One minute I'm drowning, the next I'm floating. Or swimming. Or dog paddling. Always moving, never still. When my son and mother were in different hospitals the same week, I was filled to my ultimate capacity. I might've turned into a dead weight and sunk to my depths....but instead, I saw my body as my outline, with ebbing and flowing waves of blue ocean sloshing and crashing inside, washing up against my perimeter, filling every inch of my container. I felt relief. Noticing the sea within me calmed me.
My son was brought to a detox hospital (after which I received a huge shock that he'd been using again) and my mother was diagnosed with skin cancer which had to be removed on the same day. Same day.
Visiting hours in the detox hospital with him, were preceded by sitting next to my mother during the hour upon hour upon hour of Mohs surgery. My legs and arms functioned, I could propel myself from place to place as needed, my mouth moved and words that made sense came out. Yet, my eyes were seeing things that
1) no daughter need ever see --- watching mother have most of her nose sliced off piece by piece for 8 hours. Sitting right next to her as she didn't want me out of her sight. Smelling the burning flesh of cauterization, hoping that would be the last round, only to be told, "more bad cells on the left. She's got to come back in." Seeing her wobble, and become sweaty and forgetful and afraid.
2) no mother need ever experience --- sitting with her precious son, in a filthy hospital detox ward, seeing him suffer through withdrawals, be handed a tray of watery food, knowing that there have been so so many secrets and lies between us and looking him with more love and fear that I thought myself capable.
Accepting the unacceptable truth that there was no one else who could or would help me didn't make things easier. Accepting the unacceptable reality that all this shit was happening all at once AND I was actually soldiering through didn't make those days any easier either. Realizing that I was doing things that I didn't want to do, but chose to do.....throwing myself into the trenches with both of them, filling their rooms with my self, my upset, my fears and hopes and oceans of love wasn't easy, but is definitely something I can live with.