Some nights you weep

Yesterday I got just enough sleep (4 hours) to pull off my day of work at Monarto Zoo, but not enough to feel okay. I was able to get to sleep much earlier than my current usual time of 6am with the aid of warm milk, growing chronic sleep deprivation, and Rose kindly reading to me over the phone (which seems to be the only reliable sleep aid I’ve found so far). Sadly I then woke, entirely unnecessarily at 6am. Zoe was then very painful and I nearly strangled her. The morning was spent sobbing in bed in frustration as the lack of sleep set off severe fibro muscle pain and nausea.

My sister was sleeping over and came in, our two kittens trailing her to romp on the bed. Funny how just the night before I’d been discussing with a friend the different way people cope with someone not feeling okay, and how it often seems to be the way you try and do something like be companionable or cheer them up that matters most to whether it feels warm or dismissive.

There’s been so much going on for me in the past few weeks. A funeral, a range of new work, Rose is having a shift change at her work that will hopefully be much better in the long run but messes up my calender in the short run as I was booking things in around shifts that wont be happening anymore. Painful stress in some very close friendships, difficulties with Bridges and DI things. I’m doing my best to give all these areas the time and attention they so deserve, and to bring my very best skills and patience and courage to them. I’m very tired, and doing my best to be ethical and to be an advocate for myself. Sometimes when relationships break down there is this strange and painful space where for some reason, caring about it and being hurt about it is not seen as evidence you cared and were invested, but is construed as you being overly emotional and difficult. This morning I had run out of the ability to think over all these hurdles and maintain an even emotional keel. There is at times, just a keening pain, and it hurts so deeply that it’s impossible to imagine that life can be wonderful also. When it comes over us it takes away everything else and leaves me breathless and suicidal.

It was good to have a space where I didn’t have to be okay or have an adult, intellectual perspective. To reach out and just lay a hand on my sisters shoulder and feel the warm presence of another person seep into me, like warmth, grounding and connecting me back to a sense that my life was meaningful. I made us coffee and banana smoothies, then went and stood barefoot on my lawn to water my garden. My poppies are in bloom. Then I dressed and drove up the freeway to work, and painted children, and read a book in the quiet times, and ate a little, and drank a lot, and drove back to Rose’s place to share in a pizza evening she was having. I was trembling with exhaustion and we went to sleep holding hands until she needed to go to her night shift.

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Home after, and tired and sad and wishing my life did not hurt so much. Wishing I lived in a caravan or tent and could hear the wind. I’ve been broke and out of antihistamine for days, my skin is red raw with hives. They are especially bad when I’m under emotional strain, or grieving. I used to describe them in poems as my skin screaming.

There’s a path forward and it has beauty in it. Some days you sing the road beneath your feet, some nights you weep it.

Preparing

Yesterday I woke up to cancelled work gigs. I’d spent the early hours of that morning rejigging my art website sarahkreece.com.au – go and check it out, it’s very pretty – so losing work was particularly depressing. I dragged my bones of of bed feeling very discouraged and found a bunch of flowers and a sympathy card on my doorstep from friends. It turned my day around.
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Rose was still awake after a night shift and feeling sleepless and rough, so I sat on an old couch in my front garden and read to her. This seems to work for both of us when we’re not able to sleep, particularly books that have a lyrical style of writing. I moved this old couch from my porch to a spot by my studio window. I’ve had some help with my garden lately and it looks a whole lot better than the over grown neglected mess it has been. My awful neighbour is very loud, she leaves her front door open and harasses me whenever I’m out the front. The studio window is a little further away and sheltered at least from sight. I can still hear her, she’s very loud, but if I play music as well its not so bad. I love being able to sit outdoors, it’s very grounding for me. I’ve been out there every day since I moved the couch. It’s good to sit there in the drizzle and my beautiful plants. Sarsaparilla loves it and comes and sits on my lap.

It turns out I picked up a whole lot more work today, teaching art classes, which I’m really excited about. I love workshops, they are interactive and supportive, encouraging people to learn and enjoy new skills. I’m very happy about it. I’ve been developing new glitter tattoo designs and experimenting with different colours patterns, which also brings me joy. Funny how such small things can make such a big difference to my outlook on life, feeling loved, feeling hope about my future.
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In the evening I went and cuddled my goddaughter, who is going to turn 1 shortly. She is so beautiful, my hands itch to hold her when she’s in the room. I can’t wait to be a mother myself.

In the early hours I’ve been cleaning. I’ve had a hot bath, sat in my garden, read, keep company with my pets. I’m as ready as I can be for the funeral tomorrow. We’re ready.