I had two people ask me how I am doing this week.
One was my dentist. She was able to tell by my x-rays that I clenched my teeth. I told her, "Of course I do!" Who wouldn't, if they lived my life the past few months? It hasn't been easy.
The other was my daughter's therapist. She knows more of the situation, though not of my anemia, hormones, and headaches. If she would have asked me in her office, I may have told her more. But I just told her, "It's been hard. I've had headaches because of it. But I knew from the beginning it wouldn't be easy and that we'd have rough patches."
I try to avoid crying in hallways. Or coffee shops. Or anywhere else in public. So when people ask how I'm doing, I admit that things have been tough, but then give myself and others a little pep talk. I'm trying to be strong. But there are cracks in my strength, which come out in odd ways.
I'd like to say that the major crises are over, and that I'm following my typical pattern of falling apart after the storm. Ms. D really is improving. At least I hope so. But there is more to come, more changes, more loss. I don't feel ready.
So how am I doing? I am not as patient with people. I say things I later regret. Some people hear too much at the wrong times, because I can't hold it in any longer. Have you ever been in the middle of a sentence and think, "I can't believe I'm saying all this right now! How do I stop and change the subject?" I've thought this more than once the past few weeks. It is hard for me to pray, or worship, or be at peace. How can I concentrate? I don't get as much done, and feel like I spin my wheels. I procrastinate or avoid things that remind me of the trials of the past few months. I just sent out some paperwork that was due a few days ago, because I just could not bear to look at the different reports. Hopefully it was satisfactory, since I really don't want to repeat it. I found a yearbook on a table the other day and couldn't remember when I got it. That was pretty scary. I get tired but have a hard time sleeping at night. I've gained a few more pounds. I clench my teeth, at least that's what the dentist says.
So if I say something odd, look disinterested in what you are saying, or interrupt, please don't take it personally. I really do want to be a better listener, a better friend. I'm just trying to make it through a difficult time while things around me are so unsettled. But don't worry too much. Despite my anxiety, despite my exhaustion, I know that this is just a season, that there will be good times ahead. Life is good. It's hard sometimes, but good. I just need some hugs.