Saturday 21 May 2011
Tonight, I had dinner with a girlfriend of mine. Actually to be precise, it was a very small gathering – Lumberjack, Ted, Atsanna and her beau, Sean. Ted cooked a spectacular meal: kudos, dude.
At and I catched up some. There wasn’t a lot of girl time but it was the overall experience that really moved me. It wasn’t about the two of us. It was nice doing a group thing. But for the record? I’m grateful that she makes an effort – with our friendship – and to check in with me, especially when I’ve been MIA for a while – something- most of you know – I can tend to do when the going gets rough.
It seems like the Going Has Been Nothing But Rough for So LONG, I don’t know anything else. This might be the headache I’m having that’s talking. I don’t know. I feel like someone is taking a hammer to my skull, and poking a burning hot spear into my eyeball. OWWWW.
Focusing elsewhere now. It hurts too much to talk about how much it hurts.
She has been one of the few faithful girlfriends here, for me, on the left coast throughout this illness. This isn’t meant to be a slight in any way in regards to the other women in my life. I have had – and do have – some incredibly strong friends in my corner throughout this ordeal, here, both male and female.
I have more guy friends here in LA. I suppose this comes down to me being a natural TomGirl, and the environment in which I was immersed prior to dropping of the face of the Earth.
Having been so close with my music possee before all this, 99% of whom are guys, it dawns on me just how deeply I’ve missed the “Estrogen Factor” these past years. And how much I miss my Boys, too!
Thank God for the friendships I do have here and especially, with both family and friends on the East Coast: because of the history we have, it has been easier to let them in, and they have sustained me when I’ve really needed to let my guard down and be vulnerable, I guess.
Like I said: I kind of just …disappeared after my stroke(s).
I realize that I’ve dropped off the map with so many people, I’ve got some work to do in the months and – yek! – years to come. I want to reconnect. And I admit that it’s daunting when I try to think about how to start again:
ME: “Hey, it’s me. Sorry I’ve been out of touch – I sorta had a stroke in 2006 and brain surgery and …”
THEM: “You had a stroke?”
How do you catch up from there?
Well. You just do. One friend at a time. There’s only one way back into my life and that’s me – taking action and having the courage to reach out again – over and over. And over.
A few members of my “team” have offered – for over a year now – to start contacting people on my “list” – on my behalf – in order to let them in on what the heck has been up with me for – oh – five years and eight days. …I printed the contact list up last year – over 1,000 people – 600 of whom I actually know I know.
Yet the idea of letting go like this and letting them take over for me – makes me see what a control freak I still am. And how easily overwhelmed I get. Who will call whom? Do my music friends call my other music friends? Do my girlfriends call my other girlfriends? How does one distribute their …life, in many ways … to a small group and say,
“Have at it, thanks!”
Do I just let go? Do I? Where do I start?
You know, I didn’t realize how small my life had gotten until I really sat down to think about who I *might* invite to an actual party. At first, I was really depressed. But as I relaxed, the list grew. And grew. And this inspired me to think about how the people around me might play a part in my life: these are people who already know I’ve been sick. Why not just reach out? Why not start? Why not try?
I had friends over for dinner tonight.
I try to document them here, in my writing, but I get woefully behind.
I thought maybe trying a new medium would make checking in easier. Thus, my recovery team set me up with the ability to post PodCasts, believing, as I do, that quick daily updates, via voice, will be cathartic for me, as well as a way to chart the progress I know I AM making.
This will be helpful, I hope – for you guys, too.
It isn’t for lack of things to say, or things to share that I haven’t posted a single entry yet.
Not at all. But it seems the walk from one room to the next, to sitting down at the computer, to creating a new routine – however helpful it will be for me – is something akin to trying to lift a car without an adrenaline rush. It’s just not happening.
It will. I know it. This is where the Faith I have comes into play.
So … we had a lovely time. My beautiful friend is – seems – happy. She glows. Being in love does things for us that no amount of external aesthetic “work” can touch. I couldn’t help but be moved by the small touches, the gestures and glances which passed between she and her lover throughout the evening. Being in love is contagious – a kind of anti-depressant, I think. –I might not – at this moment – be getting the same Neuro-Boost, the chemical rush, that At and Sean have? Still – it’s great to be around it. And most importantly, it’s just so wonderful to see my friend so happy. She deserves it – and he wears his heart on his proverbial sleeve with unabashed pleasure.
The conversation was funny tonight. I had the pleasure of relaxing into hours of discussion – in which – refreshingly – I was neither the primary topic NOR the primary ….talker. It is interesting, though. Through the stories of my friends, I found myself fascinated and saddened and frusterated and …. relieved. Relieved because I was in the company of people who get what I’m going through. Because they have lots to say and I want to hear it. ….Frusterated and sad because I feel like I’m totally out of the flow of life that is going on right around me.
–I can be judgemental (really?) sometimes about the things other people seem to take for granted. Resentful, even. Things like … being able to work. I’m going nuts without structure in my life and am terrified about the state of my finances, about the pain I’m in, about the people I love who are suffering, about …. well, let’s just say I can admit that I have the additional characteristics of a certain amount of self-pity, self-centeredness, worrying about other people and wanting to “fix” their problems and alleviate their pain. I joke sometimes that it’s “The All About Me Show.” –I’ve even composed a jingle to go along with it. I’m the first one to poke fun at myself.
But that’s not the point I’m trying to make.
When I say I’m resentful of what others (seem) to take for granted, what do I mean?
What do normal people do? Um… They Drive. They can get their car washed – or better – wash it themselves. They can clean their house (without needing a 4 hour nap after, or risking falling flat on their face while trying to Swiffer the Linoleum). They can …have babies. Raise them. They can go for a run. Meet friends for brunch. Walk the dog. Travel.(Like how I go from Swiffering to Babies to Brunch?)
I am focusing on what I cannot do today rather than what I can do. Or what I have accomplshed. Jeez. What a freakin’ downer! And here – I catergorized this as a “Good Times” entry.
….I guess it’s good that I’m aware of these character defects – the envy, resentment, judgments – because in this context, knowledge is power. I can be a better person. I want to be a better person. I try to be a better person. And I have role models around me to help me, to guide me, to teach me and to show me the person that *they* see. Because I realize my self-perception is often so skewed, I’m in danger of being frighteningly out of touch with the reality of my situation.
In the big picture? Considering the battles I’ve faced, am facing and will face? When I think about it, I’m actually doing alright. Maybe even good.
I feel a little better about myself than I did 20 minutes ago. Of course, I felt a lot better about myself about two hours ago. Moody McMoodkenstein. That’s me. Me and the Headache Talking, that is.
Still, I’ll take the “feeling better” over the “I’ve felt better.”
After a month-long silence, I find myself relieved to just be here. Now. This isn’t a pithy observational piece, or a series of “only you, Rebecca,” anecdotes. It isn’t profound. It isn’t really that interesting, even. It’s kind of a Diary Entry – only semi-public. But who better to be real with than the ones who want to know this kind of stuff? I gotta love you for trying. For caring. For sticking with me through this.
Who knew? I guess I came to the computer at the right time. Kudos to me for finally getting back on the site to check in with y’all.
I guess it’s time to go to sleep. The house is quiet save for the sounds of clocks ticking out of time with each other.
It is a peaceful end to a good night. Another night of firsts.
Oh – and the world didn’t end today.
I suppose that’s something else to be grateful for.