Since losing Calvin, I’ve found myself becoming more reclusive that I already was before my world cracked open. I’m very much an introvert; I need to be away from people to regain my center, but over the past two years, my venturings off into the world outside my home (even when it’s just me and Louie) have been few and very far between.
I used to stay connected via phone or IM and that eventually turned into keeping in touch via social networking. I’ve been needing respite even from that. Even the most remote of human interaction is taxing, and I can’t even stick the everyday aspect of this A to Z Challenge to which I was determined to commit.
I have a couple of hypotheses as to why I cocoon myself from both the virtual world and from the “real” world
- A lot of my mourning and catharsis happens in this space—in this huge expanse of emotion translated into text translated into code and disseminated for all to see. And it gets exhausting, even when I am (mostly) safe behind my monitor.
- Everyday living, in general, is draining. It is more so now. Part of it is due to the weight of this grief I carry for my three babies—Calvin, Rainbow, and Gaelen; each so deeply loved, deeply missed, and deeply wanted. Part of it is also because I am trying to live and not just survive. And finding and reveling in the reprieve that delight and joy provide requires so much (maybe not always, but now, yes).
- I don’t know how to interact anymore. At least not without an exponential level of awkwardness. And it seems easier to avoid these situations… You know, like when it feels like you’re in some odd bubble floating around and not really engaging anyone. Or when you’re at your in-laws house when relatives are visiting your new niece, and your cousin happens to lock eyes with you while she’s holding baby; then that look of both understanding and panic appears as oh slips from her mouth and she quickly turns away. Moments like that.
Inside my cocoon
This is where I start to feel more like myself, or maybe more at-home with myself. In a place that lets me breathe my grief-saturated breath, to inhale and let it rise, to feel it move through and out of my belly, out of my lungs and nose and mouth. Where I have the time and space to let it wrap around me. It’s quiet. And I am still.
I need to disconnect once in a while. I don’t do this so I can emerge transformed like the butterfly from her chrysalis (I think my babies did that, though, when they opened their eyes in heaven). I do this so I can process, so I can heal the bits of me that can be healed, and so I can return to the world of the living.
How do you reset or recenter?
Is it through time alone? Is it through time with people? Do you cocoon, as well, or do you go into your cave? Which metaphor would you use?