This has been a good day. Such a very, very good day.
Weather-wise, perfect and everything is either blooming or about to bloom and and it's been warm and skyblue and redbud pink and air soft and the green energy of spring is pouring forth.
Yes. All of that.
But the sweetest thing for me was that I went back to the dentist and it's been what? Six weeks or so since I got that tooth pulled? Longer than that since I went into that office the first time, trembling with anxiety and fear and worry, not only about the abscess (in the bone, they said!) but about all of the medical stuff I hadn't taken care of in forever and knowing that it was all before me, I had to do it, and they took that first X-Ray, the one that the machine travels around your head so that you feel as if you're in some sort of Futurama space movie and the doctor/dentist prodded and shook his head and laid out the story and I was in no shape for life at that point.
That sounds so dramatic but it's true.
Already wracked with the anxiety, this only made things so much worse.
The weeks of antibiotics before they could do the extraction, the dread, the fear of the actual procedure and then the tooth was pulled and the graft set in place and the sweetness of the drugs and better than that, the sweetness of the assistants in that office. No matter how many times I called and said, "I think something is wrong," they were always patient and always saw me and reassured me that all was healing as it should.
And I went to my nurse practitioner and I submitted to the tests I had to get, even the damn stupid mammogram which may have been worthless but I had been so afraid that I had breast cancer because, well, that was part of my insanity. And that came out all right too.
And then today I went back in to that dentist's office and once again I was quite certain that things were not healing well. There is tenderness, there is a pokey-out place, but all of it I had just kept mostly to myself, thinking that I could not, would not take myself back in there before my scheduled appointment because, well, I just couldn't.
And they did another Futurama X-Ray and the sweet, sweet darling girl who has worked with me most often said, "Excellent. The healing is perfect."
And she showed me the X-Ray and how the bone graft has filled in exactly as it should and explained that the pokey-out place was just a little overgrowth of the graft and that it is fine, normal, covered with tissue just as it should be.
And I didn't even have to see the doctor although I do not fear him any more and I felt, as I left that office into this beautiful spring day that I had been reborn in a way, all of that behind me now.
All of it behind me now.
For now, at least.
And I've been on the antidepressant for about a week and a half and it has already changed everything and the crazy-thoughts are so much quieter and when they do arise, I can mostly think them away and when I got home, I ate some lunch and then I laid down and I slept a sleep of such peace and got up and went and weeded in the garden and I'm having a midweek beer, my celebratory offering to myself because all of this has been so very, very hard for me, as mundane and simply human-experience as it's been and I did it.
Two months ago I couldn't even imagine or remember what life could feel like when not under the ten thousand pound weight of panic. I KNEW that what I was feeling was not based on reality. I KNEW that what I was feeling was a misfiring brain. I KNEW that my life was essentially so very, very good but none of that helped.
You might as well have told a person who was in agony because they had broken a leg that the agony was simply a symptom of the broken leg. It was (can be/is) that real.
Impossible to convey that feeling to someone who has never experienced it. Immediately recognizable to anyone who has.
And so today, when I left that office, I told that sweet, sweet girl that I was truly going to miss her. Somehow, that office is a symbol now of surviving that which I did not think I could survive but did. And there was grace.
Grace in their patience, grace in their understanding. Grace in their grace towards me and if that sounds ridiculous- what part of this isn't?
But it is the way it is and all though this, I have been writing it out here, most of it some of it, at least, and I have gotten such support. Such amazing support and I am not sure I could have made it without the assurances that some of you go through the same things, that you understand, that I am not alone.
And there is a small part of me which is proud of myself for just fucking making the appointments, for going to them, for asking for help, for saying my fears out loud, for doing the damn laundry and cooking the meals and taking the walks and putting it all aside long enough to take good care of my grandsons, for being constantly aware of the goodness in my life and all of it around me whether that is the love of my family or the shape of an egg or the slant of the light, or a good book to read, or the swelling of the buds on the trees or the cluster of birds at the feeder.
Able and aware, even if none of it felt real for a second.
I know I still have much to work on. My diet, more exercise. I have lost weight. Not a great deal, but some. Combine a tooth extraction with anxiety and there will be some resulting weight loss. Enough to remind me of my bones. My good and my strong (hopefully) bones.
Maybe now I can start to reach out again, to plan again, to anticipate with at least a little excitement again.
I remember talking to my sweet Lis on New Year's Eve, I think it was, and we were talking about her birthday, which is in April, and our possible plans to be together for that day and I said something like, "My goal at this point is to just be okay by then." It sounded so pathetic.
And frankly- I couldn't imagine it.
But now I can.
And we have very concrete plans to be together for her birthday, she and I and our sweet husbands and maybe, just maybe, I can now even begin to actually imagine going to Cozumel in May.
And pure, sweet grace and Jessie will be coming home to visit in a few weeks and oh god, how I miss her, and the peas will come up and the potatoes too if I ever get them in the ground and the frogs cry for love and they boys are coming tomorrow and I can go forward.
And when that place where the tooth was pulled feels tender, I can feel tender towards it, knowing that all is well. And feel tender towards myself.
And maybe that's what I'm mostly feeling tonight- tenderness towards the entire world, this crazy-fucked-up world where miracles do happen.
All love...Ms. Moon