There comes a point, after being physically and mentally sick for several months, that I can feel choice starting to return.  It doesn’t happen all at once, and it’s not always real.  I get nudged by shame, or a little belch of hypomania propels me, or an invitation seems less daunting.  I feel like a hedgehog, unrolling from a hibernation ball all spiny and prickly, testing the temperature and taste of the air.  The urge to stay rolled up, safe and warm, takes a long time to fade.

I’ve gone through this process so many times now, learned to be kinder and gentler with myself, practiced my coping skills until they are second nature.  Still, reengaging takes enormous effort—starting over at the pool, making a coffee date with a friend, accepting my minister’s offer to tell my story at church.  As soon as I start to move out, I retreat—back to the warm den of my bedroom where I cut paper and listen to the extended extras on The Hobbit DVDs.  They keep me company enough, the voices of actors and production crew.  Sitting on my bed doesn’t make my arthritic knee ache or start a fit of coughing.  I’m content enough.

And I know reengagement is required.  I know my body needs to move more.  I know I must go out in the real sunshine.  I know there’s a different kind of healing in looking into real people’s eyes and listening to voices who wait for my response.

I know.  I’m just not there yet.

12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ray V.
    Dec 02, 2017 @ 07:23:11

    One day at a time. One day at a time.


  2. Sawsan
    Dec 02, 2017 @ 07:36:54


  3. Val Boyko
    Dec 02, 2017 @ 18:45:46

    Hang in there. Let the process unfold 💕


  4. Writer Lori
    Dec 03, 2017 @ 17:36:37

    At the end of the day, only you know your heart, Sandy. Honor it…right or wrong, it’s the only one ya got, no?…. Sending a hug across the miles…


  5. Littlesundog
    Dec 16, 2017 @ 10:52:22

    I love that you are like the wild mammals, holing up in your burrow, tending to your inner needs, when the seasons change. Instinct is everything in survival.


    • Sandy Sue
      Dec 19, 2017 @ 06:10:53

      That’s a really interesting idea. I don’t trust my gut feelings most of the time, since I don’t know if they come from distorted thinking or not.


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