I sit huddled into the corner of the couch at home, surrounded by pillows, wearing my oldest ugliest yoga pants and a mismatched flannel. My eyes are twitching so hard I can hear it, my head throbs and every so often I break into great, gasping sobs.
I try working; I have to fix my website. The screen makes my eyes smart and then I feel panicky and need to calm myself down. I’m nauseous and not breathing right and my thoughts race–worries about finances, all the things I need to do but can’t, how much I miss Kevin.
I remember something Reverend Slack said about valuing ourselves enough to know that our worth isn’t in our productivity and how sometimes what we need is rest. I need an awful lot of rest lately and it doesn’t seem to be solving any of my problems–but neither is panicking. I try solving the problem of how to comfort myself. I take my favorite fuzzy gray blanket from the drier and find a guided meditation for grief. The warm blanket is comforting and I lay down on the couch. I work and work at soothing myself. It is difficult; I’m very anxious and unable to hold still, so I periodically kick the blanket or toss my head or rearrange my legs. The familiar anxious, aching spot at my solar plexus bothers me, so I put my hands there. My hands that other people say are healing aren’t doing shit for me.
When the meditation ends I am exhausted from the effort. I roll onto my side and draw my knees toward my chest. Lying there, I think how I’m supposed to meet a friend to work beside her. I don’t think I have it in me to walk to the car. My head hurts like a motherfucker.
Talking to someone would help but I’m paralyzed by fear. I think about the friends I might call or text, friends who are in the middle of their work day. I’ve had a couple people tell me to please call them if I need them any time, day or night. I’m sure they meant it at the time—but I can’t afford to find out they didn’t know what they were getting into and can’t help me after all. That hurts; I can’t tolerate being hurt any more.
I lay in a fetal position with my eyes closed, heart pounding, thinking how if I could just understand this wouldn’t hurt so much. Being shut out is absolutely brutal. Why? Why couldn’t he talk to me about it? That isn’t helpful. I turn my attention back to myself lying broken on the couch, too depressed to function. That doesn’t feel helpful either. I don’t know what to do.
I take a deep breath. My calling in this world is to love and support people, and here I am in need of love and support. I have a headache and I feel like shit. I go to the medicine cabinet and find some Advil which I take with fizzy water. I might be dehydrated, so I also chew a salt tab and make some tea. My friend Lindsay is an herbalist, and I picked up her herbs for grief and heartache; I take that too. Finally, I heat up some soup. I’m still struggling to eat properly, especially when I am alone. I eat one baby food package–apple, kale and spinach–and choke down the bowl of hot soup. I have problems to solve and work to do, but for now I forgive myself as the only act of kindness I feel capable of. I give myself grace and sit again to write.