Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I need to write again

I need to write again. It has been quite awhile now that I have really written from the heart. But, I was mentally exhausted. I just needed some time, some quiet and to slow down.


When I think back now over the past five years it is no wonder that I am exhausted. It started with the death of my father. I won’t go into great detail here. I have written of it elsewhere. He died of cancer. When he was diagnosed, it was already too late to save him. He chose not to have treatment which would only prolong his life, not save it. I am not sure exactly, the whole time was a blur, but I think it was only about six weeks from diagnosis to his death. He surprised everyone, especially the hospice nurses. On what was to be his final night, I insisted I was staying. No one seemed to think it was necessary, but I did. He died just before midnight and I felt him leave. That single event affected me profoundly.


For the next few years my concern shifted to my mother and her declining health. She finally reached a point where she could no longer live alone, but she could not accept that. She was 91 years old and could barely walk. It was painful watching such a formidable woman decline. Once free with her opinions on anything, she now sat silent in her wheelchair. I could not help her. I could not talk to her honestly about her situation. The truth would throw her into a depression. I could see it in her eyes that she found death preferable to the loss of her independence. She actually confirmed that recently to my sister. I watched her fade away. My mother was alive, but I found myself grieving for the woman that she was and I could not accept the woman she was becoming.


It took a year but, she eventually accepted that she could not move home again. Plans were made to pack up and sell her home. Another extremely painful experience; packing up a lifetime of treasures. What do you discard? Well that is another story in itself and I won’t go into it here. I have written of it elsewhere. But in the process I also found acceptance.


Throughout all of that I also found out that the my department was closing and I was losing my job. Initially we had been told it would happen over two years. They were off by a year. I scrambled and went back to school, working fulltime and taking classes. I had been out of school for 33 years and I didn’t know if I could still do it. I found that I could, but it was so much harder than it was when I was younger. My last day at work was New Years Eve 2008. I started 2009 unemployed. That brought another whole set of emotions I was not prepared for.


I know there is a point here somewhere, really there is. Through all of this I felt that I couldn’t slow down. I was juggling so many things at once and felt if I let up for just a second it would all come crashing down. I was getting so tired, but I couldn’t let up. At times I was also working a second job. Through all of this, the only thing that kept me from going crazy was my writing and a group of online friends. I started a caregivers group on Newsvine.com and found many who had problems similar to mine. We seemed to take turns holding each other up. I wrote of all of the stressful events of my life. It was my way of purging all of the emotions that I had been keeping bottled up inside of me. Sometimes the only way I could sleep was to get up and write out all of the thoughts curning in my head.

I published them to Newsvine and found many others in similar circumstances that were helped by what I had written. There was a lot of healing on those threads, especially for me. But the fast pace was taking its toll, emotionally and physically. I wanted to stop but couldn’t. Eventually I found that could no longer write. I had nothing left to give. I pretty much left Newsvine.


And then I was physically stopped as well. On the last day of August, 2009 I was in an accident that totaled my vehicle. At the height of rush hour on one of the busiest freeways in Minneapolis, I was rear ended and pushed into another lane where I hit a 3rd car. We both crossed another lane and ended up on the side of the road without hitting anyone else. Somehow, we all walked away.


That woke me up and made me realize that I had to slow down. I wasn’t living my life, I was racing through it. But I still had to deal with insurance, finding a different vehicle in between physical therapy for whiplash and oh yes, I was still in school. I somehow made it to the end of the semester. I was not returning to school the following semester because somewhere in there I also lost my funding. So I also had to quickly find a full time job. And I did.


But what I really wanted to do was just stop. I wanted to do nothing. I didn’t want to leave my bed. I didn’t want to even talk anymore. I withdrew. Writing had always helped in the past, but I just couldn’t do it. In five years I had come full circle. It was similar to when my father died. At that time I was also emotionally exhausted and didn’t write at all for a year and a half.


What saved me then were my online friends on Newsvine. Their support and encouragement carried me and allowed me to release all of the pain I was holding inside. And when shit started to happen again, they held me up as I continued to write my way through it. It is all there buried in my archives.


Today, I am now moving forward again and slowly finding my way back, to writing and to life. This time I have once again been inspired by many online friends to write again. Only this time they are on Twitter. I have often wondered how and why I have become friends with certain people. It seems so random. But then suddenly it all comes clear in a short tweet, a song shared or a blog post that you stumble upon. Sometimes it brings enlightenment, other times it brings tears.


Most are probably not even aware of the impact that they have had on me. But, that is the way of writing. Sometimes you never get to know when something you wrote was the very thing someone needed to read. We all come together online for reasons unknown. But, our lives have become digitally intertwined throughout the various social media. And though far apart, we are indeed all in this together. And I guess in all this rambling mess, that is my point.


To all of my friends, new and old, I may never meet you, but you are real and exist in my heart.


Thank you for your continuing support!

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14 Comments:

Anonymous Becky said...

What a great account of your personal journey --
thanks for sharing!

