Back in May, when I was told that the two surgeries I was expecting would need to be augmented by the big"H", it was something that I wasn't expecting and a whole herd of emotions were unleashed.
There were the ones that any sentient being could have predicted but also some long buried griefs that had more to do with the fact that I was feeling vulnerable and Marc was no longer here. Clearly I should have anticipated that one but, in any case, once I realised what was going on, I accepted it as a perfectly normal, albeit greatly delayed, part of the grieving process and gave myself permission to just be sad for a couple of days.
That was when I decided that perhaps I should make myself a journal of the emotional journey.
I'll admit to a momentary worry that I was being a trendoid.
Jumping on the bandwagon
Being self indulgent
and then I asked myself what was so wrong with a wee bit of self indulgence anyway?
A nice new sketchbook was purchased
and then it sort of sat there
looking at me
all white and blank and full of ... foreboding
Obviously it needed breaking in, so I covered the front with rich red paint and a voluptuous red rose.
My feeling was that this was going to be about my female self as opposed to my feminine self and I am SO not a pink, girlie girl but that lush deep fleshy pink/red was hugely symbolic of whatever was ahead.
I painted up the first dozen or so pages and over several nights, poured out all the angst and fear and frustration and grief. I allowed myself to feel the self-pity that is usually kept tightly under control.
For once I allowed myself the luxury of 'why me?' and you know what? the answer is, as it has always been ... well ... why not me ?
the words poured out much more easily than the images. There were false starts and rippings-out, but eventually I realised that it didn't matter because this was for me so I let the pages just be in whatever state they evolved
The journal was largely laid aside up until the night before I went to hospital.
I sat down after choir with a nice mug of chai and read through all that I had written, looked at the drawings and paintings, really, really looked at them, and then one by one fed them to the fire
and let them go
I can highly recommend it as a therapeutic practice