[Urban Dictionary: ‘gone to ground’ = To take evasive action in order to avoid further attention. To "lay low."]My therapist suggested I write this post for a couple of reasons: 1) Writing is a good creative outlet for me and can serve as a catharsis (aka emotional dump); 2) it’s a way of letting my peeps know what’s going on with me without having to talk about me when I don’t feel up to talking about me (aka I’m sick of myself).
It’s become increasingly difficult for me to be in groups, to go to events, even to visit one-on-one or talk on the phone. It’s a bit of a vicious cycle: I don’t participate and so I don’t have anything interesting to talk about, and I don’t have anything interesting to talk about, so I don’t want to participate.
Pain and pain meds still conspire to keep my energy ebbing most days. I’m content to stay home and bake or watch cooking shows or do crossword puzzles or spend far too much time on Facebook watching Donald Trump melt down. I did get my studio arranged so that I can do some collaging, another good creative outlet. But I haven’t been spending much time with my music lately, just a bare minimum with my ensemble, Tapestry. It mystifies me why music feels like such a chore these days.
Choir rehearsals start again in a month, and I still need to decide if I’m going to sing this term. It feels daunting – not just the physical difficulty of getting and being there, but it is an emotional drain as well and can include a lot of conversations about how I am and what I’ve been doing (see paragraph 2).
Don’t get me wrong – I love my friends and family and music pals to bits. I miss them. I am blessed to have such rich relationships. But guess what? When I’m not available those relationships suffer. I let people down by not responding to calls or emails, by not initiating contact, and I let myself down by not having the pleasure of their company, which always turns out to be so nourishing.
And then! I have to fight the shame and guilt, and another vicious cycle is unleashed.
Some of this is related to still getting used to being in a wheelchair 90% of my mobile hours. Some is the very real possibility that it may soon be 100%, as the nerve damage seems to still be progressing. There is ongoing grief about all that I (rather we: I have to include Laurie here) have given up: I would kill for a walk on the beach or a hike in the forest; I would love to dance again; to go out to dinner or a concert without having to worry if I’ll be able to access the venue.
When can I just ease into acceptance? This is the new normal after all – for now.
So I would ask this of you, my dear friends: When you see me, I may not want to converse much. Please don’t take it personally. I need to reboot my life, which means this hiatus may go on a while longer. If I want to talk about how I’m doing, I will, but know that I might decline. I’d rather hear about you, or commiserate about the train wreck of an election we’re witnessing - and maybe cheer a little about having a woman president!
Laurie and Liza and I will be spending a week on Orcas Island at the end of the month. I’m excited at the prospect of looking out over calming waters and of having no internet access for a week - unplugging will be good for me once I get over the shock of it! Sounds like a good recipe for a reboot.