March 16, 2010 at 9:59 AM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Thanks for coming by Becky. I needed to do this before I could move forward again. And I must say that your posts helped me a lot. I was feeling quite empty and devoid of anything until your words touched me. ~ Mary

March 16, 2010 at 12:08 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Wow Mary. Just wow. Thank you so much for sharing this, it made me (yes me) tear up in public no less! Although our circumstances are very different my connection to you and other Twitter friends has also had a profound effect on me, you expressed that perfectly. What a roller coaster or just turbulent time you have had these past five years (sending virtual hug!) I am so glad that you have found your way back to writing! I look forward to following this part of your journey, and being a small part of it via this blog & Twitter. Thank you again for sharing :o)

March 16, 2010 at 5:00 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Caroline~ Thank you for your comment and your friendship. I think I have met the people I needed when I needed them most. There are many who have filled this role for me in the past, too many to mention individually. But I could not have gotten by without any of you.

Mary

March 16, 2010 at 6:16 PM  
Blogger Rottlady of the Ozarks said...

Mary, you have come a long way. I know how hard it's been for you but I also know that you are a strong woman and will bounce back stronger than you might think.

I'm so glad I am one of those friends that you have met along the way, I am so much richer for knowing you.

I'm glad to read that you are turning a corner and I'm looking forward to read more of your excellent writing!

Your friend,
Elizabeth

March 16, 2010 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Elizabeth, You have been a rock for me. I can't tell you how many times you have lifted me up. I would not have survived without my Newsvine friends. You, Laurie, Tammy, Angel C, Raj, Darro and so many more. I really could go on. You all saw me through the worst. I can't thank you enough. I know you would have been there for me this time as well, but I shut most everyone out. However, a few new friends showed up to nudge me along.

I am truly blessed by all of you...

March 16, 2010 at 6:53 PM  
Blogger Rottlady of the Ozarks said...

Well, whatever it was to bring you back to writing I am so glad.

You are a beautiful person and I am so glad to know you.

Your friend, Elizabeth

March 16, 2010 at 6:58 PM  
OpenID hippiechick68 said...

Mary,

Thank you for sharing this with us. It is a powerful testament of life, growth and the miracle of friendship.

You have come such a long way, through the toughest of times. My hope for you is that you start to see the strength that others see in you.

Just as much as you feel we have carried you through, you have returned the favor ten-fold.

I hope you do get back to writing more regularly. You have a gift.

Your friend,
Tammy

March 16, 2010 at 7:57 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Tammy, Thank you.
Last week I found myself very jealous of @jdistraction. I really wish you and I had been able to meet last year when Vicki was making plans for the Chicago vinemeet. Damn! Whatever happened there? Neither of us made it.
Of all people, I think I owe you a special thank you as you served as the bridge between Newsvine and Twitter. You encouraged me to come to Twitter and through you, I have met some incredible people.
You were also the one person I did reach out to when I was really down. You told me what I needed to hear, not necessarily what I wanted to hear. I will always appreciate that.
As to the writing... thank you for being so supportive. I am not sure where it is going right now. This is the first step back.

Mary

March 16, 2010 at 9:34 PM  
Blogger lauhal63 said...

What a roller coaster ride you've endured. Funny how we look back and wonder, "How did I make it through all of this". It's amazing how resilient one can be. It's amazing how much fight a person has.
You've been through quite a bit. I'm sure putting it all down on "paper" is really helpful. It helps to have a record...like here it is in black & white.
Sometimes I write and don't show it to anyone. And that's OK. Getting the words down is the important thing.
I'm glad you're back writing. It's a matter of self care...doing something you enjoy for YOU. A simple, but important pleasure...or even a need.
Welcome back! :)
Laurie

March 17, 2010 at 3:59 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Thank you Laurie,

While I was going thru it, I really didn't think much about it. I just tried to get thru it as best as I could. The only thing I really thought about was just how tired I was and wished that I could stop. The accident was what really forced me take a look at the accumulated stress I was under. And I couldn't stop then either as I still had school.

I have no idea how I made it through. Especially when my computer got a virus and I lost all my data. That was it. At that point I was still trying to figure out how to go to school Spring semester. I gave it up.

But I have had my mental break and I am back. And perhaps I am a little wiser now.

Mary

March 18, 2010 at 5:01 AM  
OpenID terrepruitt said...

I have the following saved as a favorite in my twitter favorites:

from @inspiremetoday "Every good thing you do creates ripples that you may not see. Do it anyway."

So people might not know, but that's ok.

I wish you well on your new journey.

April 16, 2010 at 2:21 AM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

@terrepruitt,

Thank you! I love the quote. It is perfect...

April 16, 2010 at 3:50 AM  
Blogger Kristin Callender said...

What an emotional journey you have been on. I am glad we've connected on Twitter. You're a strong woman and brave to put it all out there for the world to see. I'm getting better at that as time goes on. It's true, you never really know when & why people come into your lives, but it's so nice when they do.

April 24, 2010 at 11:09 AM  

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