I’ve been caught in an undertow. Initially wading and splashing in the surf, unaware that the ocean was slowly gripping me by the ankle with her silky, salty grasp. And before I knew it, I was far from shore. Very far from shore. So far from shore I could not see it, as I rose and fell with each wave. As the days went by all my energy got sucked into just surviving. There were a couple of days where I thought it would be easy to give myself over to the deep and the creatures lurking below. Those were the days where survival itself seemed to loom in the future as nothing more than wave after wave after wave after wave after wave…and my overwhelmed self could not remember the point of surviving.
Eventually though, the undertow dumped me out of its grasp. Just as impersonally as it had gripped me in the first place. My feet hit the sandy bottom, and I crawled onto the beach. However, this was a new land. Where my roles had changed, and with scenarios I had never navigated before. And at first I was incredibly weak and shaky. And grieving for the land that I could never return to. That time had passed. Additionally, the memory of my time in the ocean would hit me like a wave, swelling from the deep, threatening to overtake me. Questions, and an urgency to figure out a solution filled my mind. How was I to live in this new land, and be in relationship with the grown-up boys, and the new granddaughter, and my new older self/spouse, and how would I find meaningful purpose in this place? How do I navigate the bombardment of information in this new place? How do I quell my anxiety about re-engaging?
With time however, I started noticing the beauty here. I found people who had also been pulled out to sea by an undertow, and were recovering from their own traumatic experiences. We gave each other hugs and encouragement. And one day I woke up in a bed of clarity and understanding and renewed hope. And the very valuable information – that I should never go off my anti-depressant without someone monitoring my state of being.