Lethargy…

Did you know that lethargy is a normal response to dramatic life changes and, in particular, grief? I am finding this out.

Just when everything starts going again, just when you think “I’m back on track, building speed and gaining momentum,’ the tiredness creeps up and slaps you on the back of the head. It’s that stealthy foe that fells, the silent drain that drops you to your knees. It’s not the kind of tiredness you get after a good long run (because I know what that feels like…ha ha…ok, a good, long but fast-paced walk…ok, fast paced for someone half my height with midget-like legs. Can you just see my point please and stop being so pedantic? Darned inner critic!), but the tiredness that steals those extra hours you would have spent doing positive things, extra things, things that make you feel good about life. Instead, I find myself scraping my toes over the last few jobs before falling into bed wondering when last I picked up a book—and that’s bad for me, I usually read two a week and it’s been two books in two months.

My friend—let’s call her Magnesium—calls them her sad days. Just for no reason and out of the blue, she feels sad. I know what she means. I have them too. I find myself watching a movie and out of nowhere I start crying about it, about everything. It’s hard to explain without telling you the ins and outs of the thing that has done this to me, to my friends and the people I love, but it doesn’t matter, because you’d probably laugh and say, “Arianne, it happens every day.” And you’d be right, it does happen every day, but when it happens to someone you know and love, when it happens to someone you really thought was immunised against it, it fells you. NO, it rocks you. And you see the devastation behind the statistics. To most people, a betrayal like this is a fact of life, a statistic, a number in the great tally of human unfaithfulness, but to those involved it is an earthquake, a cataclysm, a tsunami, a landscape changing event. There  is so much to think about: how did it happen? Why? When? Where? Why didn’t I see it coming? What happens now? How does this change things? What should I do? What can I do?

It’s little wonder the tiredness creeps in! The mental energy that goes into evaluating the details of everyday life in the light of new information, of filtering everything through a new sieve and testing every word, and thought, and action, and emotion…is draining! It is all draining. And how do you find a way of carrying on, when there is no enthusiasm for what lies ahead, when the what that lies ahead is unknown, uninvited, undesired?

I’m lucky, I still have my destination intact. I still have some momentum, as long as I don’t try to carry someone else’s load. I can share their burdens without carrying the weight of it, can love them, be there for them, help them…all without carrying their load for them. The trick to living successfully is to carry what I was intended to carry—be it bigger or smaller than someone else’s load—because I was made to carry mine, my shoulders are big enough, my back strong enough, my legs empowered for the task. I need to learn to learn to pick up the friend who has stumbled, hold their load for a moment while they pick themselves up, carry it a mile or two with them if needs be, but then I let them carry their own load as I walk alongside them. and, as a wise friend once said, “Do  not worry about tomorrow;; each day has enough trouble for the day.”

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sheryn
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 22:35:07

    I love the way you are able to express things in words that are often difficult to fully explain or even understand ourselves. Sometimes we underestimate just how much energy a situation is taking from us particularly when it has been a long difficult season. ‘Evaluating the details of everyday life’…over & over again. It’s not until we start to come through the other side victorious (which may well be years later, many years later) that we realise just why we felt like we just didn’t have any more energy to give out to other things as we would have liked to.

    In the mean time we must not carry more than we are meant to and not put undue pressure on ourselves. At the same time tho, not curling up in a ball (whilst we may want to) but still pressing on, and stretching ourselves where appropriate.

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  2. Kathy Wight
    Oct 30, 2011 @ 10:44:21

    I know exactly what you are feeling! It is a sometimes slow process of “knowing what’s their’s and what’s yours” and learning to take it one day at a time. That bit about today’s troubles is from the bible….so the “one day at a time” wisdom goes way back. Those of us who are Christians, have a savior and friend who knows about betrayal, (Judas) and grief (Lazarus) and I bet he often had a tiredness from it all. Some seasons take more out of you than others and last longer, like this past summer in Texas! But…..thanks be to God who helps us triumph in our struggles!

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