Some days you just have to decide to start over.
It seems the past several months, I have had to keep making that decision.
Three years ago our family experienced a very traumatic event and it changed our lives in ways we could never have foreseen. I, personally, lost my way in my art, my writing, my photography, my homemaking - just about everything.
Previous to the event, my life felt magical and joyful and close to perfect. After the event, I cannot even describe to you the way I spiraled down into a dark, dark place. I was in "survival" mode - and just barely.
I let go of so many things. My old blog (which I loved, but then I lost all heart in writing or creating anymore), my love of photography and all I was learning about it, my joy in creating whimsical creations, no matter how silly or awful they turned out, I still posted pictures and I loved everything I was doing.
I let go of all my routines and let my home just slide into chaos. I had been the queen of planning and organization - now I couldn't even seem to put two thoughts together in order to plan and prepare a meal. I slept a lot. I withdrew from the people I enjoyed being with and the things I enjoyed doing. I gained 30lbs. Inside I was howling, but I couldn't let it out. I think the howl is still in there.
We've also had some family changes in recent months - our precious daughter and grandchildren moved 3000 miles away. My husband and I were both very close to them and believed we would always be a physical presence in their lives - like, forever.
My youngest son, who was homeschooled for 12 years, graduated and has begun college with one of his older brothers. While I was happy to finally be done schooling him, there is also a part of me that really mourns that time we spent together, as well as with my other children, in their younger years.
Another precious family member had lost his job and home and moved in with us (and continues to live here). There are many complications that are associated with this situation, although things do seem to be improving and his luck has changed for the better. For his sake, I pray that it continues. For our sakes, too (my husband and I).
I thought I was ready for all of it. I thought now would be "MY" time. And I was (ready)...and it has been (my time)...sort of.
What I've been really, really, REALLY struggling with is that, yes, I am making art again. And I'm learning how to use my camera again. And I'm even doing a little cooking and cleaning again. But I feel as if I am just going through the motions. My heart does not feel engaged. I feel so disconnected from myself - like there is a door and behind that door is my heart and passions and I can't figure out how to reopen that door. I feel numb.
I can't seem to figure out how to balance art with homecaring, either. I am so confused because I used to be able to do this, but it all eludes me now.
Does that sound terrible?
And I am so...angry. Something I have never been - not really. I am usually forgiving; accepting - but I find myself furious and unable to figure out what to do with the fury. Some days I do not even want to get out of bed. I used to barely be able to sleep because I was so excited about my life. I've always been an optimistic person, focusing on the positive, counting my blessings, focused on joy.
It is very frustrating.
Last night I had a really disgusting dream. I dreamed of a dirty toilet - a really gross, disgusting, dirty, clogged, stinking toilet. To make matters worse, it was sitting on my bed, overflowing. In my dream I was horrified.
The image stuck with me all morning. Finally, I looked up what that might mean in a dream dictionary and this is what it said:
To see a toilet in your dream symbolizes a release of emotions. You need to get rid of something in your life that is useless. To see a clogged toilet in your dream suggests that you are holding and keeping your feelings to yourself. Your emotions have been pent up too long and you need to let go of the negative feelings. To see an overflowing or flooded toilet in your dream denotes your desires to fully express your emotions. (from Dream Moods)
Wow. This is so...real...to me. Exactly what I am experiencing. It has given me a great deal to think about (as strange as it is to say that a toilet gave me something to think about...) How does one release such volatile, angry emotions in a healthy way? In a way that will not hurt those around me whom I love with all my heart?
I wish I knew. I don't even know how to connect with the emotions so I can release them.
As I showered today (I do a lot of thinking in the shower) I realized I was holding onto things that were no longer useful to me. Because I am holding onto things, I can't allow myself to mourn and move on. I am holding onto things that simply do not work in my life anymore, but I don't know what to replace them with.
I really do need to begin again. Just start over, right where I am. I am going to try. I am. Maybe if I do that then the door will open again - the one to my heart and my passion and my joy. Maybe magic will reenter my life and I will have a new kind of joy - a new excitement.
Have you ever experienced anything like this? How did you overcome it? I honestly want to know!
Keep it Joyful, DJ