Every so often the universe surprises me & I get derailed from my quest for balance. Today I was looking for something and opened a drawer that I rarely access. Seeing the ID tags from my former career as a critical care nurse just knocked the breath out of me. I could feel my stomach clench with that apprehension that usually precedes the intense grief every time I am reminded of what I have lost. In the past I would have slammed the drawer shut and tried distracting myself, but I've learned that isn't helpful. Grief doesn't leave until it is fully done with the losses and you learn how to live with them.
You may already know this about me, but incase you don't, know that I try very hard to keep my art practice focussed on the intersection of creativity and wellbeing. So I asked myself, "Self, how does creativity fit in this picture?". Allowing myself to slow down, be mindful of my feelings, compose an image and write this post allows me to embrace that grieving process. I can't pretend it doesn't hurt, and hiding from it only makes it worse. So I'm embracing it...and eventually the suffocating feeling in my throat will abate, and I'll breathe easy.
Part of the challenge of being on an acquired disability journey is learning how to adapt to your new life. So it means accepting the past is in the past and focussing on reconstructing your new identity...which I gotta say is hella lot of work. Slow and steady goes the work, but I'll get there. Thank you for keeping me company while I go down this new path....and for anyone on a similar journey I would love to hear about your struggles and how you reconcile your old and new self?