Thursday, November 18, 2010
Loss & Re-Inventing
I was gonna talk about my recent crash and treatment again today but there is something more pressing.
I read a post that Cusp wrote this morning (check it out here) and it really resonated with me. This illness is so isolating for everyone. If you live alone then you rarely see other people and if you don’t live alone you spend a lot of your time watching your housemates leave and go off and do things in the real world while you get left behind. Over time many of us slowly lose everything that had been important to us in our former life. This week I gave my car away. I have not been able to drive since January and having a car rotting in your garage doesn’t make much sense. My brothers car died last week and so I did the sensible thing and offered him mine. If it was the sensible thing then why did it hurt so much when I watched it disappear out of my driveway? It’s a bit like catching a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and for a second you think ‘who the fuck was that’, ‘,oh, it’s me’. That undeniable reality smacks you upside the head. It is possible that I will be able to drive again one day, but it’s also possible that I will take a trip into space with Richard Branson …. possible, yes, but better not make that assumption.
I was thinking about what giving the car away meant and I realised that I have actually given a lot of stuff away recently, clothes, CD’s, just stuff in general and I had a lightbulb moment. I did the same thing years ago after my partner died. At that time I got rid virtually everything I owned, furniture, clothes, photos, everything and it was a devastating experience. I understand now that it’s part of the process of re-inventing yourself in order to survive. The person you were just doesn’t exist in the same form anymore and so you must shed some layers in order to get to your authentic self and start again within your new parameters. Knowing that this is what’s happening does make it easier. It’s so easy to just feel totally out of control when you are faced with loss of any kind, it’s nice to understand what is happening.
The crappy thing is that just because you understand the process of loss doesn’t mean that you can stop it. For us it runs deep and it’s ongoing. We lose our health, our jobs, our homes, our friends, sometimes family, our future, our dreams, sense of purpose …. The list is endless.
The good news is that if you are able to stop fighting against it then you can actually learn and gain some very cool stuff. Barry talks about this on his blog – here. So that is my goal at the moment, I’m looking around at my environment and taking a good look at myself and seeing what new and exciting possibilities exist.