Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The most dangerous time

We have been trailing on a rocky road this year.  Just plain hard. Hard to keep going, hard to want to keep going.  In all the waiting I have done the past couple of months, I have had some time to think about life's great mysteries...

Like...

Why is it when I get what I want I feel this overwhelming dread?

Why is it that I have more energy and function better when I am flooded with chaos?

Does everything happen for a reason...or not?

I won't tackle them all in this post but FYI...The Germans have a word to describe the overwhelming feeling of dread when you get what you want...it's called Zielschmerz.  I felt that after a series of emails from our doctor this afternoon, outlining a more precise plan for Shelbie and her thoughts about our situation.  Why is getting what you want so hard???

Anyways, I want to write about crisis and the most dangerous time.  They seem one and the same but they are very different moments.

I've been studying about crisis.  I know, I'm strange and when do I have time to study about crisis anyways since I always seem to be dwelling there?  Well, somehow, I made time.  I found a presentation by David Allen on productivity but he says this about crisis.
         
               "Crisis can produce a kind of calm because it demands it.  It makes us meaningfully                                                        engaged.  Crisis keeps us in the moment."

I think that is a crucial point of understanding.  This is how I feel when I am facing an influx in health problems with the kids.  I run in a dozen different directions but somehow, everything gets done.  I'm not saying there isn't a price to be paid, because it takes a toll but there is a curious kind of energy. I think that is why I have a love hate relationship with crisis.

So, what is the most dangerous time?  The time after the crisis.  I have always known this but could never explain why.   There has been no shortage of times when I have been in critical health situations with the kids.  In those times, I managed remarkably well under the circumstances.  Afterwards was a different story.  There were times I could barely function.  Times when I suffered with a great deal of anxiety and depression which made no sense considering the crisis was over. They were better.

The crisis robs us of security, safety, belonging, even identity.  When things calm down and there is nothing to keep our mind engage, we begin to naturally deal with feelings and emotions we couldn't make space or time for in middle of thick things.  There's a different kind of overwhelm.

It finally makes so much sense to me.  So, we are in the most dangerous time...We've had a respite of sorts, not from health problems but from the weekly drives to Salt Lake. There's been nothing acute and terrifying.  Everyday, something is going awry with the kids though.  Shelbie got a new virus and she has been up and down again for two weeks.  Spencer has been having his near fainting spells again only he doesn't recover from them like he use to.  He is pretty out of it for an entire day now. The most recent episode was yesterday. He refuses to record more than 7 events on his loop recorder in his heart because then they make him download the computer and that seems to be a hassle to him so he won't but the real story is, he is having way more than 7 events with his heart every day.

Now there is nothing to keep me in the moment.  I feel a sort of shock when I look back at just the last 6 months and take in what we have endured.  I feel a huge overwhelm at what's coming next.  To look ahead is anxiety.  To look back is depression.  To stay present...is impossible!! At least for me.  The other dread is that I have to face the bills, the pressures of work and money.

I wonder if people who don't deal with chronic illness feel these same things?  I have no idea what is normal anymore but sometimes, I wonder and sometimes, I envy those I perceive to enjoy the fruits of normal.

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