Hello again, dear friend.
We left off yesterday with Susie and I both shattered.
I mentioned yesterday that Susie and I found ourselves saying over and over again “We can’t handle this. It’s too much. It’s too much. Something’s gotta give. We can’t take any more than this.” As we limped our way through 2013-2015, we often found ourselves discussing how we were making it through only because we were somehow held together with duct tape and a prayer. There was more than one occasion where one or the other of us actually placed a piece of duct tape on our skin as a reminder to keep going. Hah, I actually remember taking a trip to Target specifically to buy fun colored duct tape for that purpose. Silly of us, but cute, no? There were many things that acted as duct tape for us, helping to hold us together as we stumbled our way through trying to heal.
There’s Gunny – our darling little clown of a bulldog. I freely admit he is the main reason why I was able to make it through my birthday in 2013 with a smile. Birthdays from 2014-2018 were marked with a sadness that crept in by mid-November and would linger until late February or March. But Gunny – my gosh, what a blessing he is. How in the world did we luck out with the perfect little Velcro pup, who finds so much joy in following us around the house and who is happiest when he can sleep on one of us? I can’t tell you how much of a comfort he has been and continues to be. I am so grateful for my cuddlebug. ❤
There’s seeing Mom and Dad and Sammy-puppy every morning on the way to work, stopping for half an hour to chat and have coffee. There’s family dinners and hockey games and plays and movies and so many afternoons playing with Sammy. There’s Sammy always coming over for scritches and doing “the Shepherd lean” to the point where he would almost knock Susie and me over.
There’s Dad being declared cancer free after months of treatment for prostate cancer – and later the same year for skin cancer (again).
There’s Grandma surviving five falls in 2013 – and she’s still a feisty fighter to this day.
There’s my strong friend group, from Michelle who has been there for us for over a decade, to Jaz and Sam who we met in 2012 and 2013. These ladies seriously helped Susie and me survive the past few years, from sending us silly snaps, to listening to us vent, to letting us care for them as much as they care for us, and more. I hope you, dear friend, are as blessed in your friendships – may you find your soul family when you need them most, in the same way Susie and I did. I promise you, even when you feel most alone and isolated, they are still there walking beside you, doing their best to support you in all you do.
It’s a silly one, but there are the house issues – between fixing the windows, the doors, the leaking roof, and the water heater, even though they were frustrating at the time, each incident gave us something else to focus on.
I have to include learning to crochet – having something to do with my hands, something that allowed me to fall into a meditative state, really helped.
I also have to include discovering ASMR (thank you, Jazzy, for introducing us to it!) – I cannot tell you how many times Susie and I would turn on to an ASMR video to wind down, to destress, and to battle the insomnia we couldn’t seem to shake.
And there are books and fanfiction and Sofia the First (because how can you not love a show that is that sweet, regardless of your age?) and not missing another Disney trip between 2013 and now and so, so many other things that I know I’m forgetting at the moment.
So yes, these are the pieces of duct tape that held us together. These are the lights trying to keep my path bright as the Chamber of the Ordeal started to open its door and beckon me to come in.
I don’t know what your emotional duct tape consists of, nor who or what your lights are, but I know they are there, even when it feels like they aren’t – or like they aren’t enough. And it’s okay that sometimes they aren’t enough – because for all that there is the saying that “duct tape fixes everything” (and gosh, how often did Susie and I say that in the past few years), we all know it can’t actually fix everything. At some point, you have to fix the underlying problem – or like the car in the photo above, and like my own personal mental state, it will continue to deteriorate. That’s where we will pick up tomorrow – when the duct tape failed and Nox became a constant presence in the back of my mind.
Until next time, and with love always,