On the Right Track
Writing is hard, harder than usual.
Most of the time, my mind composes lines of poetry and creates fragments of stories no matter what else is happening around me. I carry a small notepad and a pencil everywhere I go, to capture thoughts, observations, conversations and phrases. At home, notebooks and pens lie scattered, ready for words. Most of the time, my mind flows with writing.
But writing is harder than usual because I’ve been ill, had surgery, radiation and an accompanying depression. These new and nasty experiences are behind me now. Yet they remain close enough to influence how well my mind works.
This “how well” part isn’t working so well. I loathe feeling so slow and so stupid, like swimming blind through a river of slush. My clarity is improving but at the pace of an icicle melting in winter. I attempt to write each day; the output comes in drips.
To journey through recovery is to wander in a fog of weariness where thoughts and images flicker at a distance, indistinct and muffled. I reach for them and they retreat. I can’t bring them to the page. Some days the fog smothers my way and I am lost. I can’t write a thing.
I’m told this is normal. Gosh! It's not comforting. I’m finished my treatments, done with the meds and I want to be well. What my mind wants doesn’t matter; what my body wants does.
I am weary. I rest. I sleep. I am awake and energetic in short bursts, then I am weary again. Am I improving? Yes. Are there longer periods of energy? Yes. Will I return to myself? Yes…eventually. I am on the right track.
I am grateful for early diagnosis, for medical care, for survival. I am thankful for moments when mind-fuddle clears, when I can write, when I glimpse feeling at home within myself.
But, I’ll be delighted as a four-year old in new rubber boots on the first puddle-filled day of spring when my mind sheds this fog and this weariness.
Until I can embrace my writing with all of myself, with every bit of myself...until then, I am on the right track...frustration on one side and patience on the other.
Words and photo are copyright © Carol Steel.
Oh, Carol! My heart goes out to you.
My 86 year old mother just had a partial mastectomy then refused the radiation treatments she was supposed to have. She knew she could not endure the weariness. Being 86 is hard enough!
I pray for your swift recovery of clarity and strength.
Thank you Karen. The recovery process is agonizingly slow or perhaps I am impatient.
I have empathy with your mother. Not everyone has the side effect of weariness, but for those who do, it is terrible. It is your mother's decision about what treatment she should endure. She is wise to make her own choices.
Thank you for prayers.
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