Κυριακή, 29 Ιανουαρίου 2012

This is dedicated to my first therapist

Last week was spent in anger. Much anger. And then I saw a book in my library. I opened it. It was a book by Irvin Yalom. "Staring at the sun: Overcoming the terror of death". Sometimes this is what I do. I open a book in a random page and I expect to find something on my situation. Indeed there was a message. A reminder.

Years ago, when I was in group therapy, It was my time to finish therapy with this group. As the day I would stop attending the group was coming closer, I became very angry with the group. Every session was wrapped around my anger. And my therapist knew. And she helped me see it. Being angry was an easy way to separate myself from the group I loved so much. If I got really angry wiith them, I would have a reason to go away from them.

When I realised that, the anger went away. I went to my last group feeling greatful for all the wonderful moments, rather than furious that I had to leave them. And the group is still in my heart. And the group is still present in my heart, helping me make the changes I need to make.

At this point in my life, I am doing the same. Being furious at Antonis is an easy way to separate emotionally from him. Last week I had a reason to want to see him die. I was SO angry with him! I was full of tears because I felt the hatred eating me. And then this book helped me remember. And the tears immediately stopped. And the fury immediately went away.

Do I have to be angry with him to say goodbye? This is my old way of coping with separation. Anger.

It has now gone away. I am able to hug him again. He has become a weak little child in pain. And it's my choise to be here to give him a hand. To let him pass away quietly when he feels it's time to pass away. It's still very painful, but I'll leave the grief for later. He is now here and I better live the moments with him.

These are very intense moments.

Have a good day.

Πέμπτη, 26 Ιανουαρίου 2012

But then again, I might be too self critical. Besides, life works in circles. One day you're smiling, full of energy and the next you are crying, you don't want to get out of bed.

Let's see when this day comes when I get out of bed and I love myself so much...

Just like Freeda is so proud of the hole she dug some years ago!

Τετάρτη, 25 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Leading... not!

The more you dig the more you find. Today I found out I don't want to be the leading actor. Sometimes I say I want to, but my attitude shows the opposite. Remember the band that asked me to sing for them? I was so relieved to find out they found another leading singer... I had other things to do. I had to take care of my sick man. While I was working for my audition with them, I was hiding in my room, headset on, so noone could hear me practicing.

Remember when I left for Italy? It seemed the whole world was talking about me... And I came back. I came back to poverty. Came back to a lesser job in Sifnos. Came back to disease.

When did I lose this? It does not matter.

My self is here. Now. I need time and space. To get to know myself. All over again. "hello, my name is Elina. I like writing, travelling, singing, meeting people, I like talking, I like saving people from their misery!" Ha ha ha!

Too much analysis? Maybe. Too many words? Definately, many words and not so much action. It's my choice.

Δευτέρα, 23 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Digging deep inside... again

 From the very beginning, when we found out about cancer I started looking for help. Counseling. A psychologist who could help me get through this. I was not new in the counseling business so it was easy. Fortunately, this country has not yet fallen completely apart, so I found out there is a center providing free counseling for cancer patients and their relatives. It’s already been a couple of months that I see this wonderful lady. It is my “sacred” Wednesday appointment.
It’s where I can say anything and not be judged. It’s where I find things about myself I did not even know existed.

I also had a session with Tami. She connects with your spiritual guides. They told me about my “savior syndrome”. My teacher Jonah also talks about that in his message “Compassion”. All these teachers teach that there is a difference between showing lovingness and compassion and a different thing trying to save others. Taking responsibility for other people’s choices. The latter can make you sick.

(Two days ago, when I started writing this post, I was not sick) And now I have fever and a sore throat, and a pain in the back. Because I “had to” do something that was not mine. I had to save my man once again. From his choice of not settling his debt to the state. I new this all along. That he owes the state an awful lot of money. When the police caught him last year, I was running around to get money to bail him out. And then I gave him a deadline. He had to show up. To tell them he is not responsible for all this dept. I will not go into detail on how the system works in Greece which is fucked up anyway. But he had a four month deadline. And He did not do anything. And I left. And I came back. I still came back. And here I am, 2 years later 4 months after a diagnosis. In court for something I did not do. 2 years before this I had promised myself I will not save him again from this situation. And I did.  And now I’m sick. Yes, we can promise to ourselves we will make the right choices. The heart choices. And we can forget. And break the promises.

