Wishing you courage

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying 'I will try again tomorrow'."
- Mary Anne Radmacher

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Getting here

For the last week and a half I've been watching my body heal from an unfortunate moment of unbalance that ended with me sprawled on the asphalt.

Healing is not pretty. Exposed, weeping wounds become covered with crusty scabs which protect those tender areas as new skin grows. Over the days bruises dawn and darken and turn sickly colors before fading away. Joints at points of impact stiffen and now I gently try to coax a normal range of movement out of my knee and hand.

Besides keeping the sores clean and preventing infection or further damage, there's not much you can do to speed the process along; healing takes as long as it takes.


Over the past two years since Toren died did I do enough to prevent "infection"? Did all of that alcohol work as an internal disinfectant? Did my brain shutting off and the mental numbing and the dissociation give my soul space to heal, free of external stimuli?

Could I have healed faster? Could I have done anything other than shut down and sit with my grief? Surging forward, determined to succeed and excel would have only been a lie and may not have led towards actual healing.


One year ago today I was preparing to kill myself. On the 16th I would end up in the ER, drunk and having swallowed every pill in the medicine cabinet. From there I would be transferred to a psychiatric inpatient hospital in the back of a sheriff's car. My journal entries from those days are very difficult for even me to read now as they document the shift from feeling desperately lonely, utterly hopeless and completely heartbroken to being at complete peace with not having another moment of this life.

Day after day, page after page of last Autumn, over and over I wrote about how lonely I was. When my husband said he didn't want to be with me anymore I was sure that I would never find another partner who would put up with me. If the person who knew me best couldn't stand to be around me what hope could I have for the future?


Today my home is filled with 3 women, 2 cats, and one dog. I'm here half of the time, the other half is spent with a guy who likes having me around. Today I slept in late and had breakfast made by the snuggle bunny. We showered, went back to bed, went for a walk, went out for lunch, went back to bed, and all day we laughed. Back at home this evening, housemate L.'s laughter bounces off the walls through the house as she laughs at a TV program. Housemate C. laughs at her cute dog. My house is full of life and animals; the driveway is full of cars. Tomorrow night I'll be back with the snuggle bunny for a night out and then peace and quiet at his place. Tuesday night, who knows!


I've had little to say about the second anniversary of Toren's birthday/death day, but I've been doing a lot of thinking. The day of his second anniversary was lovely and I want to tell you about it soon, but already it's taken so long for me to write this much. It's really incredible... in the months up until October 30, 2007 I was joyous and expectant, last year, completely destroyed, and lately, I'm still living with the sorrow of being without Toren but I smile everyday. How do you find words for this sort of journey?


Meg said...

Wow, Anna. I am sorry you fell. Those scrapes hurt so much. I hope you continue to heal quickly. And, I am so glad it didn't go as you planned on Oct 16. The fact that you smile everyday makes me smile, too. It seems like you have done a good job at putting words to this journey. I hope the smiles and happiness keep coming your way. Heal soon.

Sara said...

This journey is fairly indescribable, isn't it? It's like we can't see what's five feet ahead of us. Maybe that's why you fell. ;)

I'm happy things are better than last year!

Anonymous said...

Unbalanced moment led to an encounter with asphalt... sounds just like me. ;)
Your post touched me and had me thinking the whole day. I am glad you're smiling a lot more recently, have a house full of ladies, pets and a snugglebug to find comfort with.

And I am more than glad your "plan" last year didn't work out. Then you wouldn't be here to show that there CAN be giggles after such tremendous darkness. Thanks. xo

Ya Chun said...

Well, how you handled last year is how you handled it, no telling if another strategy woulda/coulda/shoulda worked better.

This journey sucks. And yet it is the beauty, the kindnesses, the sunny days, the peace, that we find that makes it bearable.

Anonymous said...

The survival of a babylost mama is truly a miracle. It's a wonder how we make it. Your words have given me hope as I anticipate Riley's 1 year Angel Day. I'm glad that you have laughter, life, and love in your life again. Your journey is one that has made you who you are and you have become a more loving, empathetic person thanks to your precious son Toren. From one babylost mama to another.. your words of encouragement have been a life saver. Wishing you a continuous flow of love in your life..