Finding the New Normal
I woke at at 3am again, full of worry about Mom. I wonder if she is awake, too, and what she is thinking. How scary this must all be for her to feel so out of control about pretty much every aspect of her life. I feel the weight of responsibility to get this right and make sure she is protected. I just pray I am doing the right things…I feel so in the dark, even with all of the wonderful advice I’ve received.
I am going to attempt to go to Dan’s yoga class this morning. I have got to start finding my way back into my routines of exercise, practicing, working on my book…somehow. I feel like there is no me right now- there is just Denise the caretaker and defender of Heavy D. I very much want to be there for Mom in every way that I can be, but I’ve got to find a way to keep the essence of who I am, too. I feel so far away from myself, and it’s only been six days.
I am presenting at an international conference in two weeks, thankfully just in Baton Rouge this year. I will be gone five days, and am already worrying about leaving Mom, about getting her settled before I leave. Dan assures me that he will step in for me, but I also know how slammed he is at the theater. I need to practice- my beautiful clarinets sit mute in their case. I need to finish my book- so close and now yet so far. Right now I feel lucky if I can have a meal with my husband and trim my nails. I haven’t worn make-up or kickboxed or walked the dogs or done yoga or gone in to the office…my world just stopped, became crystallized, as my focus became- necessarily- totally devoted to my mother.
Sleep seems elusive. I am exhausted and was falling asleep while trying to type last night, but then I wake up just a while later with my mind spinning, my heart full of concern. I am trying to trust that all will be okay, but know that if I goof, it will hurt mom. I have got to find a way to rest more, as I won’t do anyone any good if I am a physical (and mental) wreck. Poor Dan is becoming accustomed to me bursting into tears over ridiculous things. He is such a good man.
So this morning I will do my best to go to yoga to find a piece of my missing Zen, and then I will get back to the business of helping Mom settle into her new life at St. Martin’s. Dan has invited me to see Les Miserables at his theater with some of our friends tonight, but he assured me that it was totally optional. I want to go, I want to have a fun date with my husband…I just feel my survival instincts kicking in, where I pull into myself, wanting to hole up at home. Every physical and mental resource conserved in some miserly ballet. And I’ve never been a good dancer.
Like Mom, I am working to find the new normal in all of this. I know it’s there, I know it will all be okay. One small, stumbling step at a time.