party this weekend. She was just home last weekend for “fall break”. Ty and I had a meeting to go to. So, we dropped Kayla by the house after picking her up from UT and headed out. When we got home, the dogs were in their rooms, the lights in the house were off, the food we had set out for Kayla to eat was sitting on the counter untouched and Kayla was no where to be seen. Ty immediately sprinted upstairs to Kayla’s room. Me, still suffering from PTSD, immediately thought “Kayla’s dead.”. Then, from Kayla’s room, I hear “Oh my God.” My heart leapt up into my throat, but the OMG was from Kayla, upset at the way Ty had burst in on her and woke her up. PTSD will do funny things to you.
I have to respect Kayla’s privacy, but I think it’s OK for me to say that Kayla has told us she is tired of all of this. She just wants to feel “normal”, to stop dealing with all of this. And, I know exactly how she feels. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. We all just want to go back to the way things were. As I try to console her, I have to listen to my own words of advice. “It’ll get better. I know it doesn’t seem like it. And it won’t get significantly better any time soon. But, little by little, day by day, it will get better. For now, we have to focus on making it through the day. Not the week or the month or the year and don’t even try to think about a decade. Just focus on making it through the day. Then gradually, you can focus on a week, a month a year, again.” So, do I believe this myself? One big difference between Kayla and me is Kayla’s whole life is ahead of her while most of mine is behind me. We have different horizons to deal with this.
So, it’s Friday. Kayla is home for the weekend. I’m focused on trying to get a few major things accomplished today and then spending time with her this weekend. I’ve made it through another day.