The Doldrums

I’ve been in a funk lately. I have this pit in my stomach that just won’t go away. At first I thought it was because I published a blog post about racism and my support of the Black Lives Matter movement. The post was live for about 4 days and invoked a lot of emotional responses. Although I expected passionate responses, and even though most of the comments, including those from people who disagreed with my point of view, were respectful, some of the comments attacked my character and became very personal which left me feeling incredibly vulnerable. But this passed, I drew huge support from my community of women writers and I ultimately realized I can’t let that kind of hate and negativity get me down.

Then I thought that my sense of unease was a residual effect from a recent hypoglycemia episode, in which I had no idea I was hypoglycemic, but then when I googled “side effects of hypoglycemia” I realized that I actually had almost all of the symptoms. So I ate some peanut butter, ignored my naturopath’s recommendation of intermittent fasting (sorry Amy) and subsequently gained 5 pounds.

And yet the pit remained.

I thought, “well maybe this is just how I feel in the world now.” The recent media coverage of mass murder, racism, Donald Trump’s radically prejudiced presidential campaign and the hate and outrage that is being spread and accepted around the country right now is completely overwhelming. Hateful phrases and vicious attacks on human beings fill my Facebook newsfeed and I’m continually faced with the decision to block friends and family not because I don’t applaud their passion, but because they are so angry it hurts my heart.

Jim and I went on a date on Wednesday and I was explaining my dreadful feeling to him and questioning why I was feeling so low and he said, “we are in the doldrums”. Our first “cancerversary” is approaching and even though this year has been THE WORST, we have also had many fun and exciting adventures. We have been wrapped with light and love and lifted up so our faces shine in the sun by our community.

Now it feels like the novelty has worn off, and it’s time to settle in for the long haul. This is our life now. We have to figure out how to live within our means while paying for treatments and vitamins and organic vegetables. I have to figure out if my passion for child safety can outweigh the damage and stress that the job costs me. I have this sense of urgency that my moments with my children are limited and therefore should be memorable and I want to be able to have as many life experiences with them as I can, while at the same time I want their childhood and beyond to be as normal as possible. I want to pass on certain values and life lessons to my children: don’t place much value in other people’s opinions of you, stand up for yourself and the people you love, love yourself first and foremost, etc. But these lessons take years to instill (please let me have years to cultivate them-prayer emoji) and if I’m not here to teach them, hopefully others will stand in my place.

Letting these feelings surge and pressing them back down is like keeping the ocean at bay while protecting a sandcastle.

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Welcome to the doldrums. I think I am coming to terms with the reality of my situation. I see what actually lays before my family and how heavy it is. And then I climb back out of the doldrums, soaking wet with the weight of my own hopes and fears and I move forward.

7 thoughts on “The Doldrums

  1. It’s natural to feel uncertainty with medical issues. I carry the thought of my hip replacement being very old and having to be redone. You have a lot of support and help if you need it, some people don’t know how to ask for help. Under the circumstances you are doing great. PS just don’t eat a whole jar of peanut butter!

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  2. Maggie, You are an amazing and unique human being! Keep fighting & expressing yourself. Anyone who knows you would expect nothing else from you. Love you Mags!

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  3. For all of the upbeat, optimistic, positive beliefs you hold … you’re entitled to a few doldrum moments. Knowing you and the resiliency you are made of, “this too, shall pass”. Some little something will set a spark, and you’ll start feeling strong and positive again. I’m glad you understand the hypoglycemic situation. Wierd, but good to know. Even though the novelty has moved on, the love your way will never stop. We’re all with you always, Maggie.

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