So this post may have been inspired by listening to Brene Brown on my drive home from a 24hr call shift. You really should pick up Braving the Wilderness.
My family and I know and feel how close we are to reaching the peak of the 'mountain'... grad school. We carry the daily loss of our Vivian, adding much weight to our journey. I told my boss when she hired me after leaving labor & delivery (for a much needed heart break), that I didn't know how this last leg of grad school would go for me. I had no way to predict how I'd handle being with laboring women and catching their babies as a student nurse midwife. I have yet to lose it, but I recognize that I'm not fully joyful and in the moment like I'd like to be. There is pain mixed with their joy and I can't shake it. It just is what it is. I just read a post from my favorite blog 'Stillstandingmag.com' about living with trauma and the writer posted the definition and this is what she found:
noun: trauma; plural noun: traumata; plural noun: traumas
a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.
"a personal trauma like the death of a child"
I share this because, though I'm thankful few 'get it', it's important to recognize that working through trauma is a long ass haul. Pardon me for a minute, cause I could do a thousand bunny trails right here and picking one is difficult... The picture above is my husband. This was our unsuccessful attempt at climbing Sawteeth mountain in the Adirondacks of upper state NY. Mind you, we did choose the most scenic, toughest trail to climb. His pack was weighted down with more than what was needed and after climbing over steep boulders and inclines for hours, we made the decision to turn back. It was tough coming to the realization that we weren't going to make it to the peak. We were low on water with 2 young boys in tow and had no idea where the next water source would be. A rather LARGE error in planning! Add to the mix, exhaustion, sore feet and it was getting dark. That was the hardest physical journey we'd ever been through, but it pales in comparison to the emotional/psychological journey we've been on. My husband pointed out the other day that he has never had a time in his life that he has had to persevere and dig deeper than deep for stamina to finish a 'climb'. We are carrying as light a load as we can... cutting out busyness, saying "no", not staying for both the 7th & 8th grade basketball games, limiting time with friends, driving old cars, not volunteering, eating out less and so on. Add that the everyday stressors of life are still present and magnified; something only those with deep grief can understand.
I'm hopeful when we've reached the grad school peak in May/June, we'll feel we have a win. We need a win. I pray my husband will have margin in his brain & days to think about & do the things he enjoys. I pray my boys will have 2 less stressed parents to be around and laughter will be a greater part of our days. I pray that I'll love serving and learning from women as a nurse midwife and can throw some pots again.
For now, we're still climbing one boulder at a time with a weighted down pack we didn't ask or plan for.