I was fine.
I am fine.
I mean, clearly I’m fine. The blood work the doctor ran last week shows just how fine I really am. Every possible result was smack dab in the middle of the normal ratings. And was I happy when I read that? No, it made me mad, really, truly, mad.
Mad? That’s crazy right? Who gets mad about being healthy?
Well, apparently I do. Wanna know why?
Because if I’m fine physically, then it means that the fog, the tired, the lack of motivation has to come from somewhere else, and the only other place is in my head.
It means I’m not as fine as I keep telling everyone.
Which is absurd, right? Because this is the good year. This is the recovery year. This is the year things fall into place and we start to embrace our new norm.
I remember thinking in the middle of the worst of 2011 that if everything we were going through didn’t drive me to drink nothing ever would.
I think I was wrong.
See, I’m really, really good in a crisis. I rise to the occasion like a champ. I can be strong, logical, organized. I can do it all.
I don’t think I’m so good in the aftermath. I’m not so good at relinquishing control and letting things go back to a state or normal, whatever that normal might resemble.
This is the time that is hardest for me to manage.
For a long time I hold tight to my fight reflexes, never really knowing when to let them relax. And then I think I relax them too much, and pretend, not that things are better though different, but better and exactly the same.
Which means that every time something rears up to remind me that the new norm doesn’t quite resemble the old norm, like a parallel world where things are almost identical, but just a little bit off — a second moon floating next to the single one from our world, a green sky instead of the cobalt blue we’re used to, people with four fingers instead of five — I feel like I’ve been thrown back into the original chaos.
I’ve often accused M of doing just this, of not facing the changes head on, of not coming to grip with any of the changes, but who am I to talk?
I took on the mantle of crisis manager and wore it well. Then I hung it up and went about my business. I never grieved for the life we left behind. I never dealt with the altered future we face.
I looked at the picture perfect blood work results the other night and I didn’t just see great numbers, I saw all those things I keep pretending I don’t need to face, all those things I haven’t had the guts to verbalize.
I saw the problem in my head that has been growing instead of shrinking, pushing the important stuff aside, demanding to be noticed.
I may not be fine.
But I will be.