Thursday, March 19, 2015
How are you doing?
People ask, how are you doing? The only response I can call up is "Fine," because I can't really think how else to answer the question.
I mean, you can't really say to people, well, I stay in bed as long as I can each morning, trying to wring out every last minute of sleep.
You can't say, I have been parked on the living room couch for two days, letting the phone ring unanswered, watching the latest season of Girls.
Or, I haven't gotten dressed in street clothes or gone outside all week, except for Monday night when I showed up late to choir rehearsal and Tuesday evening when I went to a first appointment with a new therapist that my friend Isabella recommended.
On the way there, I thought, I feel nothing at all, I feel numb and disconnected, as if my mother is not really gone, just away in another country, so why am I going to a therapist? But then, one minute into the session I was crying and I hadn't even been aware that tears were so close to the brim.
I sit sometimes in an empty room and stare at the walls, and then I come to, and I don't even know what I was thinking.
I have to find my way back into work, which hasn't happened yet. My friend J., who is also writing a book, and who has pretty much the same delivery due dates as I do, said to me this morning, "Just start reading your notes. That will get your head back into it. Then write just one sentence. That is all. Do only that."
By some strange coincidence she has also had a death in the family last week, a beloved uncle, so she is grieving, too. She sent me flowers today.
We have such an unexpected friendship. We worked together at the magazine for years, editor and writer, an award-wining duo many times over, same obsessive compulsive work ethic, same love of the rhythm of language, and we developed a great loyalty and understanding in those years. We didn't realize how deep our friendship ran until we both got laid off and still we continued to talk practically every day.
All that to say, I have support. I really do. My husband. My children. Cousins. Very dear friends.
How am I doing?