I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Grieving Myself

It sounds weird, doesn't it? But that's exactly what I've spent the last couple months doing. Grieving myself. Grieving me past activities and abilities, the loss of opportunities and especially the careless confidence and self-sufficiency that had been mine since Casa (that's preschool for you non-Montessori people out there).

If you are not a spoonie, you probably don't think twice about everything you do every day. I know I didn't. I never worried that I wouldn't be able to make it home if I walked further than usual. I wasn't concerned about stairs. The noise in the mall never bothered me. I didn't consider easy access when planning where to put my pots in the kitchen (actually, when I moved in, beneath the oven was easy access). Today I worry about all those things and more.

Do you remember me? Always the last one to leave the party. Always the first to suggest the party in the first place! The one running around and rolling on the floor with all the children all the time. The one who did 4 different jobs at once at the school, without a desk. The one who could command the attention of 60 students and make them in sing in 3-part harmony. The one who so enjoyed long walks on the weekends. The dancer (any excuse - really). The hand-talking opinionated arguer. The guitar player, sort of. The great believer in retail therapy. The yogini. The one who would take any excuse for a road trip, or any kind of trip, really, let's be honest.

And what about now? I can't go to the party, never mind be the last to leave. Instead, I plan an hour or two with one, maybe two friends, and only those friends who won't drain me, in places where I don't have to walk too far and that are kinda quiet. I still enjoy (understatement!) being with children, but I sure can't run with them, and after a while the noise and movement gets to me. I can't hold one job, never mind 4 - when my energy hits a 6, I can volunteer a maximum of 4 hours a week (are you kidding me?). I can still command attention, but it drains me terribly. The long walks are limited to 8 minutes still - I was set back by my cold last week, and had to start over at 3 minutes, and have worked my way back up to 8. Dancing is out (so depressing). Hand-talking is done - I can barely lift my hands, sometimes, never mind wave them around madly while I argue with you. Right, and the arguing - can't make a coherent point. Playing the guitar requires me to sit, and hold the guitar, and move my hands - so not so feasible most of the time. As for shopping, well, retails therapy is out for so many reasons... Yoga makes me dizzy, and I'm not sure yet I can make it home from a restorative yoga class. And travel is even worse than shopping in terms of energy requirements, sensory input and stress.

So where does that leave me? Yes, yes, I know, I know, I'm still me, and a valuable asset to family and friends and even the school... but I have to be honest with my grief, because it's the only way to get through it. I loved being that spontaneous, energetic person. I really did. And I know I will learn to love being the person I'm becoming, and I do love learning through this, and all that. But it still hurts. I miss those things about me.

The standard 5 stages of grief apply: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I feel like I'm bouncing back and forth through these every day, except I'm definitely past denial. Knowing the stages helps, though. Because I know whichever stage in I'm at any given moment, it's transient. More and more, I am moving into acceptance. And in that there is peace. There is a space for me to redefine myself, and see the places where I have not changed in the slightest.

I am still opinionated and open minded, and I still love to learn (even if it makes my brain hurt now). I am still doing jigsaws and crosswords, and I still visit casual gaming sites. I'm still a creative problem solver. Although my processing speed may be slower, I haven't lost an ounce of knowledge, and retain my levels of intelligence. I'm still affectionate and generous, and compassionate. I still wear my heart on my sleeve. I'm still stubborn and tenacious. I still enjoy delving into life's mysteries, and I still get a kick out of silly jokes.

I am still me. Just a slightly altered me, trying to figure things out is all, I guess.


  1. The strength which you've insisted on assigning to others is actually within yourself.
    ~~~Lisa Alther~~~


  2. Andy - don't even know what to say. This sounds "normal" and appropriate, but so wrong all at once. Maybe it's the mantra of "this too shall pass"? Or maybe it's just enough to say - lunch was lovely and we'll do it again.

  3. Lunch was lovely - I am planning on writing about it today, and yes, most definitely we need to make it happen again!

  4. Love this - as I think about my own grieving process I can relate and really hope I'm closing in on acceptance. But I think a big step is that we are aware we are grieving and are learning to be OK with it, that's a big accomplishment in inself.