Monday, January 09, 2012

9th January

Well this time last week I was stood with the breakdown man trying to mend my broken car, and today was a very comparable experience, though this time it was not my car that suddenly stopped working. It was me… oh dear. Anyway, my story; today started off quite nicely, and as I lay in bed just beginning to wake up I felt quite good. Almost lively, ‘almost’ is still moderated with the ever present Chronic Fatigue. So I then begin to consider my plans for the day and a couple of options spring to mind, I ought to go swimming, yes, good idea. But what about doing some bathroom decorating which has been on the go for months now? Can’t decide… ok I’ll do decorating this morning and swim after lunch, that’s a plan. Breakfast first, and then a cup of coffee to wake me up. Don’t forget the cat litter, a quick vacuum and tidy up the kitchen. 5 minutes then watching News 24 and I’ll be ready to start. Oh no! I can’t move, and it’s not physical, it’s emotional. An unexpected and quite instantaneous dive into the depths of grief. I really can’t be doing with this it messes up all my nice plans for a productive day. But I’m no longer in control and just have to concentrate on sorting myself out. The battle really is in my mind and it’s in turmoil, fighting through the upset of grief and striving to avoid sinking into depression. But what can I do? I’m alone now with no Jane to ‘jolly’ me along and there’s no one else who I can turn to at times like this. I have to work it through myself.

Over the years I’ve personally spent time with the bereaved, and I’ve proof read all of Jane’s student work based in a clinical environment as an Art Therapist, which included a placement in a Hospice and elsewhere with a child facing imminent bereavement.  I’ve learnt some stuff for sure, but it’s not enough. Head knowledge gives me assurance that I’m ‘normal’, and that my difficulties can be temporary as long as I keep moving forward. It’s just that processing my thoughts without the help of my therapist wife is rather haphazard. And today was a real struggle. So what to do? I sat for a long while and then I walked. That always helps. Remaining determined not to give in to complete non-productivity, I made the ‘excuse’ of needing to buy new decorating scissors and went shopping. Returning home it was then lunchtime and that gave me another hour to sit and sort my head out. It worked, as I was able to get the paste table out and I’ve made a start with a couple of lengths of wallpaper. Perseverance paid off, though swimming was a ‘wash out’!

But then the penny dropped and I realised what my problem was. For years and years Jane and I shared absolutely everything (apart from drain rods and cooking...), specifically decorating is the issue right now. We had a system. I’d manhandle the strips of wallpaper into position after she’d pasted them. And whilst I measured the next one she’d be patting down all the bits I’d missed. When the kids were very young we’d be decorating until the early hours of the morning just enjoying one another’s company. I loved working with Jane. And now I can’t. It’s too hard to even think about the fact that I’m changing everything without her encouragement and support.

Her hanging hearts are going nowhere just yet though…

Psalm 34:18 ‘The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.’ (NLT)

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