Pause. I feel like my life has been paused. Perhaps it is fitting since it is the advent/solstice season, a time of quiet reflection and anticipation of the coming light. So much in my life has changed in the past year that I feel like the rest of me has not yet caught up.
I volunteer for an organization that provides rides, and other help, to people in need. I used to do this on a regular basis. By that I mean that I had clients whom I drove to weekly appointments, or did their weekly grocery shopping and banking, etc.. When I was so ill last year, recuperating from cancer surgeries and taking intolerable drugs, I had to give up all my regulars. Since then I have been occasionally substituted for other drivers, rather randomly. Not nearly enough. I have been feeling well enough for quite awhile to call and get back on a regular schedule, but something has kept me from doing it. I’m not sure what. Volunteering has been on Pause.
I have not gone backpacking since . . . I actually can’t remember when. It’s been awhile. Not at all in the Fall which is my favorite time to go packing - less people, cool hiking temperatures, no bugs, beautiful foliage. I have not gone mostly due to my favorite hiking buddy having a critical illness in her family. And the fact that all my joints ache from this estrogen inhibitor I am taking. But the truth is that I have other friends who would love to go into the mountains with me. And I am achy, but far from disabled. Something has kept me from doing it. I’m not sure what. Backpacking has been on Pause.
I have managed to occasionally get to the gym But not my usual daily commitment. I find more excuses not to go than to go. Exercise is definitely on Pause.
I used to arrange a lunch date with someone once every two weeks to balance my introverted side and also to keep up professionally with community people. I would rotate through a file I keep of church leaders, the school superintendent, fire department captains, Chamber of Commerce people, community rabble rousers, etc. When was the last time I invited anyone to lunch? I can’t remember. And I have turned down almost every invitation I have received. Pause.
I feel in many ways I have spent my entire adult life trying to get back to the person I know I lost. And now that I have finally stepped through the door of trauma healing, I realize that I can never, ever be the person I once was. Nobody can. Too much time has passed. Too many new experiences. We all change and grow. I have a new life. But I don’t have a new ‘me’ yet because I actually don’t know who I am without all the trauma baggage I have carried around for so long. I am feeling a little lost. And I think I am mourning the loss of all that baggage. Not that I want it - no, I worked very hard to rid myself of it. But it was my familiar, if that makes sense. I seem to have let go of all those things I desperately needed to keep myself out of the trauma hole - the volunteering and the forced socialization, the obsessive exercise to control anxiety, even the the need to completely remove myself from civilization. All those things became what defined my life because without them I felt I could not emotionally survive. But now what will define my life? I wish I knew, but I don’t.
And so I am in this state of Pause. I am also in a state of extreme doubt and perhaps a little depression. I have gained a lot, but I feel like I have lost myself. Again. I feel very unsure of everything and every decision. I am afraid to make the wrong move. Yet, very similar to the advent/solstice season, I am also wondering and anticipating what the new light will bring.