Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Desperately Seeking Hope

This is not an easy post to write and I am sure equally difficult to read. Please realize it requires no comment, no is what it reality.
On top of my own surgery, and subsequent infection, the day I got home from the hospital post surgery, they called from Toronto to tell me my mother was just diagnosed with Uterine Cancer. Naturally I joked that it was a good thing she wasn't planning to have any more children...but inside I couldn't help but feel that as QE II said this was most definitely the Pelc Family " Annus Horribilus"!
A bad joke, that wasn't the least bit funny.
Throughout it all I was distanced, remote, I could easily see myself housebound. The slippery slope between healthy mental state and depression, neurosis, anxiety, was a fine line that I was crossing, as if on a tightrope perilously crossing a huge abyss.
Through it all I couldn't put my finger on the true source of my depression, yes a lot of shit has been coming my way, but that wasn't it....
I was finally able to verbalize the feeling about 3 weeks ago...I had lost my connection with hope. Throughout the last 6.5 years I have always managed to be hopeful...but it was gone. In fact those who have known me my whole life, would probably agree that my hope and determination are pretty much traits that defined me. The empty void was replaced by a profound ache, so profound that I wondered if I could go on living like this. Something so vital to my existence, to my personality, to who I am was gone.
Thankfully I am lucky enough to be in therapy, and through our conversations the options became clear...either I had to make peace with the New Sam...or I had to fight to rebuild my hope. I knew that the first option was not truly an option, I couldn't make this ache, this void a part of my life..this was not living. So that left us with Option 2...rebuilding hope, trying to find a way out of the darkness. Lana (my therapist) used the image of stringing pearls...telling me to string 1 image at a find the patience to fill the necklace pearl by pearl, focussing on the pearls on the strand and not on the empty space still waiting to be filled.
I decided to use her image to make a real bracelet of beads that I found that represent Strength and Energy. Each night I sit here at home adding a bead for each hopeful image or thought I've had during the day. Let me tell you it ain't easy. Some days I struggle to find 1 image or affirmation that I have had to leave me hopeful. Some days I can add a bead or 2, smiling at the thoughts that bring me here, evidence of hope.
So where am I you wonder...about 1/2 way there, much further than I imagined 3 weeks ago, but still working my way towards the end. Today I reached the middle and I am finally able to share this post. What put me over the middle...a crabapple tree we have in the front yard.
For four years it has never produced the vibrant red fruit for which we bought it....and this year with all the sorrow and uncertainty...this tree on which we had given up hope is full of little red apples that shortly will be a vibrant red and a sign of life.
I'm sorry apple tree for every doubting you, for giving up on you, now I'm working my way to finding the same forgiveness for myself...

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