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Remembering the past

I spend a great deal of every day trying to figure out what to write here.  It feels so redundant, another verse to the same song. At least that is what I have been telling myself.  Its true.  One truth at least but there's another is exhausting to put words to what is happening and what I'm feeling.  And quite frankly, living it once is bad enough, reliving it in words is painful.

The entire year of 2007 is missing from my blog, the year Shelbie went through chemotherapy treatment for 9 months.  It was a year that devastated me. I wanted no memory or trace of such overwhelming sadness, fear and difficulty.

There have been other moments when words were simply paralyzed at the awe of my life.  When my kids were clinically diagnosed with Shwachman Diamond Syndrome in 2000.  For a couple of years after the prognosis, I foundered.  I broke.  It all became too much and through a series of unfortunate experiences, found myself, committed to a mental hospital.  I was there completely alone, and as I sat in an empty room with just a metal table bolted to the floor and one way mirrors with faces I couldn't see adorning the walls, a psychiatrist asked me a bunch of questions to determine just how crazy I was.  His questions were simple and without much emotion, I answered them.  But I will never forget one question he asked,

"Are you grieving the loss of anyone?"
I looked at him intently, even pressing the pain written on my face into his eyes and quietly said, "Yes"
"Someone recently died?"  He asked.  "Who?"
"Me." and tears finally poured from my eyes.  "I have lost me."

I remember his eyes filled with tears.  He slowly and thoughtfully closed my file folder, whispered, "I'm sorry" and left the room. No more questions.  There was nothing left to say.  In one sentence my whole soul had been stripped away.  I arrived with just the clothes on my back and within minutes those were stripped away too. Everything in that moment had been taken from me, all the work I had put into fooling myself, and the world that I was okay, was gone.

It was a terrifying, shameful, bitter, vulnerable, embarrassing and humbling experience to live for nearly three weeks with the most severe of the mentally ill.  I think it was there, I learned that life is hard and life takes a toll, and life has a way of changing you into something you don't even recognize, something the world can not accept; will not accept.  It isn't a choice.  It happens.  It happened to me. It happened to the only friends in the world I had...the others in that place who found themselves on the fringes of sanity.

I have lived through so many dark and difficult times.  It's hard to write on a blog when your own life has become so huge and overwhelming.  It's hard to write in an honest way that life is just hard.  It's taking a toll.  Everyday takes more effort than I have ever had to exert in life.  People mistakenly think that the more commonplace these health problems become, the more use to it we must be.  That is not true. The more we go through, the harder it is to cope.

I see the fatigue in my kids.  I see their worry.  I see their grief in losing themselves, what they thought they would be.  I see the loss; the continual blows.

The world sees well adjusted kids, a mom who holds them all together with a fleet of King's men and King's horses, a family who rolls with the punches, laughs in the face of adversity.  We are all that...a lot of the time but not at this time.  Right now, we are lost and tired and struggling and as hard as that is for me to admit, it's probably the most honest thing I've said in awhile.

I don't want 2017 to be lost from the blog the way 2007 was but suffice it to say, I'm way out of my comfort zone in writing about such hard things.  And, while I am in slightly better shape than I was during my stint at the mental institution, I feel many of the same things, just lost. Vulnerable.  Terrified. Embarrassed.  Humbled.  Because in all the mix of sadness, there are many things to be glad and grateful for too.


  1. I think I am most sorry that you feel embarrassed. You are some of the most incredible humans I know.


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