A year and a half ago, I was removed from the world for three months while I recovered from surgery. Oh, I had family and friends helping me out, preparing meals, nursing me, doing laundry and housework and keeping me company. Leesa was invaluable to me during that time. Everyone needs a completely trusted friend, and she is a friend indeed. My sons were there for me too, and while Thing Two was at school during the day, Thing One (who was living in town at the time) was there every day for a few hours, with healing love and energy. My ex-boyfriend came on weekends. The VON was there daily to do the gross wound-y things. Friends and colleagues (sometimes in the same person) came by once in a while to cheer things up.
We had Christmas in my room that year. Sharon brought me a funny little tree, and the stockings were hung off the dresser, with care. Thing One got into the wine and cooked his first turkey, with a little remote direction from me, and pulled off a wonderful meal.
But for all that, when you’re in an invalid state, you spend a great many hours alone. After I got off the really heavy , brain-fogging painkillers and decided that daytime TV really was too stupid for words, I had a lot of time to think. I spent a lot of time sifting through my priorities, resetting my moral compass, and evaluating my relationships. That time alone really did change my life.
I regained more than my health during that time. I ended a toxic relationship as a result of that time of clarity. I forged stronger relationships with family. I reestablished bonds with people who matter, and severed bonds with people who don’t. I reestablished my relationship with myself, and regained a measure of respect for what and who I am.
I have been left with some problems as a result. I hit menopause like a brick wall. I have a horrific scar, which draws oblique stares in the gym changeroom. I still need surgery to repair an 8″ split in my abdominal muscle, and no amount of exercise will ever totally repair my abdominal damage. That’s okay. I’ve borne two amazing children who are now amazing young men. I’ve survived fibroid tumours and endometriosis. I will never be taken by ovarian cancer like my mother was. I’ve rebuilt my body since that time, regained my strength, mobility and endurance, and entered into an amazing journey of striving to be my very best and strongest self, physically and mentally. I’ve come to a new place of respect and self-esteem in my relationships.
I wonder where I would be now had I not had that time of retreat and reflection.