Monday, October 18, 2010

The New Normal

I've heard that phrase, "the new normal" said (both by me and by so many others) more times than I can count in these last five weeks.

But I suppose I'm settling into it, little by little. As much as I don't want to.

Today I saw a new therapist. She was fine. I don't even pretend to harbor a hope that she'll somehow fix everything. I explained to her, as she asked me at the end of the session how I felt, that I had no expectation that anything could, with any predictable rhyme or reason, make me feel any "better" right now, so did it really make a difference? And really, I felt fine about her. I think she is a good therapist. I think working with her is probably a good choice for me right now. I said right now that making decisions, ANY decision, any assessment, any thought, really, feels a lot like asking a person who has recently lost ALL five senses what she thinks. My "new normal" feels that disorienting. I'm flying blind, to say the least. Following the "there are no rules to what to do in this situation" rulebook. I hate it.

Then I went back to acupuncture. Haven't been there since the day before I went into labor, though our acupuncturist came to our memorial and cried loudly and hugged me tightly. She is a gift. She offered to come to our house to treat us if I felt uncomfortable coming to the office again (I was there everyday for a week leading up to my labor.) She has waived our charges for treatments "until [we] feel ready to pay again." E and I went, sat in the private room, got our needles. She gave me an ayurvedic supplement for my poor digestion/elimination. I sat there, got my treatment, I didn't cry. I didn't have any of my panicky ptsd flashbacks to the hospital room(s). I didn't sleep, but maybe I did relax a bit.

And then we went grocery shopping at that landmine filled store where we used to wander the aisles, blissfully and naively pregnant, buying organic-this and whole-grain-that and grass-fed this and pesticide-free that...the same store where two weeks ago, the sushi chef told me "Oh, but you can't eat raw fish" and I burst into tears and then, with just a little venom, told him "I am NOT PREGNANT. I had the baby. He died." And then I proceeded to sob, loudly, through the rest of the store while E finished grabbing his dinner. Today, though, I made it through the store without a landmine. Without tears. Granted, I still couldn't find a single thing I wanted to eat in the store, but I did get a kombucha and I figure that's progress.

I went back to work, at least a little bit, today. Went to tutor at C's, she booked me for two hours, but her daughter had finished most all of her work already and really, it was more like they booked me to check in, to visit, to get me out of the house. It was good to be there. Good to feel loved like that. Little C (not so little, as she just celebrated her thirteenth birthday) had drawn me a picture and made me a card. She clearly was really happy to see me. I love her so much. So yeah, it was good to be out of the house.

I have some pangs of guilt for having had such a "new normal" day. No big sobbing fall apart tears today, though I did cry pretty steadily through my hour with the new therapist. I began the day with my usual panicky anxiety, lying in bed for an hour while I snuggled with Woo (little dog) attempting to forget why I'm lying in bed snuggling my dog instead of my son...But, for the most part, the day felt manageable.

I catch myself. It's too soon for it to feel manageable like this.

I have so much fear that I'm doing this wrong. Grieving wrong. Too soon, too slow, too fast, too long...That I'm going to be blindsided because I'm doing it wrong. I'm trying to trust my instincts, trust that I am doing the best I can, trust that I'm doing this the only way I can...

But that's how I did my pregnancy, you see, and we all know how well that turned out.

Will I ever learn to trust myself again?

Or, better yet, will I ever trust again?


Maddie said...

I'm so sorry Otis isn't here with you. There is no right or wrong way to grieve - you'll be doing whatever you need too.

I felt like that about better days in the beginning too but then try and take them as they come. Sometimes it will feel manageable and sometimes it won't.

Anonymous said...

Trust is such a slippery rock to stand upon right now. Especially when the rock is wet and the waves of grief are crashing against it constantly.

I wish I had an answer, but you know I don't.

It is true though- there is no right or wrong way to do any of this. it is like I said before- life just is. When you can breathe, breathe and when you can't, just try to hold on. Know that you are not alone.

Anonymous said...

PS- is it wrong to think that on the road of like we somehow missed the exit for 'Normal" and ended up on some strange unmapped detour that landed us in 'Anything but Normal'? Just a thought...
Love and grace- L

Alex said...

This is grief like no other... that feels so very true. And my sense is that in order to survive we need days like this, where it feels surviveable... You are an amazing woman, dear Sarah, and trusting your process, trusting your grief and how it manifests in these many, many ways seems so very respectful.

so much love.