I feel better than I did two weeks ago. I even feel better than a week ago. But, I am not ready to proclaim victory because last night was a little bit of a setback. I know that I am (surprisingly) handling some things better than expected. For example, everyone at work keeps talking about all of the things that have happened since I started the job. They make comments on how I keep working through everything. During my evaluation this week, my boss told me that my composure over the last six months, especially over the last month, has defined me as a strong leader. He talked about my leadership skills, strong support on campus, and that my staff really like me. Normally, I would feel uncomfortable with this praise but this time I am just going to accept it. I know that I have handled a lot of work things as I’ve also been struggling with my personal life. The work stuff has not been easy. This past week was rough because I had zero energy. When I say zero energy — I really mean zero energy. Zero energy as in “it hurts to breathe” energy. Yet, I got through it. What else am I supposed to do? We are facing major deadlines at work as regular work continues. We faced a memorial service for our co-worker. I had a “come to Jesus” meeting with the former director. And, I am still navigating a personnel situation that is going to explode at the end of the month. I had no choice but to show up and work through all of it. I have another crucial five days ahead of me.
On top of the busy work schedule, I had two radiation sessions. I guess it is a better sign that this time (two days later), I was able to have a nice lunch yesterday and drink lots of coffee this weekend. I even had a beer last night. But, I am facing five sessions this week so I doubt I will say the same thing next weekend. Another difference between the last round of radiation and this one is that I am less gloomy and conflicted. I am just doing it. I am not over thinking it.
Personal life? I am not thinking about it. I am trying to focus on my niece, work, and when I can get my next nap. I am trying to reconnect with friends I haven’t talked to for awhile. I am struggling with attention issues. My focus is too limited to really read anything of substance. I’ve gone through this phase before but I hope this one doesn’t last as long. I am watching more television than I would like. I wish I could use that time to read but my brain just wants mindless stuff.
So the part where I don’t feel ready to say things are completely better? We had the memorial service yesterday. It was a little weird. I was very touched by what Steve’s friends had to say about him. I was touched by the staff and students who showed up. I was relieved when the singer sang “Our Father” because it was the most ridiculous voice I’ve ever heard. It immediately dried up all of my tears and helped me get through the rest of the service. Afterwards, I went to lunch with a few co-workers. I came home and slept. I did some things around the apartment. I thought about walking to the art fair in the neighborhood but I decided I didn’t want to be around people. I watched television. I read stupid fan fiction. And, then I just got hit with this spasm of grief and frustration over the last few weeks. It has been a lot. I mean, seriously, it is a lot for anyone to handle so I can’t beat myself up too much. I had that sensation of wanting to crawl out of my skin. I decided to call Bonnie. We talked about stuff but I didn’t say that I was upset or anything. I just needed to reach out and talk about cats, our upcoming conference, issues she is going through, and my imitation of the singer at the memorial service. It was enough for me to get control of my sadness.