These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday was the Pits

Late last week I had a meltdown of sorts. The whole week was rocky, things just didn't feel right, I was edgy. And by Friday I was a basket case. Little, small things brought me to tears or close, and I assessed whether they were worthy the tears or related to the tears. Well, yes and no. The things that were instigating tears were things bringing up old memories: of my mom, of my dogs, of friends. Yes, they were related and worthy, but the tears were way too easy and frequent. Something wasn't right.

I muddled with this for most of the day, and I knew that I was grieving. And it still didn't really make sense. Not really. I considered that it might be hormonal, at least in part. But still .....

I didn't do much over the weekend. I gave myself permission to let the emotion, the pain, the grief, the hormones, whatever it was, to just be. Nothing more, just be.

Then, sometime yesterday and into today, a few things began to fall into place and make a sort of sense. This evening, I worked it out a little farther, and here is the skinny. Or so I think.

  • In 2005, my husband died. He had been sick for a long time, but his death on 10/18/05 was from a newly diagnosed cancer.
  • I retired in the waning months of his life to care for him.
  • In the next year, the changes in my life were numerous, hard physical work, selling my home of 30 years, moving out of state, and more than it makes sense to try to list here.
  • On 9/29/06 I left Kansas City, leaving behind my last 30 years.
  • On 10/18/06 (anniversary of Glenn's death), I suddenly lost my little dog, Mai Lin.

The next year(2006-07) seems pretty mild on the surface. The changes were positive ones but there was still a lot going on:
  • I bought a new home.
  • Moved my belongings to my new home.
  • Had a huge garage sale (a good thing, but it also meant letting go of possessions that were a tie to my previous life, i.e., it represented loss).
  • Stumbled into a part time job and completely changed careers, coming out of retirement.Things weren't too bad during this period or for the next (2007-08). But as I look back, it was building:
  • February I learned that China Doll had cancer. She died 8/29/08, giving me about three months more than was expected. But still ....
  • I began rescuing Shih Tzu, bringing home Sam, Max, Joey and Jazmyn. A good thing, but it added stress with adjustments and training.
  • On 10/29/08 Ali died. He was the last of my precious "originals." His death was a representation of the combined losses of all three: Mai Lin, China and Ali.
  • The economy tanked, as we all know. This has added enormous stress for me. It is a financial nightmare for someone in my position. Possibly not enough time left in my life to "recover."
  • My part time job ended, thanks to the economy. Belt tightening occurs.
  • The political campaigns and election .... need I say more?
  • On 11/2/08, my little great granddaughter died unexpectedly and possibly under suspicious circumstances. The investigation is not completed.
  • My long time friend Richard died on 11/4/08, just three weeks after his cancer diagnosis.
  • And the anticlimax of the political tension hit me about Thursday.

Tonight I went to a website with a Holmes-Rahe Scale. That's the one that measures life stress. I completed one for the 2005-06 period, and the score was 546. For 2007-08, it was better, 483. But you see, anything greater that 300 is considered a major life crisis. And I know that it was all resulting in the weepy day I had on Friday.

The thing is if we don't know why we are emotionally off-center, it is harder to turn it around, to find the center and be balanced again. Seeing this list made a lot of sense to me. I feel about 300% better today than I did Friday. Those stressors are still present and will be forever, but I understand what what going on and was able to "wrap my head around it." I also realized that I've had a lot of trauma in the late summer and fall months for several years now. It is likely to be a difficult time for me for years to come. Now that I recognize that, I can be better prepared for ensuing years.

Knowing is a good thing. It helps. It doesn't fix a damn thing, but it helps to understand. I'll be OK. :)


  1. You have had a hard couple of years and especially the last couple of months have been really hard. Hang in there. Remember the bad moments are there so we know how good the good moments are.

    I am sorry that I was sort of "out of it" when you called on Friday night. I hope I was able to help a little bit. You know you can call me anytime.

