Sheba was right on the money this morning. 6:05 am was when I felt her cold wet nose, followed by her little snort. It was still pitch black. But I love that part of the day when Preston Avenue was still asleep. No continuous ribbon of cars and only a few foot traffic.
I’m learning to leave my electronics asleep for awhile, indulging myself turning a few pages of written words. Once I start scrolling, one thing would lead to another. The minutes and then the hours would go by. My head and mind stirred and messed up with bad and/or useless information. Instead, these mornings I am reading Stephen Jenkinson’s Die Wise, a Manifesto for Sanity and Soul. It is not an easy read. I can only do a few pages at a time. Now I might have to leave it for a few days.
He didn’t tell me anything that I did not know before. What it did was to take me right back to the workplace I have left 4 years ago. The scenes and talks were so familiar. I know he is coming from an authentic place. He has given a voice to those things and feelings that I’ve experienced and breathed for years but couldn’t articulate. I am grateful for that identification. It will help me ‘get over’ and heal from my ‘anxiety’ or ‘trauma’. The book is aptly named. It is a manifesto for sanity and soul. I believe that my anxiety was from the denial of all the feelings I’ve witnessed and experienced in the hallowed halls of the Hospital. But how else could I have carried on working without the denial?
These things were never talked about that I could remember. Yes, there was a Health Office but that was mostly where you report to after you’ve been off sick. It was like the Prinicpal’s Office. Most of the time I felt like a truant child, not deserving but abusing. Health care was for patients only. But then this was my experience. I don’t know about others. We don’t talk about it much. It was the same way with after retirement. I don’t hear about how others fare. I just hear about the travelling. That’s what I hear the most. Are you going to travel? I felt obligated to travel just because I am retired.
What happened to me was I fell apart. Or that’s what it felt like. Oh, I did some travelling. I was busy most if not all the time. I wasn’t just sitting around having a nervous breakdown. I always took pride in being very functional, no matter what. No one probably knew I was having difficulties except maybe the person living with me. Sheba probably did. She had her own anxiety attacks. They were probably from me. She cushioned me by absorbing some of it. She is my best friend.
I am so lucky to have arrive in this space and time. I can now sit and stay with my feelings without jumping out of my skin. I can acknowledge the good, bad and the ugly. I can sit and read Die Wise – if only a few pages at a time.