I left the office Wednesday after slipping a handwritten note under the door of my office manager. “I’m not coming to work tomorrow.” I walked off the job. Not because I dislike my job. My job, my patients and the interaction I have with each patient is possibly the only thing that keeps me anchored. I have such a profound sense of responsibility and obligation to the patients and to my employees….I make myself go to work. Lately, it is the only thing that gets me out of bed and moves me through my day. I sat at my desk at lunch and realized I wanted to just crawl underneath it and go to sleep. I didn’t have the energy or fortitude to move a muscle. I have no business being responsible for anyone else when I am that bleak. Maybe it is whatever is going on with me. Maybe it is this medication I am taking. I might have a better state of mind if I stopped the medicines but then I wouldn’t be able to hold a pen or button my blouse.
I’ve been here before. The first time was in the summer just before I turned 16. My remedy then was to run, literally. I’ve run proverbially many times over the years. I’ve dragged myself through or out of these dismal regions in a variety of ways. This blog was one such exercise. “Find the silver lining. Make the glass half full. Be thankful for even the smallest of things.” Now I am too tired to run. I don’t want to run anymore. I have made a lovely home. My sons and I are happy and content. I have my crafts and my garden. Life is safe and beautiful. And beauty matters to me on a very fundamental level. I know it is all lovely and yet, I feel numb. I am lonely. Maybe it is my first born son leaving for college. Maybe it is recognizing that my second and last baby is starting high school in a few months. Maybe it is my best friend moving away and with her begins a major restructuring at my office, since she is also my office manager. Maybe it is losing yet another doctor – albeit for a happy reason – as her husband starts he own career as a cancer specialist. Change. Everything changes. And yet, I feel like I am standing in the same place. Trying to pull myself through those therapeutic exercises I’ve done in the past seems hollow. Yes, exercise helps temporarily. Heavy labor in the yard helps for a while. Escaping into a book, a new music CD, baking something or painting my nails blunts it for a while. But it’s still there, that empty place setting. I keep waiting for something or someone to walk through the door but it is possible – even likely – that there are no new arrivals. I must find how to get joy and pleasure out of the loveliness in my world….even if my kids are grown and gone and I am here all alone.
My roses bloom. This rose has taken two years to set it’s first blooms