My mind is an interesting place to be right now. I am on day six of taking Wellbutrin to treat a depressive episode brought on by this summer of loss and heartbreak. (I love that term episode, knowing this is not forever), and am trying to stay very attuned to my body and any changes that I notice. My doctor said it would take about two weeks for the medicine to take full effect, but it already feels a bit like I’ve gotten onto a rollercoaster, and the beginning of the ride is a bit bumpy. I realize that different people will react in different ways to medications, and though my doctor explained the possible effects, I’m already feeling a wide spectrum of things that are supposed to be temporary; wacky balance (yoga has been interesting), ramped up anxiety, and exaggerated emotions. Each day seems to be a little bit better.
I saw my therapist yesterday, the wonderful woman who helped me through Mom’s death. I tried to get an appointment right after Cooper’s death over two weeks ago, but her schedule was full. Thankfully, an opening popped up and I gladly took it. I made her laugh as I sat down on the couch and dramatically picked up the box of tissues…“Oh, I’m gonna need these today.”
Once we began the session, I told her everything that had happened since I last saw her several months ago, tears turning to sobs when I shared Cooper’s collapse on our walk and our sad decision to have to put her down an hour later due to massive internal bleeding and a large tumor in her liver. She shook her head…
“Any one of these things would have been tough, but so many things in such a short time hasn’t given you the opportunity to face each one and heal before another one knocks you down.”
That’s it exactly; I am a strong woman, but this summer has taken me to my knees and I just need time to process it all and move forward. I never expect my therapist to ‘fix’ my problems, but she has a wonderful way of listening supportively, helping me to not judge myself for having these thoughts and feelings, and most importantly- she always helps me to see a path through it all, giving me tools to move forward and not stay mired in the grief.
She talked about a concept she’d heard in a lecture at a conference, ”GLO’- Gifts, Lessons, Opportunities, as a way of dealing with challenging times. Every situation, no matter how bad it may seem, brings gifts of some kind, lessons to learn, and opportunities for growth. We may not see them at first, but they are there for us to discover, there to comfort us and help us heal.
Before she told me about GLO, she had smiled when I told her I was trying to list some positives that came from all of the sadness:
- With the hysterectomy, so many things feel better physically now that I am well into healing three months out. I still feel like a woman- that hasn’t changed as I feared it might.
- With our cat Kasey’s loss, we had a wonderful last couple of weeks with her, knowing that she would be gone soon. We gave her so much comfort and love, and were able to give her a loving, peaceful ending.
- With John’s passing, I find peace knowing that he is no longer suffering from the ravaging effects of diabetes, and that we are focusing on supporting his partner and our dear friend Wayne through his own grief, focusing on being a good friend to him to honor our love for John.
- With Cooper, the freshest and very painful loss, I am grateful that she didn’t suffer long or die alone. I am grateful that I can take Sophie out in public places where I never could before with our ever-protective Coops. I’m showering Sophie with even more love and having her be my summer sidekick in most everything I do. She is a wonderful companion dog.
- I am grateful to have had such a dear friend who was like a brother, grateful to have raised these two amazing animals from a kitten and a puppy, grateful for the love and laughter they brought to our home.
- The outpouring of love and support from our friends through all of this has been humbling and comforting- such a gift.
Katherine began talking about another concept, ‘Pinpoints of Light’, and I smiled and interrupted her…
Katherine, can I show you the title of the blog post I was working on out in the waiting room? Pinpoints of Light…
We both laughed at the coincidence (are there really any coincidences?). After a cathartic cry, a healing sharing of my sadness and deepest concerns, I left feeling lighter. Not healed- that will take the medicinal balm of time. Perhaps hopeful is the better word, as now instead of feeling lost in the maze of darkness, I truly do see those pinpoints of light off in the distance. I have lots of work to do, but just knowing those lights are there makes everything seem possible once again.