Monday, August 4, 2008

Another Life

My brother in law...Or I suppose I should refer to him as my EX brother in law...Although maybe I should just call him my brother because he does feel like a brother to me and Ex and all that sounds just too formal...
So...My bro said something to me that I have thought about for the last couple of days and that is that I no longer think of myself as the Trish whom I used to be...The healthy Trish. The one people said would live forever because I took such good care of myself and swam and ate well and ran around with boundless energy and a smile on my face and really enjoyed my life, although I did complain but what's life without a little whining. I am not that Trish anymore. I'm loaded with poison and I'm trying to heal from that onslaught and sadly, I realized just today that I can't swim. You know why? The damn stupid pain patch I'm wearing. I can't get the thing wet or it won't work. Now I'm trying to work out some plan where the day I change the patch I take off the old one and take a forty minute swim then shower and put another patch on immediately. That might work. It would only be every three days because that's when I change the patch, but it would be something. But it wasn't just the notion that I could dive into a pool or the ocean at any time and have myself one of the joys of my life...a swim. When I realized this I could not let it get me down because why add something else to the negative side of the column. So I just accepted it and started working on how to make it happen even every once in a while.

So I am this new Trish with health issues that are not going away as easily as I thought they would and I am a new Trish who wakes up with a bit of anxiety everyday that scares me because I used to wake up all ready to face the day with positive joy and I'd pack up my gym bag and when I came back from that swim or that yoga I would feel like a new person and my arms were strong and I'd hug the dog and talk to my family and life was sweet and the way I thought it should be.

But it is such a different life now that I hardly recognize it.

Now here's the thing...We all know we are going to die but most of the time it seems very surreal because in your minds it is very far away, this death thing, so why even bother dwelling on it. But when you are face to face with it, it gives you a bit of an anxiety rush that starts in your throat and makes your hands sort of shake and keeps your mind on high alert so you can't just go through the day enjoying the good parts. In fact, sometimes you can't even find the good parts because you're so shaken up by the anxiety.

But maybe this new Trish will have new stuff to bring into the world and maybe the old Trish was getting sort of complacent and honestly boring. Because how boring is a happy life. Let's say, as a writer, isn't it more interesting to write a bit about the dark side? Otherwise you are writing a Jackie Collins novel or an Elizabeth Berg novel, although you can't fault her too much because she does have quite a large output and she never runs out of things to say and sometimes they are a bit, and I do say a bit, profound. In a tiny way. But with my new life with the dark side eclipsing the lighter side, won't that be a more interesting way of looking at things?

Can you write an entire novel on complete high anxiety? With your hands shaking and the world collapsing around you as you write and you are not quite sure what the ending is going to be even though you want it to turn out happy though your beating heart sort of holds you back from truly believing that is possible?

No, dammit, you can write you own ending. You can sit here at your computer and write whatever it is you want to write. And there it will be on paper. Just as you want it. You know, I feel better already. Because I am in charge. Tomorrow morning I will not wake up with anxiety. Because that is what I am going to choose to write. I am going to wake up raring to go. A good day. That's what I'm going to have. A calm good day. With a happy ending. Because I made it that way. That's the way the new Trish thinks. I think I like her. She's tough. She knows what she wants. She accepts what was handed to her. A big fat bummer, that what was handed to her. But hey, BRING IT ON! New Trish can take it.

I am sitting under the fan right now. The breeze is cooling me off. I can turn it down or I can turn it up. I'm in charge. It's just about a couple of buttons. I'm staring at my choices. And here is what is cool about that.

I actually have a choice. Ahhhhhh. How comforting.


Pleasant dreams..................................


Elliot said...

Trish, you will always be the healthy, vigorous, enthusiastic, positive Patti to me.

To me, for fifty-plus years, at Nettelhorst and Lake View and in my imagination, you have prevailed and persevered.

Your strength and attitude will live on in the facts of your life, and in the memories of all of us whom your life has touched, whether we call you Patti or Trish or Mom.

This is a bump in the road (a big bump, granted!), but I have no doubt you will continue to prevail, because you have given us a piece of yourself with this blog.

Keep living and keep writing, as long as you can, and never give up.

We are there for you, and you are there for us.

Your friend, always, E.

leslie said...

You are remarkable and a model to many. I check every day to see if you have written something to all of us. I guess it sounds trite and perhaps even dull to say I'm thinking about you all the time because everyone is saying that. You've touched a lot of us and we're all cheering for you, blue or white. :-)


nora said...

Write away!