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This is not that.

I say the words “this is not that” on a regular basis these days, mostly to my husband. Since 2010 our lives have gone through a somewhat intense roller coaster of stress and loss, of course we are not the only ones who experience this sort of thing but I can only speak for myself and trust me, there has been a lot. It really started with a construction project in our house and the death of a beloved cousin who had cancer and slid into various other issues, family and health related, leading into both of our mothers dying within 9 months of each other followed closely by Charles’ aunt who we were really close to (she died suddenly, 4 months after my mom) and topping that shit sundae with my cancer as the cherry. There’s more, along with the two of us losing a sibling, each within a years time and both were complicated relationships. That’s just an outline, I won’t bore you with the details but I just want to give you an idea of why “this is not that” has become a mantra in our household.

As I continue to feel better and do more, my husband seems to get even more anxious whenever things get stressful for me, like my fingers are barely gripping a tree root while my body dangles over a dangerous ravine and just a slight wind will loose my grip or a coyote will bite off one of my pinkies and splat I will go…I understand why he feels this way even though it can be annoying to me. Stress often exacerbates an already tenuous situation and almost the first half of last year I was in and out of the hospital…I think the fact that I am doing and feeling so much better makes the stakes seem higher and creates a fear of a backslide. Like a small echo from years past there have been some issues lately, nothing disease or death related but more of an appliance and annoying bullshit related stupidity that makes me mildly insane… “This is not that.” I say to Charles as he offers to take over the chores that I am agitatedly doing as he worries I am going to tank myself from the stress. It is frustrating to be viewed as fragile even though I understand how he feels and I try to reassure him that our new dryer and my issues with corporate greed and lack of good service will not ruin me. It seems silly as I write this but when you need to do laundry for an Airbnb apartment that helps pay your mortgage it is a little bit more than a minor inconvenience, though I feel strong enough to handle the situation and after I cooled down I worked out a plan, that’s all I needed to do. Crisis averted (hopefully “this is not that” knock on wood.)

I truly still feel really good for the most part. I am starting to build up my muscles again, not from any exercise routine, though I have been walking more, learning my bass and practicing a very limited amount of massages. My stamina is building up, I am so grateful for this opportunity to feel my vitality again, it’s something I feared was out of my grasp. I hope I continue to feel better and that my new dryer will be set up by this weekend, ha!

Until next time ❤️

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