No Mess

“I’m not depressed.  I’m not anxious.  I’m in a mess,” I confessed to my therapist last week.

There has to be a different category of “emotional states” that appears on the well-being checklist that I need to complete at RVH before every appointment.

Depression would mean I am not able to surface above the “mud”.  That’s not the case.  I am surfacing.

Anxiety would mean I am nervous and tense.  I’m not that either.

I am, however, simply a mess.  My house sometimes gets this way – full of clutter.  And who can function in the midst of clutter?  There are things everywhere, nothing is where it should be.  To be grounded, I need to clean.  To be grounded I need to be organized.  And that includes my thoughts – which never seem to settle.

Until I discovered something.

I love Russian music.  I always have.  My cousin, Pam, sent me a link to a Russian youtube birthday song the other day.  I played it – not expecting anything to happen.  Yet, what happened what amazing.  I immediately slipped back into the arms of my mother.  I saw her soft smile and her loving eyes.  I cried.  I had forgotten how much that music had meant to us – we – had always connected to that music.  And that birthday song transcended time and place for me. Russian music grounds me.

That afternoon, I pulled out the cribbage board to play with my kids.  I shuffled the cards.  I dealt – got skunked by my daughter and my son – but found the words that spilled out of my mouth were the words of my father.  “15 – 2, 15 – 4, and the rest don’t score.”  I was filled with memories of the farm and the quiet afternoons when I would play cribbage with him.  Oranges, browns, and yellows.  The colours of the kitchen at the time, soothed me.  The smells of Mom’s cooking while we played.  I hadn’t a care in the world – but winning at cribbage.  My memories of that time grounded me.  Memories of my childhood ground me.

Heritage.  Memories.  Childhood.  These things are stable in my life.  These things are not messy.  They have been stored away in my mind and I know exactly where to go to get them.  I am comforted that I can access them whenever I want.  They give me an identity.  I know who I am and where I’ve come from.

“Depression?”  No.

“Anxiety?” No.

“Messy, Stacey?  Are you messy?”  Yes.  “But I know where to find the Russian music and the cribbage board.”

And then – miracle of all miracles – I have also discovered that corn on the cob grounds me.  Dad and I planted so much corn in the front yard of our country home.  “Corn adds a particular type of nutrient to the soil, Stacey, to make it easier for grass to grow.”

“Why not just add fertilizer, Dad?”

“This is nature’s fertilizer, Stacey,” he would answer.

And then the time came when the corn was harvested and Mom would boil it for a precise amount of time – not too long and not too short.  She added just a pinch of sugar.  We would devour the corn and enjoy as the kernels exploded under the pressure of our teeth.

The corn on the cob season harvest grounds me.

At 9:00 at night the other night, the same day I discovered Russian music and cribbage again, I cooked corn.  The kids and I loaded it with butter and salt and feasted on the sweet, new cobs.

For a moment – I knew who I was.  I was the woman who grew up to appreciate Russian music, cribbage, and corn on the cob.  I was not messy – for that moment.  I had an identity.  I was not a woman living with cancer.  I was Stacey, from R.R # 1 Barrie, Ontario.  I had an address, a name, and I had an identity that was something other than diseased.

No depression.

No anxiety.

No mess.

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
This entry was posted in acceptance, attitude, family, Memories, music, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to No Mess

  1. Judy says:

    Stacey, you are such a wonderful writer. When I read your stories, the images are vivid and it really touches my heart. I had to laugh – I also love corn and my kids make fun of me when I tell them, “This corn is so delicious; it tastes like sugar!”
    I cannot imagine how you find these thoughts and feelings with all your body and mind are going through. But it is beautiful knowing how helpful it was to find those comforting memories. I search for them in my life, too. It brings my loving parents back to me. It’s hard missing them sometimes.
    Just keep writing because you have such a talent for it!

    • inmycorner says:

      Judy – you are such an amazing cheer-leader! When I read your response to my post my heart is filled with joy and empowerment. Seriously. I am so thrilled that you like what I have to write. And I’m glad you love corn! Thanks to people like you, who are so encouraging of me, I will keep writing. Honest. Thank-you.

  2. sharechair says:

    I understand what you mean about clutter! Once things get disorganized, I find it hard to even think. And, oh …. fresh corn. Nothing better!!! I live in eastern PA, and we have excellent corn. My favorite market brings it right in from the field and warm from the sun.
    You are awesome, Stacey. You have an amazing way of putting your thoughts and feelings into words. Make sure you include that special talent when pondering your own identity.

    • inmycorner says:

      You say the nicest things. Honestly. ANd you too – an amazing way for putting thoughts and feelings into words. So wonderful to read your responses at they boost my spirits all the time. Thank you.

  3. Every so often I am hit with memories of my child-hood – so bittersweet. But you are right, it grounds us.

    • inmycorner says:

      It’s so weird, eh, Maureen? It is indeed a bittersweet. But our memories are our roots. I think we always knew that – but it seems, I had forgotten that for a while.

  4. Gwen says:

    So happy you can take comfort in the memories of childhood. We are indeed blessed (as are our children) that those memories can fill us with joy and comfort. Again one of the many blessings we’ve had in our lives thanks to our amazing parents.

  5. Oh my gosh Stacey I felt like I was skipping along reading this. Getting faster and happier as I read. You are full of your parents love, that is for sure.

  6. Gallivanta says:

    Lovely memories on which to graft new memories. But, Stacey, I am having to restrain myself from turning the lawn into a corn field. My grass area could do with a boost.

  7. I love cribbage too. So nice to have such heartwarming memories to sustain and ground you.

  8. Suicidal ideation is not a requirement of a depression diagnose.
    Glad you have found something to help you cope with whatever is going on.

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