Mary, mary, quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
With single crochets
And double crochets
And chain stitches all in a row.
I am engaging in a deliberately slow start to summer. I did start my evening teaching gig this Tuesday, but that is just fun. Okay, technically you're right. It's work. But I love my work.
The boys start swimming lessons and Summer Blast at the park and rec next week. So next week I will start trekking out to the Y and getting everyone out of their pajamas before noon. But for now I am reveling in lazy, not-too-hot summer days.
I do think that I am feeling better. Yesterday I thought to myself, "Hey, it doesn't feel like someone is squeezing my chest in a giant fist anymore!" This was the first I noticed that I used to feel that someone was squeezing my chest. Not in an asthmatic I-can't-breathe way, but in a super-stressed, waiting-for-something-bad-to-happen way.
We humans have an amazing capacity to adjust to whatever the current "normal" is. Here are a few examples:
I was an undiagnosed asthmatic until I was 23. But I was also a French horn player at conservatory. So I had some potently powerful lungs. I was operating at 40% lung capacity but I felt fine. At least, I thought I felt fine, because that was all I knew. Until my asthma was treated and I realized how much more room there was for air in my lungs. Wow!
A friend of mine had an undiagnosed Chiari malformation until well into adulthood. Often this problem; having a brain too big for your head; is asymptomatic. Hers was not. The progression of her condition included poor balance, extreme fatigue and a number of other neurological and physiological symptoms. She thought maybe she was just lazy after giving birth to three children. Thank goodness they diagnosed her and were able to perform cranial surgery to correct the problem. Too smart for her own good.
Somewhat related is the family story of how I returned from daycare as a young child and said, "Hey mom, Derek didn't hit me today!" Because being hit by this young brute was my normal. Never occurred to me to mention it.
In a more extreme example of this, another friend of mine fled from domestic abuse, but only after she saw the effects on her children. She could pass off the negative effects the relationship had on her as "normal."
Depression can be like that too. You think to yourself: I am pretty sure that I have always felt like this and I will always feel like this. I guess the moral of the story is: thoughtfully examine what your normal is. Be skeptical of the idea that physical and mental symptoms are a result of a character flaw. Don't put up with a bad situation. Get help.
Quaker, teacher, parent,