You may have noticed that I haven't been writing much of late. I've noticed that, too. As I've thought about why that is, I realized that it's mostly about shame. At first I thought it was about that famous river in Egypt; certainly in the past, I've avoided dealing with unpleasant things, difficulties and challenges by choosing, either consciously or unconsciously, not to acknowledge their existence. But the fact is, in the two months since we've been back from our winter home, I've been very much aware of what's bothering me and actively working to try to make life better. Denial was really not a factor.
And then it struck me that I didn't want to be blogging about what is going on with me for the simple reason that I was mired in shame. During the period this winter when my CPAP mask wasn't functioning properly, I lost the ability to recognize and respond to cues about hunger and fullness and ended up gaining some additional weight, which was not enough to affect me while I was still in warm weather attire, but catapulted me into despondency as I made the transition to long pants and tee shirts. The physical discomfort I was feeling in those clothes, many of which I couldn't wear at all any more and the rest of which were all elastic, overwhelmed me and cast me back into a state of shame and guilt and paralysis that I didn't expect to experience again on this journey. And feeling that shame made me loath to write, which gave those horrible negative feelings all the more power.
You wouldn't think that there would be much I could be ashamed about, given all the feelings and situations I've share in this blog. Clearly, it isn't about the feelings and situations themselves, but how I feel about them, and about myself. The fact is, I wrote the preceding paragraph with a light heart just now, whereas last week I was unable even to look at the bookmark for this page on my browser toolbar.
What changed? I bought some new pants.
This seems like such a small thing to do, a small practical task. But it actually was so much more than that. It was a conscious step away from self-flaggelation and towards kindness to myself, towards acceptance of who and what I am in this moment.
And so, I am back, with much to share and process and celebrate.
A hui hou.