Haven’t written for a while but then it’s hard to even type with a broken shoulder.
Fully vaccinated, waiting period done mid March. A week later went to Seattle to see BFF for 6 days (great time, beautiful area) Came back with a burning desire to move there and started getting practical, financials ducks in a row, etc.
One week later….fell…. right shoulder…ER…..back in lockdown. Frankly a worse lockdown because I really couldn’t do anything for about 4 weeks. Now I’m doing physical therapy and movement is slowly coming back. I’m very grateful it was not a surgery break, just a rest and slowly recover one, but..
I know there have been times in my life when I was depressed for whatever reason, but I tend to be the more anxious type. I worry and obsess and that tends to drive me to put off things, hide my head in the sand ostrich-like. procrastinate. But this time I feel like I understand the symptoms others have described….moving through mud or inability to move at all. Worrying thoughts that don’t become obsessive, that just seep into your being and render you incapable of caring. It’s been tough.
And I’m coming out of it, though I am writing this because I found myself getting up at 9:30 this morning, eating a banana and some crackers and then taking a nap on the sofa…depressive behavior for me.
Will unloading help? IDK. At least I’m sitting upright and typing something that needs a little thought. I have forced myself to read and to watch French TV and do those things that require that attention span that I feel has left me in this last year. I’d like to recover that and since can’t do much else this has been a time to attempt it. That being said, depression hasn’t helped in that endeavor, but trying to push through it, has.
I think the (MUCH) bigger question or area of meditation for me during this time in particular and the whole last year in general, has been the fact of my aging.
I’m not one who fears death. I have respect for it, understand it is coming for us all, I certainly hope mine will be relatively easy and painless, but my hold on life is tenuous That doesn’t mean I am suicidal or even have those thoughts; it just means that I kind of don’t care…..or it is what it is…I don’t know. But, in contrast, the fear of aging is real, and I have really managed to put it off for a long time, until this past year. This year showed me how alone I was, I had cancer, now this broken shoulder caused by a fall caused by neurological issues I’m trying to figure out. I’ve lost strength because I’m not practicing yoga in a strengthening way, which was always part of my physical practice. I don’t get any real exercise and find myself huffing and puffing up and down stairs. I’ve spent the last year and a half in sweats and yoga clothes; the occasional “real clothes” feel as foreign as anything to me. I stopped wearing make-up because, why? Got my hair cut ultra short so I didn’t have to fuss with it (helpful with the shoulder break).
And whenever I walk by a mirror I see my mother towards the end of her life, and I feel a depth of fear that I have never felt.
This country throws away its old people. Our thoughts and experiences mean little to nothing to generations behind us. As our infirmities begin to make themselves known, even we are repulsed, because we bought the same ideas about age. Growing up for me the watchword was “don’t trust anyone over thirty”. THIRTY? I am just starting to feel my age on my sixties, and while I hate it I can acknowledge that I am grateful that I have had relative health, both physically and mentally, until now.
I never felt old though, not really. I have stayed engaged and tried new things and kept informed and active. But I do now, feel OLD….. I know I’m feeling sorry for myself, whining about something that is coming for us all if we’re lucky (yes, lucky, considering the alternative). But maybe that describes me best…I’d rather have the alternative than this slow, or sudden, loss.
I understand that this is just a new thing for me to work on. A new way I’ve chosen to suffer and I need to make peace with it and move ahead. I tend to do that, so I will assume that is going to happen. But first I have to fucking NAME it, right? Admit my fear, my horror and my inability to own it, to face this process. Talking to a friend I said that it felt like the beginning of the end, a downward spiral that is just not going to stop.
And that’s the truth, right?
So, making peace with that suffering and then getting on with what is possible is the way through. I see that clearly; I’m no dummy.
I just haven’t figured out HOW yet.
Maybe this is a call for how you do it? Or how people you admire do it? (I’m pretty sure whining and complaining and NOT doing anything constructive are not on anyone’s list of admirable traits, but I do think acknowledging that this mewling is a step that cannot, MUST not be skipped is really important).
Step one is, I think, starting to talk about it So I have, in real life too. Hopefully that helps me feel less alone.
But it does feel like another turning point, it feels big and overwhelming and important and scary. I’ve been through those times before, I’ve pulled through.
This time? Well….I guess, here I go?
OMG. I feel the same way. I am 64,and for the first time feel old. I had Covis last year and have not been the same since. Osteoarthritis, lung nodule, poor sight. Least you have stopped drinking Keep it up. I’m making another try tomorrow. I watch my mother aging and it is frightening.
You are in the land of Youth, where aging is a misdemeanor – even on a good day the yoga pants and highlights at Hugo’s can make you gag. Maybe you are in a cocoon; cramped, dark, no room to stretch, all edge no matter where you turn. Maybe after much struggle you will emerge from that chrysalis into the sun of an entirely new life. Oregon? Why not? A trip to Vermont? Come get pampered, listen to the wind and the lack of sirens in the air. You have been alone, but you need not be. We. can play cutthroat scrabble and match infirmities. I love you.
Young wasn’t better than this simply because we were taught to think so. We bought all the way in to many such lies and subsequently sniffed out the truth. Young wasn’t better. Not in California. Not anywhere. Look to the old women who died in last year. Not throwaways. Angelou, Ginsburg…young is not better than them. Sustainable greatness requires aging to be relevant.
The spiral isn’t downward. It’s more like a coil. The closer we move to the inner bands we discover the power holding the spring; poised to expand.