On a good day I function pretty much like I did before we lost Gabbi. I have moments where I am still sad, but there are also moments when I feel pretty much like my old self. I can deal with babies, walk by strollers without batting an eye, and pregnant women only give me a slight twinge of agony. I can generally go through my day like a normal wife and mother. I can hang out with friends. On the whole I just sort of exist in a way very similar to the way that I did before I was pregnant with Gabbi.
On a bad day life outside my bed ceases to exist. I spent my day bawling my eyes out until they are red and burning. I yell at God. I won't let Jason anywhere near me for comfort. I don't bother getting dressed or brushing my teeth, and don't speak to anyone or eat at all. The only thing I do is grieve for what I have lost in the hardest way possible. I have been known to scratch my arms until the skin is raw, contemplate suicide (although I have now learned how to protect myself from actually even getting close to going through with it) and certainly contemplate hiding under my blankets and never leaving my room again.
Today was what I can an average day. There are good moments and bad moments. So far as I understand so long as the good moments outweigh the bad moments average days count as good. If not, they go into the bad column.
But like I said, today was an average day. I had a crying moment while cleaning my closet. I had a moment of spiraling sadness tonight just before Jason left for shul. On the other hand, I felt really good about having cleaned out my closet- happy even! I took care of a bunch of correspondence that I had been putting off and so felt good about that too. I went for a walk, dealt with combing Channah's hair again for bugs. Jason made bbq chicken for dinner. Overall if you put the good and the bad on a balance scale I am not really sure on which side would outweigh the other. So where does today end up? Is it a good day or a bad day?
I have heard people say that life is a string of average moments where we live for the great highlights. I have heard that it is a bunch of great moments held together by average or bad moments. I think my day is a lot of average moments strung between both good and bad moments. The thing is? I think it is what an average day is. This is a typical day in what I have come to call "my new normal". So long as my days stay average, I can hold myself together. I can hope for good days, deal with the bad days, and spend as many days as possible hoping for that delicate balance of average.
The Rambam (Maimonides) teaches that we should walk the center path vearing neither too far to one side nor the other. I learned a song as a child that the whole world is a very narrow bridge, but the one important thing is not to be afraid to walk across it. I think both are true of my current situation. I am desperately seeking to stay as close to the average point as possible right now as I know good days are still to hard to come by very often, but at the same time I know that the path between good days and bad is incredibly narrow, so trying to stray too far to either side might make me fall off the path all together. It is when I stray to one side or the other that I find myself rebounding like a pedulum.
Steven Sondheim said it best in one of my favourite musicals (Into the Woods)