Monday, November 03, 2014

"You need to be living, not observing."

For fear of being too dark, I haven't been writing. Not that life is bad, but thoughts tend to be dark when I allow myself to think, that is. I've been avoiding it mostly. I threw myself into Six Feet Under followed by Dexter and have been contently distracted. TV and movies are my vice. After a friend shared her grief over losing two friends, I was struck by her ability to dive in and feel it all. She wrote a beautiful poem for one of her friends dying of cancer. She shared the poem with me.

I shared with you that first moment
dreams of capsized boats, drowning, water washing me to the shore repeatedly. I didn't know until the telling what they meant. Looking into your eyes, hearing your story of encroaching death, I knew I was flooding, not from without, regardless of metaphor or vessel, but from within. Our first meeting one of hugs, tears, a knowledge of unspoken,unspeakable shared grief. I held you as lighthouse, beacon, revered mentor. You touched my tears, overlooked my fragility, allowed me to lean against you even though I, physically, was the stronger of the two. And as this, your end, draws near, you reach through space with strength I do not have. You touch me one last time to share words of praise, knowing how important goodbyes are for mooring, how lost I am at sea.
-Ronda Miller

Reading this immediately had me in tears. Just the idea of writing a poem to try to express the depths of your grief about someone so close to you dying. I've been too scared too write anything for fear it wouldn't come close to representing how I truly feel. I doubt I have the words to describe my fear and doubt that any words could even inhabit the weight in my chest. But, I don't have to be great at it, I just have to put it out there. If anything, to maybe see if anyone out there is feeling similar things. I can't be feeling anything original about death and dying.

I don't even understand my preoccupation with it. My (new) therapist says that it could be PTSD. That I have past trauma about death and those around me dying, therefore I'm just running scenarios over and over in my head. When asked to write down all the people I've known that died and how they died, I realized that out of close to 20 people, only 2 died of natural causes. The rest died tragically--car accident, overdose, suicide or cancer. So, she is going to do EMDR therapy with me. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  If it works, it seems that my obsessing about death could end. Also, my anxiety could be drastically reduced. I don't know much about it, but I'm willing to try anything. My thoughts lately causes me to distance myself from my writing, from talking deeply with anyone--because I suck at small talk and become a tv zombie. After telling Ronda my thoughts about her poem and how I've been avoiding most things, her response was, "you need to be living, not observing." Words couldn't be more true.

So although some posts may seem a little whacky, oh well...I have to write them anyway. So, we'll see how it goes. More to come.