I woke up with the birds and the sun today, and didn't feel like a zombie. I'm feeling more integrated into our routines at home, and that means time to blog again. The two week stay at the hospital pushed us forward in growth in ways we didn't think we had left in us.
Steve and I were overwhelmed and a little weary to start our emotional hospital visit, and there were a few times we spoke with only tears. It's such a hard thing to describe, going to bed weary one day, and waking up to feeling hopeful the next; but that's what this journey has been full of. Thankfully in the 2 weeks we started weary, gained hope, and left the hospital empowered (even while beaten down).
After several recovery days at home, with little routine, yesterday was a breakthrough for us both separately and individually; and today as I sat to write, the blocks were all removed. With no trace of them, I felt the words going into the keyboard, and the keys filling my soul with energy, one finger at a time.
Yesterday when we woke up to something that could have easily set us to the shadow instead of the light, with how drained we both had become; it instead revealed how much power Steve & I have left in the fight. In a moment where in the past we've both allowed this kind of "surprise" send us to our dark spaces; Steve to panicked, me to deranged, we instead lead with action. After discovering his catheter had leaked (and he was laying in a puddle of urine) knowing we had to turn and clean him with no help, to prevent the urine from soaking through to the wound; we just got ourselves a plan and did it.
Afterwards we both congratulated one another, genuinely proud of how the other and each other had handled ourselves. So often, I make it a point to share my shadow side with y'all, because there is a misconception that I am some sort of saint or angel; and I'm only sunshine and flowers. It's true I aim towards the sun, but I stand in some deep shadowy spaces. Just as it's important I share the real, the unflattering, the raw; it's also important to share the growth, and truly to recognize it when it shows up.
The truth is, it is because I face my shadow that I am able to shine my light at all. Just don't let that light blind you, it's not all there is to me. During meditation while I was reflecting on us taking action, I asked myself, "What made this time different?" The realization that it was me, had me do a long reflection on how much my behaviors influence Steve's. During our hospital visit Steve experienced an extended period of having a high heart rate, and a nurse said to me innocently, "Maybe he's sensing your anxiety..."
I reflected on what she said for a while, as it's something that hasn't been suggested to me in some time. Of course, this time of the heart rate was as usual a medication issue; but it didn't stop the seed from taking root. There is a pressure when being a caregiver, that often I don't even recognize, until I reflect on the outcome of high stress moments. It's often dependent upon how I respond, to how the course of action goes. I stress- Steve stresses.
Reflecting on yesterday, I feel a sense of accomplishment; mixed with shame. So many times, looking back, Steve had a negative response to something, because I did. Of course, I'm not in control of Steve's actions/feelings, and I'm not suggesting that I am; but when your life depends on someone else, it's easy to be influenced by that person. There's a reason I've been doing so much work the past few year; not only do I deserve to be my best self, but mostly Steve deserves the best me.
Processing this realization has led me to an understanding of how much weight my choices carry. There are so many times I'm trying to convey the importance of our choices, without always realizing I'm greatly talking to myself. The unrealistic expectation of trying to behave in a way that is always calm, comforting, and empowering to Steve; is one that I saw myself beginning to create. The truth is, I feel life, all of it, and sometimes I lead with feeling instead of pausing to lead with the heart & mind aligned; and I know I will make mistakes. However, knowledge is power, and now I know what to practice.