Give It Another Try

Meredith: “After a trauma, your body is at its most vulnerable. Response time is critical. So you’re suddenly surrounded by people—doctors, nurses, specialists, technicians—surgery is a team sport. Everyone pushing for the finish line. Putting you back together again. But surgery is a trauma in and of itself, and once it’s over, the real healing begins. It’s called recovery. Recovery is not a team sport. It’s a solitary distance run. It’s long. It’s exhausting. And it’s lonely as hell.” — Grey’s Anatomy, season 7 episode 19

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Grey’s Anatomy quote but that one seemed to fit with today’s post.

When I took a walk at Rum River on Saturday, the peepers were going full bore in the wetland areas.

It about made me cry I miss them so badly — that sound that comes every Spring. And sand cranes — I miss hearing sand cranes calling as they fly over and seeing them dance in the neighboring fields.

I’ve figured out how to fake myself out on some of the things I miss, but I can’t pretend and fool myself on everything.

I get angry and frustrated at how much these things hurt. Am I doing this to myself? How do I stop it? How do I find beauty and peace in this life that I feel so stuck and trapped and imprisoned by?!

I want to scream, “This is not me! Why am I here? In this place? Alone. Why have I ended up with the opposite of what I wanted?”

Okay, I do have a horse and dogs. Be thankful for that. And I am. Sort of thankful. Kind of grateful for the things that aren’t lost, like my job and friends, and I’m lucky to have been able to buy a house.

Yet, I have not found a way to stop feeling the grief over the loss of things that used to lift me up and make me smile, the ones that warmed me like a quilt and made me feel safely home.

Even some of the new comforts have gone astray. I haven’t heard or seen my owls for weeks. They were my consolation, my night companions, filling in some of the gap between old and new life.

I looked forward to seeing or at least hearing them every day. The lack of their presence is so pervasive, It’s surprising, even to me, how much I miss them. Perhaps they’ve gone somewhere to nest and I won’t see them again until their babies are grown.

It’s been two years and the trauma still feels fresh. I didn’t expect that. I’m strong, right? I’m brave. I’m good at picking myself up and going on. So why?

Why, I guess, doesn’t matter. Perhaps inside, I am like this pile of debris that the river carries in springtime’s high, fast waters.

Logs, twigs, muck, and trash hang up in the shallows — more and more pieces keep piling into and onto the mound.

I need to stop piling garbage on top of myself, despising everything about me, quit considering myself and my life a failure, and stop reminding myself that if I had a choice, I would leave me too.

Maybe the assignment now, in this new life, is to not depend on anyone else to make up for what I lack or don’t like in myself. I have something…  My friends see it. But I can’t. Not yet anyway.

I perhaps sound like a broken record with some of these things that I say, but I guess I will keep repeating what I need to hear, over and over, until I finally listen.

If I am going to pull through this with more than a grunt and a just getting by life, this is the time for me to pursue some of the adventures I’ve dreamed of. This is the time to be a writer, to take that identity fully on. To be visible as me, not as what I think someone wants me to be, or as someone who gets through the door because of who they are attached to.

This is the time to believe I can do something that will amaze at least me — if not anyone else.

Some dreams are a bit harder now. Funds are tighter. Gas is way more expensive. And I’m older and often don’t have the energy to do everything I want to do. But maybe the adventure is mainly in the mind anyway — in venturing outside myself and my fears and judgement.

These trees remind me of myself, stooped over, shoulders hunched with shame over mistakes and lost opportunities.

Busy looking at the ground and missing the beautiful sky right above me.

I have the right to not only take up space, but to fill the space that opens up for me.
I don’t believe that yet, but I’ll keep repeating the words until I do.

Meredith: “The length of your recovery is determined by the extent of your injuries. And it’s not always successful. No matter how hard we work at it. Some wounds might never fully heal. You might have to adjust to a whole new way of living. Things may have changed too radically to ever go back to what they were. You might not even recognize yourself. It’s like you haven’t recovered anything at all. You’re a whole new person with a whole new life.”

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  1. Thats right…”a whole new person” in a whole new world…free to explore, and experience things you may not even have considered yet.

  2. One day at a time Maery Rose. You are a new person who has come from all of your past experiences, and have pegged youself perfectly. Snapping your fingers does not bring about automatic change. You seem to have this whole thing figured out except for one small part. You have worth! and talent and lots of love and many good things going on in your life. I have followed you for a long time and see amazing progress…now you have to feel it and believe it.

    By the way, your photos have been amazing.

  3. Sally – Yes, that line hit me. I can’t recreate a facsimile of my old life. Maybe there is something completely new and better for me.

    Lori – I am unbelievably hard on myself. I’ve somehow taken over where others left off in making myself feel bad. Thanks for reminding me once again that there is progress going on here.

  4. Maery, Lori has a lot of wisdom in her post. You are a very talented thoughtful person. You have a lot to offer and give. I bet you do miss those peepers! They are so melodious.

  5. Our owls have flown the coop too. They must be on some private schedule that has nothing to do with us. How dare they? 😉
    Yes, keep repeating the good healthy stuff until it’s worn a groove into your brain. It is a choice, to be happy and satisfied with what you have and where you are going or to be continually looking backwards and pining for a situation that wasn’t all you even thought it was in the first place. Choose that. We all see how awesome you are. If you can’t see it in yourself yet, start with seeing it in the world. You’re part of the world, connected to it and all of us, so you MUST be pretty awesome too. 🙂

  6. So sorry to hear that you are still suffering… but if you look back over the past two years, you must see signs of your own beauty and strength!

    These shots are just wonderful!

  7. Your owls are probably nestin’ and will return in numbers. :o)

    Sometimes ya just gotta embrace the ‘new’ you, scars and all and go with it! You my dear are a beautiful woman, a talented writer, a gifted photographer and much stronger than you know. ….and these are just a few positive points I can tell from your writin’.

    You’ve come so very far you need to be proud of yourself sweetie.

    God bless ya and have an amazin’ day!

  8. Hi Maery,
    Since the very first time that you wrote about the shock of that day when your heart broke I have felt an overwhelming sadness at how scary that must have been. I have seen you struggle to overcome your fear and sadness and been so impressed with how strong you have been. That being said I understand why you still have difficult days-what an incredibly horrible time it has been with so many changes-most of which you did not want in your life.

    I just want to let you know how much I admire you for continuing on and being so open about the bad days. I love when you have a wonderful day because I can’t think of anyone who deserves that more.

    I hope that this spring will help you heal in more ways than you can imagine and that you will find more moments of joy and less ones of sadness as your spirit continues to grow stronger each day.

    You are incredibly talented and resilient-you are funny and beautiful and smart and compassionate. I sure hope you wouldn’t leave yourself because you’d be missing out on a hell of a lot!

    So-I just wanted you to know that I think you are amazing. And I know all of your friends and bloggy friends think so, too!

    Lots of hugs your way always,

    Sue and the crew

  9. All the comments before me have valid points.
    You have come a long way..allowing yourself to be happy will be your real turning just dabble in it now. You are still clinging to the painful parts, apparently you figure deep down that they still serve some purpose.
    Your new life is there, right before you..waiting..give yourself permission to embrace it fully:)

  10. Hi Maery Rose,
    I just found your blog yesterday (thanks to a tweet from Roxanne) and have been reading through posts since then. I wanted to let you know that you are not alone in these feelings of pain you have. This post in particular really struck a chord with me and felt so familiar. We all make mistakes (even huge ones) and have trouble forgiving ourselves for them.

    I personally haven’t found the healing secret yet, but I’m still trying. It’s all we can do. Hang in there. 🙂

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