Thursday, June 12, 2014

Survival....

 
 
After my daughter Savannah died, it took me a long time to be able to sit alone with my thoughts without some sort of distraction to stop my mind wandering to a place that caused pain and feelings of guilt. 
 
I have a detrimental habit of over thinking everything.  Of mulling things over and over in my mind and questioning the ‘why’s” and the “if only’s” and the “its not fair.”  And when you’re in the shower, or the car when a sad song comes on the radio, or in the dark hours of the night….. you can’t escape.  It’s a destructive process to go over things you can’t change or you have no control over….its also human nature.
 
There’s human nature and Mother Nature, the latter teaching me just recently that there is hope if I just keep taking day by day.  I drive a lot with my new job.  Recently I couldn’t help but notice the ‘hope’ in a bunch of tree’s lining the side of the freeway, reminding me that I will survive, and that with loss comes strength and renewal.
 
Lately, I’ve found I’m back in ‘that’ place of being afraid of being alone with my thoughts.  For different reasons….things going on in my life that feel out of control like a vortex, sucking me in to that dark place again….compounded by the fact it’s June, Savannah’s month! 
 
  
 My dad hasn’t been well.  He’s been diagnosed with Pulmonary Fibrosis, which is a progressive disease that will eventually take his life.  He’s struggling to breathe, on constant oxygen, a shell of his former self.  He can’t even walk to the toilet to wee without fighting to breathe.

  
 
 
 A week ago he was referred to Pallative Care.  I know he’s on borrowed time.  And it’s terrifying to think my dad’s time is drawing closer and I’ll lose him too.
 
 
Grief and loss has taught me sometimes you have to accept ‘your deal’ in life and make the best of it.  Grief has also taught me to appreciate time and happiness…or creating happiness….cos that’s all there is!
 
 
I’ve had my sister’s twins living with me while their dad goes off to work to provide things for them they’ve been missing out on.  It’s great for Dempsey having them here.  It’s great for me too cos I feel like I’m giving back.  The bond at bedtime if we pile on the bed and chat about teenage girl stuff is food for my soul….and maybe too much information for Dempsey. J
 
 
 
 
And I’ve been taking my work home too a bit lately, thinking of people I work with who are a lot worse off than me…their heartbreak…their ‘deal in life’ and its difficult sometimes to accept life can be so shitty and there’s nothing I can do.  My personal life has hit heartbreak and it seems my shoulders are heavy lately.  And I’m trying to channel my past strength back into my soul to survive.  
 
But what does survival look like?
 
I know survival looks like being able to smile again.
 
Survival is feeling alive, or doing whatever makes you feel alive, like driving my car with the roof off and feeling the wind in my hair and the sun warming my face.
 
 
 
Survival is never giving up on a day if you’re given an opportunity to enjoy life’s pleasures!!!
 
Survival is crying when you need to, releasing the endorphins that tears bring….and being able to start again tomorrow….and know “It WILL get better.”
 
Its seeing the bottom of a bottle when nothing else will relieve ‘that’ pain….being able to disappear in a bottomless glass of red wine….even if it is for a few hours.
 
Its knowing when to protect your heart, and saying yes to the things that will lead you on a path where one day you know the sun will shine through the grey bits again.
 
Survival is knowing that nothing else can destroy you because you’ve already been destroyed…you’ve been to the bowels of life and you understand there’s nothing else but finding happiness in the little things.
 
Which brings me back to HOPE and those trees…..
 
In February this year we had devastating bush fires not far from my home. 
 
Driving past the area that was ravaged by fire and seeing the tree’s on the side of the road reminded me about HOPE.
 
These trees that have been thriving and growing for years were suddenly ravaged by fire.  A few months ago they were hopeless black sticks…their core ravished…dead wood.  However, they’ve survived. 
 
Driving past I couldn’t help but notice the new growth, the tiny green leaves that have sprouted.  The first signs of survival…….
 
 
We can all be resilient like those tree’s....coming back from the abyss, where we’ve been burnt to the core, lifeless. 
 
We can grow new roots and have hope that tomorrow is a new day. 
 
We can try to push through our hardships and survive and even though there seems to be no life left.  The human spirit can overcome. 
And I am struggling at the moment, but I need to remember…like the trees, I will survive....  x
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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