  2. Caroline, our talk on Friday I think helped to start me thinking and sorting it all out. I appreciate that, and thanks.

    It has been a tough four years, going back to dealing with Glenn's illness, and these last two months have just brought it all into one package. That package is, in a sense, a gift, bringing focus. Without the focus, as you say, we wouldn't recognize the good times for what they are.

    Thanks for listening.

    BTW, I'm as foggy (with no reason) today as you were on Fri. I'm now (almost 9:30) beginning to feel awake, but it has taken hours. I woke about 5:30, couldn't go back to sleep. But while I couldn't sleep, I also couldn't wake up. I kept dropping off to sleep for a few seconds at a time. No idea what was going on! At least I am beginning to feel alive now.

  3. Acknowledgement is huge. It's such a big step. My post today is similar. Funny that I didn't know you posted this. You're amazingly strong, but you know that. You're allowed to have a down time now and then. You live your life with vigor and determination... you're allowed to have some time where you don't feel right. In the end, as you know, you'll be OK.

  4. Melissa, I drove by your blog earlier and kept going because I saw no new post. I must have been there before you put the new one up, so I'll go back.

    Being from the career field I am, I "should know" this, but those things are easier to see and apply to others than to ourselves. I usually catch on, but not till I've wallowed a bit. And yes, I will be OK. :) Thanks.

  5. My hat's off to you for being able to figure out what was causing your meltdown. I'm trying to figure out the root of my own funk right now, so I appreciate what you've been going through.

    All I can say is WOW- you've been through SO much in such a short period of time. And it's not as if everything is resolved now...

    I send you strength and hugs and healing.

    Extra hugs,

  6. Yes you will be okay but please know you are valued and loved and I have much empathy for all the ups and downs you have experienced in the past few years. Hugs Lynilu.

  7. I am sorry. Its hard dealing with so much loss but as you reminded me in my blog there are rough patches in ones life. Crying is good no matter what people say it is not a sign of weakness. Hugs and tomorrow or next week will be better.

  8. Oh, hon! I am so sorry that you have been stressed. You have been on a roll for awhile now. Whew. You deserve some quiet time spent reading blogs and snuggling with dogs.

  9. Daisy, thanks. :)

    Betty, there are times when I don't figure it out, but when it all comes together, it is such a relief. It's funny how the mind works to shut out part of the pain so we can survive! Thanks. :)

    Queenie, thank you. Life is never really easy for most of us, but these things make us stronger. Thanks. :)

    Red, thank you. I don't see crying as weekness at all. Sometimes I wish I could cry more than I do; it would be healing.

    (M)ary, I get lots of snuggle time with the babies! Honestly, I don't know what I would do without them. They keep me grounded. :) Thanks.

  10. You have had a rough few years. Just hang in there. It is a good thing to list the good and the bad. Sometimes just seeing the good things which needs to include your accomplishments is enough.

    Today we were going through our winter clothing. I decided to donate my old winter coat and as I was going through the pockets I found Surely's dog tag. I started crying. I don't know when the hurt will stop but I know it will fade, eventually.

  11. Pepper, I got a call that Ali's ashes are back. I'll go pick him up tomorrow. Then I can move on where he is concerned. I'll still have those moments like you describe, but this much will be done.

    I'm good about recognizing my accomplishments, the positives in my life, but it is when I ignore the bad things too much, too long that I get into trouble. I'm so much better now than I was a few days ago. Thanks for your note. :)

  12. You can't really deal with a "funk" (for lack of a better term) if you don't know what it's stemming from. I find myself (as you know) getting depressed for no apparent reason, until I think about all the life changes in the last few years.

    I'm sorry your Friday was a stinker and I hope this Friday will be much better!

  13. Jen, no, you really can't. It is so easy to fail to recognize the markers, and even being a professional in the field, I fail to see them, at times.

    Thanks, I am already far better. :)


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