I haven't written much more about my hospital experience since my last post, but these thoughts have been brewing inside my mind for weeks now. Warning: I'm sure many of you will not find any interest in these ramblings. Anyway…
Before I started, I was sure I'm going to collapse the moment I see a patient in real life. But as days and weeks went on, and we kept going from unit to unit, surrounded by the most terrible pain and suffering you can imagine, I was surprised at my own calmness. I'm doing great, I thought, mentally patting myself on the back.
One of the dietitians in our hospital also has a license in art therapy. She did a session with us this week, which brought up much of what we were feeling but were afraid to admit even to ourselves. There wasn't much talking, but I saw how each one of us looks inside herself, her own emotions. It was only then that I realized I've just been walking around in a certain form of numbness.
I'm not indifferent to other people's suffering. Far from it. However, I'm determined not to be overwhelmed and broken by it. So I do what I can. I take it one day at a time. I rejoice in being surrounded by friends, who make it so much easier to hold on, and even throw in a good deal of laughter, support and fellowship. I see amazing changes in young women I thought I got to know well during our college years. They are harder and softer at the same time, more real, more focused on the truly important. It's hard for me to tell, but I wonder if a similar process is taking place in my heart as well.
As soon as I can, I hurry to my dear home. I find even more joy than before in performing simple, mundane tasks: hanging the laundry; baking a cake; reorganizing my closets; knitting; playing with our kitties. On the other hand, I feel my mind is less perceptible to information, especially troubling news. I stopped watching TV altogether. I read much less newspapers, websites and blogs. Of books, these days I mainly stick to comforting, peaceful, and preferably, familiar stories.
I don't talk much, but I crave the closeness of people I feel comfortable with. I love listening to everyday conversations – for some reason, I find it soothing. And every day, every single day, I will keep safely placing my heart and soul at the hands of God Almighty. He will guide me and deliver me. I know He will.