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Old 06-20-2011, 05:20 PM   #6
saef
Girl Gone Strong
 
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Atlantis, which is near Manhattan
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When my father was dying of cancer in 2008, I knew I was going to want to eat my head off.

So I pretty much sat down with myself & drew up a contract, mentally, that was going to govern what I did until ... well, until it was over.

I was going to get to the gym every day, to blow off stress. Even if I kept my phone turned on & at the equipment, if I needed to be reached. Sometimes I cried while peddling on the stationary bike. I know this felt good & when I would come home afterward, I would have energy & actually be upbeat. I felt renewed. No matter how awful the rest of the day was -- and they were uniformly awful -- I'd had that time alone & that really helped me.

The other thing I was going to do, was Take Care of Myself. Which meant eating healthily. You see, the horrible thing was, I knew I was going to survive. I would get through it. I felt guilty about that. But I knew that, for me, there was going to be an After. If I could just get through it all, I would get to that place & time. So I had to take care of myself in the meantime, as best I could.

I also lined up my therapist. When I couldn't make appointments, I phoned him to talk. I remember at least one double-barreled session: Leaving the gym after cardio, then calling my therapist & talking inside my cold parked car.

I tried meditating, too. Which meant waking up before everyone & sitting alone quietly for a while & not moving, no matter what impulses came over me. (My mother's cat tended to come by & kind of mess that up -- I can't withstand a cat rubbing against me, wanting to be petted & to get into my lap.)

Toward the end, when we had hospice services, I also had a lot of resources to talk to there as they visited the house constantly.

But yeah, it was pretty much accepting there would be an Afterward, for me anyway, and that I needed to hold myself together to get to it, however long that took. And after conceiving of that afterward, I tried not to think too far ahead, ever again, and pretty much thought from day to day, even sometimes from hour to hour.

Last edited by saef; 06-20-2011 at 05:27 PM.
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