We’re calling this time in our lives “Recovery Summer”. After I came out of the fog of the 2-3 weeks following the loss of the girls I realized there was no picking up where you left off and moving on with life. Things had changed. Things needed to change. Some of these changes were involuntary, some voluntary. Some of the changes permanent, some temporary. In the midst of it all I realized I needed to grant myself some leniency in a few areas and my husband deemed this time period “Recover Summer”. To be fair, Recovery Summer may very well last past the closing of summer this year. I decided to give myself some grace in the following areas:
Housekeeping. Most days I just can’t get it done. I still seem to wander through my life with no real sense of purpose. I have a daily schedule that, if followed, ensures a clean house every day. Nope, not doing it during Recovery Summer. In fact, some days are still so bad we don’t do much except lay in bed and watch tv. The grief is still consuming and it often takes me by surprise.
TV watching. I have a 2 year old. And it’s summer, in Texas. When I can’t get myself out of bed, or I’m in such a bad mood because the anger is so great, tv it is. I don’t like it and I feel guilty about it, but not guilty enough to change it. Not during Recovery Summer.
Money. Ok, this is a biggie. Hubs and I have worked our tails off and made lots of sacrifices to get where we’re at financially. We have goals, both short term and long term, and we’re hitting milestones. It feels good. Until you’re faced with tragedy and realize you really want to spend some of that hard-earned mula. So I have. Spent lots. I want to be very clear here: No credit cards, no changes to retirement or college savings, no changes to tithing, just less strict with where we direct our excess funds. This will probably be one of the first things that goes back to normal. It’s important to me to reach our financial goals and I realize buying new Tory Burch shoes each month isn’t the way to get there. Besides, I’d really like this house to be paid for.
Weight/Body Image. In a nutshell, I eat and drink what I want and refuse to think about the caloric ramifications. I enjoy food. I enjoy alcohol. I love the whole eating and drinking experience so I’m not worrying about my weight. I’m just enjoying life. Besides, my husband still thinks I’m dead sexy and all my clothes still fit. I don’t see any issues here. I guess you could say that I refuse to deny myself these pleasures while trying to recover from losing the twins. Seems reasonable.
Social Engagements. Most of my time is spent with my daughter and husband. Outside of that tightly knit group is family. Very few friends. I hope I still have some friends left on the other side of this, but 99% of the time I don’t want to be around anyone else. Don’t know why, don’t know if it’s good or bad, it just is. And I’m finding I really need to listen to my emotions and feelings right now. They are the only true gauge of how I’m doing.
So there’s the outline to Recovery Summer. Some days it works, some days it doesn’t. I know it doesn’t really matter how much shopping I do, how much I eat or drink, how much tv I watch or how much I do or don’t do with others; the truth is, none of it fixes the loss. There is no true healing for this. It’s like a chronic illness…it will always hurt. I’m struggling right now because I feel like there is a lack of progress. I’ll go through days feeling pretty good, engaging in life and think, ooh! progress! Then I’ll have several days where I feel like I’ve been knocked back to the ground.
If I’m being honest, I’m probably not being knocked as far down as I think, but it shocks me how raw the pain still is. How easily the tears still come and how I am completely powerless to stop them. I’m shocked that a huge lump still closes my throat and that my breath is still sucked away when I focus on what a huge loss I’ve endured. I’m still surprised by the physical toll grief takes on your body. Im tired and beat down. It feels like I’ve been working my fingers to the bone when I’ve actually done nothing at all. Except think. And the thinking is exhausting. The rehashing of the all the details in my mind, remembering their faces, their bodies and trying to never, ever, ever forget the feeling of them cradled in my arms for the first and last time. It’s like there is a video in my mind set on repeat. It just keeps playing over and over again. It never stops. It’s why I cant go back to sleep when I wake in the middle of the night. The emotions and constant thought processing leave me feeling physically drained on a regular basis. I still frown on my passing inability to engage in my life and find happiness when I have an adoring husband and quite possibly the coolest 2 year old ever. I’m still so very angry at God; for doing it, for allowing it to happen, for not fixing it. The pain is immense. And it’s raw and fresh and still there. I keep looking for and hoping for the moment when I can take a deep breath and know the time where the bad days outnumber the good are behind me. I’m certainly not there yet; there is still work to be done.
So let’s raise our glasses: Here’s to hoping Recovery Summer is a big step in that direction. I’m tired of being a passerby in my life, I’d like to return to being a participant. Cheers everybody.