For a day or two, I’ve been really proud of myself. It’s been almost two weeks since I lost my job, and I thought I was coping pretty well (if you don’t count that first evening, when I damn near drowned in Dubonnet, or the first day or two afterwards, when only my reptilian brain seemed to function).
After all, I’ve started this blog, and I’ve kept up with it. I’ve kept up with all my social media, and wished everyone a happy birthday (except for my beloved brother-in-law, who isn’t on Facebook, and to whom I owe least sixteen cards). I caught the flu and am almost over it. I actually started cooking again, and damn it, those pork chops last night were mighty fine! And believe it or not, when I went to bed last night, I said, “I need to get some real sleep,” and I actually shut off the TV set. I went to sleep in the dark, and in silence.
I created the right conditions for seeing and hearing myself.
First of all, I realized I must look pretty damn ugly, since I haven’t combed my hair in five days. Can you imagine? I had visions of myself chasing Bugs Bunny, hairpins falling out of my head every time I turned. Lest you imagine worse, let me assure you I have washed my face and brushed my teeth, but honestly…beyond reptilian hygiene, I’ve let my grooming go to hell.
Secondly, I realized I haven’t stepped outside the front door in eleven days. Considering the way I look, that’s surely for the best, but is that healthy? This may go deeper than self-indulgent introversion, or even the fear that I’ll take myself on an unsustainable frenzy of retail therapy. I may have started cocooning—wrapping myself in the comfort of home to ward off the outside world, where even the folks you trust can hurt you, and let you know you’re not needed.
Oh, dear. My son will call that statement maudlin.
Maybe it is… but one of my reasons for starting this blog was to document honestly the feelings and experiences I’ll encounter at this unpleasant time of life. I don’t question for a minute that things will get better… they always have… but I don’t want to forget the ups and downs on the way. These are the experiences from which sympathy and empathy will spring when they’re needed. This will teach me I’m no better than my dirty, depressed, pixilated neighbor… just better supported… and I hope these days will make me a kinder and more understanding person.
Meantime, damn it, I think I’ll go take a bath.