It’s hard to know where to start.
I kept thinking things would get better. I would get better, then I’d write. I’d take a shower first. I’d wait until this migraine subsided. I’d pack a box. I’d unpack a box. And then and then and then. And now…
Now, things are worse than ever! So much has happened since I wrote here last. Now I’m sitting in our living room in Colorado, soaking my infected toe in an Epsom salt bath. I’m icing my head because I’m still stuck in the migraine cycle. I’ve only eaten an apple with peanut butter for dinner because my stomach ulcer went from mild to angry in the last month and I don’t want to upset it. I am weak, heavy, and ridiculously short of breath. We having fun yet?!
I knew the move would be tough. Moving is hard, regardless. Moving when you’re sick is really hard. Moving followed by a severe crash and a world-wide, viral pandemic? Well, that’s just good ol’ fashioned fun.
Remember when we all thought 2019 was such a crap year? HAHAHA.
Matt and I packed up my moms Hyundai in March and drove from Louisiana to Colorado with Monty in the backseat and lots of road trip food. We took three days getting here and it was a pretty fun voyage, except for that part when we almost died on Red Mountain Pass because it’s an insane pass. Four days after arriving, the world turned upside down.
But things are such a mess on top of that, I barely even think of the damn Covid! No, that’s a total lie. I worry like hell about it, it’s just that the list of worries is extremely long right now.
For starters, I am a walking catastrophe, it’s almost hilarious. Except that it’s pitiful. In fact I’m more of a sedentary disaster, a truly rare breed of human catastrophe usually only found in the state of Florida. Kidding. You get the idea, I’m about as useful as a trashcan lit on fire right now. A waste of oxygen! And there’s already so little of it in Colorado, as my Uncle Tom says, ‘It just don’t be right.’
On top of that there’s a lot of stress and exhaustion in trying to find doctors who will continue treating me, (so far a disaster), praying my toe doesn’t fall off (another day, another story), praying Monty’s toe doesn’t fall off (another day) regaining some functionality (I Just. Want. To SHOWER.) and finding a way to adjust to all this change without blowing a gasket. The move. The covid. The lack of rain in Colorado (Boohoo) I’m trying hard to trust it will all work out. I know so many people are trying to do the same. It ain’t easy.
I wish I could remember the last time it was this bad, that way I might recall some pointers on how in the hell to get through it. You always forget how debilitating this thing can get. But I know the answer, even if I can’t feel it intuitively. One foot in front of the other. Such a simple idea, so hard to implement. It’s *litrally* all I’m capable of for now. So it has to be enough, even if it feels insanely insufficient.
Suvival Mode–that’s how a crash goes. Feeling guilty about what I’m not capable of is no help. Just survive the day. Or the moment. And keep moving forward.
Lately much of my life has been reduced to one breath at a time, especially because so often I feel like I can’t even take a full one. The mind tease has been that all the worries condense and implode on my psyche and it’s too much. Too heavy. Feels impossible. This all becomes elevated when you’re too weak to brush your damn teeth. Inevitably, I lose it.
So I have to slow my brain down. Do something to break up the hardened cement of reality in my brain. Sometimes I say some Hail Mary’s, just to interrupt the cycle of overwhelming thoughts. I remind myself, I don’t have to solve every problem in this moment. In fact, that’s not even possible.
I lift my weary head, and make the next move. This is where having a dog is truly therapeutic. Just going outside and throwing a ball for Monty can help dry up my mind when it’s under water like that. Sometimes it’s just a few steps to the sink to wipe my face. Other times to a book, or sudoku, or funny videos of animals or people falling down. Yesterday it was yelling at Covidiots on Instagram. Real helpful for everyone! Or I reach out for help when I can’t do it on my own. And I’m lucky as anything I have help to reach for.
As I was doing this the other night, (trying to calm my spinning brain) (and crying) I saw Eckhart Tolle on my nightstand. I remembered he would say that’s all there is anyway—this one breath, this very moment. I was stuck, anxiety-ridden, about a future I feared but didn’t exist yet. I opened up to a bookmarked page that said this:
There is always only this one step, and you give it your fullest attention. This doesn’t mean you don’t know where you’re going, it just means this step is primary, the destination secondary.
Admittedly, I have no idea where I’m going, or how I’ll get there. But I know the only accessible piece of life is right now; the only place we have any power. So maybe all of this is just a supersized lesson in expanding my consciousness! Just great. But sometimes I think I could go on less conscious and that would be fine too. God? That would be fine.
Keep moving Mary. That’s what I tell myself. Even in the depths of despair or discouragement, I try to remember that I’ve been through insanely hard times before (Basically the whole year of 2006 comes to mind) and I can do it again. I remember that others have endured way more than me and emerged. I have to believe that all of this will unfold into something larger, better, and something that makes sense.
Most of all, I try to reassure myself that no matter how painful or difficult things may become, they’re still possible somehow. Frequently solutions arise I couldn’t have planned on or thought of. That’s the beauty of having been through such painful times in the past. They don’t become easier, you just know, by some means, you’ll find a way through this one too.
I mean that or you die–either way. JK. Do I have to keep saying JK? Probably not.
Just keep moving forward. Every night before bed, I hug my mom goodnight, then Monty and I clunk down the stairs to my room and I think Another day down, we made it. One more shit-show crossed off the calendar with a Red X. It’s very hard to stay “present” during a time when there are so many unknowns. I realize we’re all facing our own personal uncertainties, anxieties and issues right now, within this larger…catastrophe. Yet all we can take is one step at a time.
For me the quarantine hasn’t been so rough, because I’ve been living what feels like a quarantined life for a long time now. I’m a pro! Being stuck at home is nothing new for me (or most chronically ill people) except now I’m in a different state, and I live in my parents basement and there’s a lot more hand-washing. I realize just how excessively pathetic that sounds, and that’s because it is. But it’s also kind of funny, I think.
LIVE! From My Parents Basement! That’s a show I plan on ‘producing’ soon. Soon, soon…
Anyway, it’s taken too long to write this. And there’s still so much more to say and catch up on. Stories about the move and the ridiculous drive Matt and I made here and quarantining with my 90-year old grandma! All in due time. There’s plenty of it, and we’ll get there.
Besides, I know who you’re most curious about anyway. And I can assure you, he seems to be adjusting just fine…
Hang tough yall. We may all be in different kinds of hardship soup right now, but we are in it together.
Health, Happiness, Humanity
*P.S. I dedicate this to my mom, my hero, a little late for Mothers Day, who has seen me through some of my toughest moments and hardest days lately. (Weak gift, I realize) You are a rock, and I know we’ll make it through this the way we’ve made it through everything else– One shit show at a time. Thank you for making me shower. Thank you for everything. Love you a LOT.