i’m sad. i’ve been running away from it for a while but it’s time to check back in to what’s real. sadness is real.
i came back from colombia with such fierce determination to make a better life for myself. i made some quick sweeping changes and felt free as a bird, i moved into a state of bliss and it lasted for a while. i broke up with my boyfriend, i got back into a healthy lifestyle, forged some new friendships, started volunteering and making art again. you know… a while back as i was figuring out how to deal with my periodic depressive episodes, i remember coming to a realization. “can it really be as simple as taking good care of myself? eating well, regular exercise, self-expression, getting enough sleep? is that really the key to happiness, to being even-keeled?” through trial and error, i have learned that it really is that simple. at least for me. i feel like my time after colombia reinforced it.
but like anything, life is a process, a balance, and i can’t hold my balance forever. i need time alone, i need the majority of my life to be sober even when social time frequently gets boozy. i need to hold it together and practice self-discipline and guard the time i need as an introvert to re-charge. but social time gets addictive and then begins to feel like a responsibility that i have trouble keeping up with. so i revert, letting go of healthy patterns, and indulging in instant gratification, which eventually makes me sad. i’m not good at hiding or ignoring my feelings. and the cycle continues.
of course, it doesn’t help in the middle of a downswing to get hit with an unexpected death. herbie was old, 87, lived a full life, was religious and therefore sure of a better afterlife, so that helped. but the shock of someone dying who you’ve known for your whole life is definitely tough. herbie was very special, a friend of my grandparents and a constant presence at the church i grew up in. he had a big smile, saggy skin around happy eyes, and the tightest, warmest hug in the world. that hug is what i’ll miss the most. and i told him and his wife that a few months ago in a letter when i heard he was sick.
at his viewing i talked to people from the old church, which had closed down a few years ago. it was especially nice to see merril, my other old pal, 90 years old and vibrant, still doing woodworking and stained glass projects. his wife lois, he admitted, wasn’t doing so well. lois used to play organ and piano for church and through the years she would tap me to do special music, choosing songs she could accompany me to sing to. after a fall a few years ago, lois developed alzheimers and merril told me she now had about a 6 word vocabulary and wasn’t much herself anymore. what an awful disease.