March 3, 2022

Time on the water on my brother’s boat in Maryland always brought peace and serenity to me. It also brought a much needed break and laughs. 

I didn’t speak much to what was happening at home. Instead, I craved the “permission” to allow myself to take a hiatus from it all. I would get a taste of what it was like not to be in a household in the presence of this disease. 

I didn’t feel guilty for enjoying a Mai Tai with my brother in Annapolis at noon on a Saturday afternoon. It was just an opportunity to laugh, retell childhood memories, and forget about life for just a moment.  

The times of peace when the weight is lifted off your shoulders.

At this time, I briefly experienced a mental and physical “break.” During these moments, I remembered what life was like before the disruption of this disease. While I was grateful for this rest, I recalled and craved “what used to be.”

I remember getting on the flight back home from seeing my brother, and I pretended to be sleeping, when really I was quietly crying. If a tear slipped from my eye, it was quickly brushed away, and conversation was cut as I listened to my headphones to the song “Chances” by Five for Fighting. 

I distinctly remember feeling the rush of the plane speeding up, the bumping of the wheels as we headed into the air, and on the inside, I just collapsed. 

I wanted everything but what was happening.

I wanted normal. I wanted to be able to laugh without feeling guilty. I dreaded going back to the unknown.

I literally remember feeling like with each mile that we got closer to home, a piece of armor was being added to my body naturally, like skin covering a naked body, piece by piece.

As I recall this time and that feeling of fear and worry, I want to say that it’s understandable if you feel the need to put on armor while you are weathering the storm. 

I will say it was actually easier to put the armor on, than it was learning to take it off piece by piece as the chaos subsided, and my husband got healthier. 

A big lesson I learned is that the trauma and layers that were so easily placed on me, were actually extraordinarily difficult to take off, and let go. 

Permission to laugh is the best medicine.

This is also a reminder to take time without guilt. Time for you is necessary- time to reflect, time to feel, time to connect, and time to laugh. 

Give yourself permission to laugh. It truly is the best medicine.