Today I was entirely alone for the first time in four weeks. No nurses and doctors, no Tom, no caregiver except for my orange plastic bottles of prescription drugs.
I slept a lot. I felt more relaxed than I have in a month.
It is yet another dimension of realization about how much I take on from other people.
I’m always carrying some anxiety about how my actions or my negligence affect other people. I feel guilty every day over emails left unanswered, and I worry about what happened to every person I met in Syria 21 years ago.
Even when I was just out of brain surgery, when I should have been rejoicing to be alive, I was worrying about Tom, my family, my colleagues in Pakistan. Even when in the midst of nearly relentless pain this week, I was trying to help my US coworkers to wrap up a financial report, anxious to make sure the numbers all added up correctly.
This is not praiseworthy.
I am supposed to be recovering and relaxing, but instead I have been fretting.
Stress is no good for healing. I know this. I take deep breaths, I think of peaceful places, I try to savor my food.
It is easier when there is no one else here, because I don’t have to worry about how my condition and my demands affect them.
But still I feel lonely, whether people are around or not. The only time I don’t feel lonely is when I am in Tom’s arms.
At least he will be here tomorrow – and with him, my sister Ann, who has cared for me since I was born. Maybe they can help me recapture the infantile self that didn’t yet know how to worry.
Today’s penny is a 1994, for the year I was in Syria.
[Note: Although I have not been posting during my recuperation, I have been taking notes every day. Over the rest of this month, I hope to catch up on the missing posts, which will be published by the events of the date they capture.]