Thursday, March 31, 2011

Trading Notes

I love Violet’s pics from the last post (here's one more), but I almost deleted the ones of me. When I see how tired I look and my hair - don’t get me started about my hair – hello trying times. I should say goodbye trying times.

I don’t think any of my challenges are more significant than anyone else’s. Everyone’s got struggle at some point. I also believe that sharing is like joining a study group; it has to be better than laboring solo in a stale library corner. There are advantages to trading notes.

Last September to January was all stress in my life. It was the worry cherry to four years of stress sundae. A scoop of Violet’s babyhood struggle with asthma after we lost the family health insurance. A scoop of work politics gone terribly wrong swirled with Violet’s continuing asthma crisis. A scoop of unemployment, all gooey with ribbons of discouraging job searching and failed endeavors. And on top, generous dollops of the house that had to be yanked apart violently and rebuilt noisily by a team of people that made private life public for a year. And don’t forget a generous pinch of relationship troubles.

It was the three months after my ex and I separated, when we still lived together, that the stress pinnacled. When I moved out in December, I had no business getting my own apartment. I did not have the long term job to afford it, but the only choice I was left with at the time was to keep moving forward.

Over the last few months, I found peace. Lovely, relieving, relaxing peace. My blood pressure dropped. I wasn’t working much. I ate well, breathed, exercised, contemplated, caught up on TV. Heaven.

And as I relaxed, my body crashed. My hair fell out. I couldn’t sleep. There were flashes of anger. I was no longer angry with anyone in particular; I was just angry. I’m not a fan of profanity, but so fucking what. I went to the doctor about my hair and learned there’s a name for temporary hair loss a couple months after trauma has passed.

I’m a bit embarrassed to say trauma, but that’s my truth. All I can do is speak mine; you do yours. As of a few months ago, my career, marriage, family life, home, and finances were leveled. And let’s not even get into self-esteem, hopes, and dreams. There was some serious shit going down.

I posted Violet’s candid mama pics because I want to remember this time. It fascinates me that a body can hold it together physically until it knows it's safe. I also see my strength in those pics. I mean, the list of things that can stress me out these days is short. Helping my cause are baths, sleep, friends, oil-change-reminder texts from my mother (not really, Mom), vitamin c, eggs, greens, humor, children, fulltime work, shopping (a little), music, family, speaking up, and gentleness.

And yes, I want to cuss but crave gentleness. You can’t relate?

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