I am slow to change. I flow like molasses on a cold winter’s day. Comfort, peace, familiar objects provide a certain weight that hold me in place. I am not the first person with an idea, nor the spontaneous trip taker, nor the one who has to travel to stay sane.
Over the years, I have read a variety of futuristic science fiction books where some sort of cataclysmic event happens and only the quick thinking and quick adapting survive. It occurred to me today that I would not be one of the ones who made it.
First, I would deny that anything had changed… what, zombies? no, not here. Then, if that didn’t make the problem go away, I would move to a waiting attitude – this is only temporary, give it a few months and it’ll change back. Next (if I was still alive), it would start to occur to me that maybe something had changed for realsees. I’d be angry, maybe spend some time scratching my head about what to do. I would go through the motions but never really get it into my head that things had changed. And as time went on, and it became more and more clear that the world was never going to be the same again… I don’t know how I’d be, if I would be able to adapt, to thrive.
Over the last month, I have finally gotten down to the business of dealing with my feelings around my head injury and the fact that it continues to effect me. This week, it is the feeling that time is just gone. The last year, missing. More than the usual “gee, I can’t believe it is already 2015”, my core is wondering why I am not writing February 2014. Truly. My internal clock says not enough time has passed while I have been “myself” that it could possibly be 2015. No way. My logical self remembers enough of the previous months to believe I lived through 2014, but my internal self, no.
Maybe another layer of my intellect has returned and I am finally ready for my story to continue. The story never stopped, of course, but I did. For quite a while. During much of the last year, significant chunks of my personality were gone, damaged, not available to me…so far gone that I didn’t even know what I lacked. As I slowly became myself again, I would keep thinking I was complete and then another skill, thought pattern, belief system would return to me and I would think “Ahhh, now I’m complete and ready to face the world”. So maybe this is it, finally. I have put all of the pieces back together and time is again being marked in my mind.
Or, maybe my depth of denial has been such that it was like time didn’t really exist. I denied what was happening so deeply, so completely, that my inner self really believed that time had not passed. Maybe it is because not being able to “do” things – concerts, going out to dinner (until recently), dancing, sports – doesn’t make for a lot of memories. Or, maybe, it is a bit of all of that or something else entirely.
Regardless, I feel cheated. I feel cheated that the world has happened for the past year, and the “me” that makes me me wasn’t there. Time moved on, even when I wasn’t capable of appreciating it. A childlike hurt fills me, a year without recess. My adult self feels anger at this unexpected dissonance inside my head, nonplus that my internal clock says it should be late winter / early spring of 2014, yet it is clearly 2015.
As I struggled with this disconnect in my mind today, I talked with one of my coworkers. Or, more like, he reached out and shared with me. About five years ago, he learned that he had a growth in his brain. It is in such a delicate spot that the doctors won’t biopsy it to find out if it’s cancerous – too much damage could be done unintentionally. When he found out, it tore him up inside. He was so scared, so angry. Finally, he couldn’t deal with it anymore and so he prayed. He prayed and asked for help. And, after a while, he felt peace wash over him. He knew he wasn’t alone. He knew his God was watching over him, was with him. Because of that, he was able to stop worrying about the growth (still there) and just live his life. He said to me “whatever happens, happens. People want to know what’s going to happen, they want to control things… and you can’t. Some things you just can’t control. But I know I am not alone, the Lord is with me, and that has made all of the difference”.
Tears ran down my cheeks as he talked. His genuine sharing opened my eyes and my heart to other possibilities. It is not the good or bad that we experience that matters, but how we deal with it. Wanting things to be different causes the most pain. And, reaching out to one’s divine power can make all the difference in the world.
I haven’t done much with my belief system since my injury. I have not asked for help from my Goddess, for peace or support. For months, I simply didn’t have the focus to ask. But now, I guess, I can. I forgot about that path, truly. We humans live in a linear reality. One moment of time follow another, with no turning back, no do-overs, no refunds. All I can do now is choose how I will spend today, and tomorrow. Choose how I will feel, choose what I will do, choose how I will cope. I hope I can do as well as my friend.