I’m trying to think of things I have done over the years for myself. Not much… I don’t even know what I like. No that’s a lie. I know what I like. And I ignore it. Because there is always someone to save, family and boyfriends, especially boyfriends. And friends.

I am the savior. And I am sick once more. The choices we make. The choices we refuse to make. So simple. So complicated. So…

See, on top of all this disease, I’m also digging deep into myself. And it’s not easy. Psychotherapy is not an easy business. It takes courage. Am I pushing myself too hard? Yes. As always.

Σάββατο, 14 Ιανουαρίου 2012

The story so far

I want to write and I don't have anything to say.

We are back home since last Tuesday. He came on an ambulance. He came on a wheelchair. He could not walk, cause his left side was kind of paralysed.

As the days went past he feels better, he even walked to the kitchen (!) with my aid.

When we came back from the hospital, I was numb from the lack of sleep and the psychological pressure. I was in a trance. And the martyrdom continued at home. At 5 in the morning he wanted a hug. And I hugged him. And I cried. I cried really loudly! Because I wanted to sleep! It was like a torture! You want to sleep and they won't let you! I felt like I was being punished...

How can you give someone when you haven't given anything to yourself???

So we found a solution. A lady comes every night and keeps an eye on him. I think I am in heaven. Three days now I sleep from 11 till 7 in the morning. No interruptions. No martyrdom. We don't have a lot of money, but what we have she can have. She is such a gift... Sleep is such a gift... Three days now I am calmer. I give him the hugs and kisses and care he needs. I am there for him. I can handle it.

And we have abundance. Abundance of friends, of love, of phonecalls, of money, of messages, of food, of heat, of books, of music, of love-love-love and understanding.

See, I have many things to say.
Have a good day.

Τρίτη, 3 Ιανουαρίου 2012

Journey to the unknown

So. Last thursday we went to hospital. He had 2 epileptic episodes. It was really frightening. Just before the ambulance came, he was shouting from the pain in his back bones. Cancer is spreading to his bones. Everywhere, the shoulders, the ribs, the legs, everywhere. We really thought he would die. The strong drugs the hospital gave him did not work. He was still in pain. But he did not die. He is not going to give up so easily. I have come to the point where I don't even talk about his cancer. I did not have the guts to say it's in his bones.

And where am I ? I am tired. Just tired. All these sleepless nights in the hospital... I come home every two days to have a shower and wash his clothes and mine. I dig deep to find patience. I dig deep to find humor. One moment I laugh and the other I'm crying. He is going away and we can't even talk about it.

While I take care of antonis, I work as a babysitter. Three days a week I go to the child for a few hours. It's so refreshing to play with a four-year old who does not know anything about dying, hospitals and the like. On New Years Eve I had to go to work. Noone else volunteered to stay with Antonis. Not even his father. So I arranged for a nurse. It was his present for the new year. Nurses don't collapse. Nurses know how to bathe someone who is in pain. Nurses know how to change sheets while the patient is in bed. He was so sedated from the painkillers, he did not even know it was New Years Eve...

And I was with the child. And the love that surrounds a child. His name is Filippos. It means "friend of horses". He is my mirror.


the strong man he once was
Tomorrow Antonis is coming home. He barely walks anymore. I have to make arrangements to the house so he can mive from the bed to the chair more easily without having to walk around. It scares me. he can't be alone anymore. Someone has to be near him all the time, 24-7. When I am away for 4-5 hours he calls me. He wants me there. He's scared. And he is very rude and impatient. He is in pain. Deep down he knows he is dying. And he is really scared. How does one accept his own death?

We read about death. We know we are eternal. Yet we are scared of it. Especially when we are young and beautiful and strong. That who Antonis was. A strong, beautiful loving man. We have been taught to be scared. We have been taught that death is a bad thing.Antonis is a small scared and very angry and bitter child now.

And I'm there. I'll be there till the end. The only thing I pray for is that he does not suffer.

What a journey, huh!

Have a good new year.