I’m Still Here (FF)

You guys. I feel like Will Smith. My life got twist-turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute – just sit right there – and I’ll tell you how I became the prince of a town called Bel Air.

OK, I’m not a prince. I don’t live in or near Bel Air. I don’t even live in California. But letmetellya, has life thrown some curve balls at me lately. I haven’t been writing. Andrea has been holding down the fort as I take some time. See if I can work through what’s going on. I haven’t yet, and I don’t know when I will, but I need to tell you why.

In my last post, I let you know how my family was rocked emotionally and financially when my husband lost his job a month ago. And in the two subsequent weeks, I was diagnosed with a large ovarian cyst and then…

My mom has terminal cancer.

It is so hard for me to write that last sentence. Every time I have to write it or say it, a little more of my heart breaks.

Every day since I found out, a fog surrounds me. I wake up, begrudgingly, but I would be content to remain in bed all day on a level of subconscious in which thinking is not required and reality doesn’t exist. Most days, I’ve wished the earth to crack open and allow me to slide into its depths where one can no longer feel. Fear, pain, anger, grief…these are the emotions that guide me day-to-day.

Injury has been preventing me from my normal avenues of working through such sentiments, but even though I’ve been cleared to ease back into my routines, I haven’t. I have no desire to. I numb myself effectively through TV and overindulgence. There is infinite, mindless entertainment and a veritable smorgasbord at my fingertips.

When I am upright, I am eating. Anything and everything. In the last month, I have gained 10 pounds, and artfully so. Cookie dough and Halloween candy, cheese and crackers, egg nog and mimosas. This is what I know; this is how I deal with life when it is hard. Foods I haven’t eaten for a year and a half make their way past my lips because I no longer care. A minimum amount of energy expended so I can wallow properly. It can be quite comfy to quit caring.

I’m getting used to the pitying looks; the expression in people’s eyes as they fear to say the wrong thing; the disappointment when people, when I try to make plans with them, don’t return requests; the awkward run-ins with those who know what is going on but haven’t talked to me; the surprise when people don’t have anything at all to say when I share my mom is dying.

There is no right way to handle it. If you don’t say anything, it feels like you don’t care. If you check in at the wrong time, it feels like an assault.

Why are we so uncomfortable with others’ vulnerability? Is it because it so closely mirrors our own?

And why do we fear true pain? How do we cope with our own feelings? How do I stop from destroying myself while I feel destroyed?

I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. I only know the depth of my sadness and dread. I will have to find my own way through the darkness. I continue to walk blindly, and I don’t know who will emerge on the other side.

But I do find solace in the lyrics of Ingrid Michaelson:

All the broken hearts in the world still beat

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