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distracted and a little numb

April 29, 2018

When I wrote about grief the other day, I was feeling pretty good. I know that this is a hard time, but I felt like I’ve been dealing with it well. Crying when I need to. Talking to others about it.

Then a few hours passed. I realized that my phone had barely left my hand. I remembered the other night when I was hiding in the bathroom scrolling through Instagram when Alida had asked if she could read to me. I remembered a couple nights ago when I somehow made a bottle of wine disappear with only a little help from Jonathan. I realized how much time I had spent picking at the bumps on my arms – a known anxiety/distraction cue for me. I thought about how I stay awake late into the night even when I’m wiped out – again, scrolling scrolling scrolling. (And that is after taking sleeping pills that don’t seem to work.)

So maybe I’m not doing as well as I thought. I don’t even know how to begin deciphering what is normal life distracting and what is cancer related though. We all have bad days. I’ve been guilty of distraction for a long time. I’m pretty sure all parents hide in the bathroom and look at their phones sometime. We all have days where we just want to check out.

Our pastor talks about it frequently – good things (like Instagram and wine) become bad when they are used to distract us or cover up something else. We don’t want to deal with our pain, don’t want to face our shortcomings, don’t want to think about something uncomfortable, so we distract ourselves. We don’t want to feel the hurt of loss, so we numb ourselves.

Recognizing that I am numbing and/or distracting, regardless of the cause, has been good though. It’s made me read a book instead of the internet, go outside every beautiful day this weekend, drink lots of water, and actually watch a whole movie with the girls today.

I started writing this yesterday, but it’s hard to write something that you can’t tie up at the end. I haven’t had any epiphanies in the last 48 hours. I’ve actually cried a whole lot, and I’m not even sure why. I’ve talked to a lot of people, but sometimes I get tired of hearing myself talk about how I’m doing and how I feel. It just feels like blah blah blah. I don’t even know what I’m talking about anymore. But for the sake of transparency, I felt like I had to include a follow-up to the grief post.

Tomorrow we see Dr. Z. I’m ready for this appointment. I need to know what’s next and get started. But it also scares me. It scares me because I know it’s going to be hard, and it scares me as I keep realizing that I’m doing this because I have cancer. Cancer that won’t easily go away. Stage 3 breast cancer that has already cost me one of my breasts and 8 of my lymph nodes.

I sat in church this morning and watched people be baptized. Kris, our pastor, reminds each one of them that wherever they go and whatever they do, they won’t be alone. God will be with them. I’ve heard this a lot lately since we’ve had baptisms every Sunday since Easter. Today, he also mentioned Psalm 139 where it says even the darkness is light to God. I feel a bit like I’m about to start walking through a dark, scary valley. But it is comforting to know that it isn’t dark to God. He can see what’s ahead of me, and will be with me as I go through it. As someone who has often struggled with the reality of an invisible God, being in a place where I believe I will experience His presence in the most real way is something I can look forward to.

We also sang the beginning of this Psalm at church today. I’m including the whole thing because it’s something I need to be reminded of.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
    where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Andy Zimmerman permalink
    April 29, 2018 21:52

    Hi Grace! Kim and I just returned from Graham, NC, where we have been visiting for quite awhile over the last ten days since the sudden loss of my granddaughter. I will give you my personal testimony from recent experience that God is real, everlasting and full of love for all His children. Rest assured this life is NOT all there is; it is only a temporary stop in the eternity of God’s grace. We will continue to pray for you often.

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