Sunday, August 21, 2011

You ask "how do you do it?"

There are some days when I have so much hurt I don't know what to do with it.  Can I pack it up and put it away somewhere?  Can I hide it in my closet?  Can I wash it away and never see it again?  What do people do with it?  What do I do with it?

I have found some things that have helped me cope along the way.  Back in the winter, I really delved into humour and exercise.  I only watched funny tv shows and I read a few blogs that made me laugh out loud. I started reading super fluffy, funny romances and People or US magazines as escapes from reality.  I enjoyed watching and listening to anything that would help me to take my mind off of Gabrielle's, our  reality.  I love conversations that were about nothing and I could sit and listen to 'nothing'.  It made me wonder if that's what all those fluffy books and magazines were there for in the first place - to help people escape their current realities?

During transplant, I felt lots of anger, sadness, fear and exhaustion.  Living day to day was such a grind that it took every bit of energy to get through the day with Gabrielle and I saved whatever I had left for our boys at home.  I felt as though I was on a treadmill going forward, and I could only deal with 'predictable' events and if things were going in the same direction as I was, I could cope, but as soon as something came at me from the sideline, I would de-rail.

It's tough.  Today, I cope by putting the needs of myself and my family first.  Exercise still continues to be my therapy.  I am able to put every emotion into physically exhausting myself and pushing my boundaries.  It takes my mind off of everything and only lets me focus on the moment.  Exercise is the only coping strategy I have yet to come across that takes away all my grief, sadness, anger, fear and helps me to feel positive, strong, loving, and capable.

You know, it's not pretty.  You're probably reading this thinking "gee, thanks a lot, how depressing".  And when I read what other people have to talk about in Facebook or in their personal blogs, my reality can be very difficult to grapple with.  But, it's real.  I can't change it.  I can only cope the best way I know how.  And let me tell you, it's taken us on a journey I never could have imagined.


  1. Hope you had a great training session today! Glad you are able to have some time to yourself and for yourself these days...

  2. I know this is probably not much consolation...but we did awesome yesterday and we get to do it again next weekend and Wed too!
    I'm so happy that you decided to take on this challenge and I love that we are doing it together!
    And most importantly, you do an amazing job caring for Gabrielle, she is a lucky girl!!

  3. I came across your website through Michelle, and appreciate your insight very much. I too am going through a life experience that few can relate to. I used to love curling up with a thick book, and getting lost in it. These days I can't even focus long enough to sit down to read it, let alone follow the characters and plot. So People and Hello! it is. Anything to get you through... make no apologies!

  4. @ Michelle - training session was awesome, can't wait for the next one! @ Julie - I'm hooked...thanks for pushing me up that last hill (Isabelle style!!), @ Donna - thanks so much for your comment. I remember meeting you a while back at Michelle's...I am so sorry to hear that you are going through a difficult experience as well. Thank goodness for trashy magazines to distract us momentarily:)

  5. When I was in my 20's a childhood friend who was studying to become a doctor would spend her entire summer reading trashy romances as a way to relax after a whole year of dealing with life and death and the fragile strength of the human body. I love that our collective mind has created these avenues to escape our painful realities. And I deeply appreciate the insights of this blog. Namaste...