Where Is the Magic?

In my family, I learned well how to shut down emotionally.  I struggle this time of year.  Childhood memories are vague and memories from when my girls were little are complicated.

I learned at home to drink away feelings.  And that it’s ok to tune out the world by reading.  I don’t drink anymore.  Thank God. I’ve read several good books over the last few weeks.

Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of my mother’s death and my brother died in July. I’ve done no shopping for the grandchildren, which scares me.  The retired man I live with got out the Christmas decorations 2 days ago, but we have no tree yet.

Last May, I wrote in a post titled “I ‘tuck”:

I’m stuck.  Or as Adaline used to say, “I ‘tuck.”  I’ve been ‘tuck for weeks.  Not able to write.  Not able to plan much beyond today.  Wondering what I am supposed to be doing and how to get to the point of doing…anything.

I know that sounds like depression, but this time I felt more lost than depressed.  I asked God for some kind of sign or message.  Nothing.  Besides feeling stuck.

Slowly, the light started to go on inside my brain.  I spend a lot of my time waiting for the next disaster/crisis/time of need.  On hold. Stuck.  ‘Tuck.

Well, I ‘tuck again.  My therapist (yes, I do have sense enough to get some help) asked me recently “What are you afraid of?  What are you resisting?”  After a few moments I said “I don’t know.”  I still don’t know exactly.  I feel a big, dark, presence behind me.  Not evil, but patiently waiting for me to turn around.  And I know that needs to happen.

It has to do with being the last of my family of origin alive.  And it has to do with my body not working as well as I’d like.  It has to do with aging.  It has to do with living with cancer in remission for over 8 years.

I think that big dark presence is called Fear.

Years ago, an elegant older lady who grew up in New Orleans shocked many of us at the Wednesday night women’s AA meeting by stating, “Well you know what sober stands for, don’t you?  Son of a Bitch, Everything’s Real.”  She was right.

My prayer life and my relationship with God get shut down along with everything else.  I love traditional Christmas music.  I have a couple of country Christmas cd’s that I like to sing along with in the car.  They remind me what Christmas is really about–a baby being born.  I haven’t pulled those out this year.

One of my favorite songs is “Mary, Did You Know?” (here’s a link–skip the ad).  The first line takes my breath away every time.

I debated writing about all this for weeks.  Writer’s block goes hand in hand with depression and shutting down for me.  I certainly don’t want to be “Debbie Downer.”  I know I’m not the only one who has mixed feelings about the holiday season and that there’s comfort in knowing that.

I still believe God is all around me.  I choose not to connect to that higher power. When I decide to turn around and look fear in the eye, I believe I will be safe.  Doesn’t mean I want to turn around.  I’d rather it just go away.  I just want to feel less weighed down and to stop saying, “I don’t care.”

I do want to care.  That’s who I am.  It’s lonely where I am right now. I want to change that.  Please pray for me.

I wish all of you a happy holiday.  And if it’s not, tell yourself “Right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe.” (Anne Lamott)

Published in: on December 13, 2013 at 10:41 am  Comments (16)  
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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Gentle peace as you approach this holy encounter, or turn back to be with it; Love is waiting, in patience, for your readiness. Take your time and take care of yourself. Comfort and joy and deep, true peace.

    • Your gentle, caring words are so helpful, Kitty. Thank you.

  2. Robin you know I have been in that place also. But with love and support from you and all of our family and my friends I have begun to climb out of this deep dark hole. Do not let this rob you of the love of your grandchildren and family. They are the stars you need to reach for and hold onto. Ignore the meteors and black holes that are out there. Reach for those shining stars and enjoy them. You will be in my prayers, MERRY Christmas Robin!!!! Love you!!!

    • You are so right, Barb. Those kids are the bright light that doesn’t dim. And Mike and I went tree and present shopping today for them.thanks so much for your encouragement.

      • Merry Christmas Robin and Mike, let those three stars shine for you. Their joy and excitement are what Christmas is all about.

      • Merry Christmas to you and yours, Barb! 2 of those little lights are coming tomorrow to help decorate the tree…:-)

  3. “Right foot, left foot, right foot, breathe.” Thanks for writing this — I can identify with the feelings! What you write so often helps me to identify my thoughts and feelings.

    • I’m so glad I can help you, Donna.

  4. Thanks for such honesty and depth. Holding you in the light. . .

    • Thank you, Julie. Blessings and peace to you and yours.

  5. Having a similar season myself, Robin. My health is a bit shaky– yet not as shaky as it has been–but I am at a bit of a crossroads. There is an opportunity in my path or at least I think it’s an opportunity. Mostly, I am tired and feeling quite old, maybe wishing I wasn’t quite so. Meditation is what helps me as does yoga. I sit with my inner wolves–one light and the other dark–ultimately my fear is revealed, and it, too, is familiar. I begin again, as I suspect so do you. Best of the holiday season to you.

    • Karen, I read your latest post about the wolves–just beautiful writing. May I reblog it on my site? I’m sorry you feel down also. I do understand the feeling old and not wanting to! And thank you for the reminder that meditation and yoga can help. Blessings, Robin.

  6. What pleasant honesty that helps those of us with the ups and downs of the season. Even though I don’t have a lot of family issues or a lot of struggles during this season they do come and go, usually because I am overwhelmed. I also struggle with missing my mom. Even after 32 years of her being gone each Christmas I am reminded that the last time I saw her was during the Christmas season and it still leaves an empty spot. People keep saying time heals all. Sometimes time is a long time. I need to remember to breathe, to take that right foot left foot attitude. Thanks!

    • Thank you for reading. I write hoping to help someone else so your comments are appreciated.

  7. It’s okay to share your down times as well as your good times. I stopped following several people on Facebook because everything they wrote was nasty and negative. On the other hand, those people who are always #havingaball and #feelingexcited worry me more!

    I hope your health rebounds a bit so you can feel the magic of the season.

    • One of my intentions for this blog was to be honest so one day my grandchildren can know who I really was. I’m glad you’re still reading, Susan. I hope next week is peaceful and fun for you.

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