“It’s funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools – friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty – and said ‘do the best you can with these, they will have to do’. And mostly, against all odds, they do.” ~ Anne Lamott
Gee. It’s been one of those weeks.
So, I was sitting in my lounge room yesterday morning, crying. Not blogging.
Crying because I was in agony. Crying because all I wanted to do was pee and when I did it felt like I was pissing razorblades. Crying because everything hurt. Because I was herxing from the antibiotics for my urinary tract and assorted other infections, and these same antibiotics were playing havoc with my Lyme bacterial load. Because of constipation from the pain meds. Because my stomach was so grossly bloated that none of my clothes fit. Because I’d been vomiting from pressure on my stomach from my wildly overgrown fibroids. Because I’d begun to be attacked by Gorn, after two years Gorn-free and hadn’t slept all night.
Crying because of constantly leaking urine like one of those dodgy teapots that always dribble from the spout when you pour.
Crying because it was only three more days until surgery, and instead of dreading it, now it couldn’t come soon enough.
Everything was hard. I was exhausted. Broken. Pain-wracked.
I’d wanted to blog but my brain was empty. I’d thought to maybe do a little work, but I could scarcely sit upright. All my plans were out the window. It was all just mess.
“I’m not coping,” I sobbed to the empty room. “Not coping!”
“NOT COPING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I screamed that one.
After which I cried some more.
As I calmed down from heaving sobs to simple snivelling, I realised something quite profound.
It wasn’t true.
I AM coping. Not very well, and certainly not with any great elegance or panache. It’s fair to say that I am just limping along right now – held together with duct tape, spit, snot, drugs, meditation, cobwebs and sighs.
Is that coping? Well, I’m still alive. I’m making it through the day. I’m hanging on. When I thought I was at the end of my rope, after a while I saw that the rope was longer.
So I stopped snivelling, wiped my face and laughed at myself. Kind laughing, mind you. The sort where I patted myself on the back comfortingly, seeing myself as an overtired and distressed child. I was flooded with compassion for myself. It’s a completely shit space I’m in, and it’s totally okay if my style of coping is a not-coping style right now.
I want to let you know that it’s okay for you too – if you sometimes find yourself in a not-coping/coping kind of a space. Life is messy and hard and unpredictable. Sometimes we ride the crest of the wave, high on life. Sometimes we are deep beneath the suck and pull of a massive tsunami.
I’m not alone, I reminded myself. I prayed to my loved ones who’ve crossed over to look out for me, and I called on all of my Guides and Angels and God to look after me and my husband and all of our family and friends. (That’s you too, of course!)
Then I went and made myself a cup of tea.
Later that same morning, my kind friends Bek and Lizzie popped round for an hour. They brought pre-birthday treats and balloons, and we had a sharing of troubles and laughter.
The balloons themselves had a special message for me. Yesterday would have been my beloved Nana’s 101st birthday. Not only that, each year when I was little, Pa would give me a special balloon as one of my presents. A marbled one of pinks and blues and whites, in an era where most balloons were just one colour. Nana would always have sticky bun, as well as cupcakes with pink icing for me.
My friend Lizzie brought me some of those same balloons Pa used to give me. Bek brought me cupcakes and sticky bun. Coincidence much?
“If you can’t laugh when things go bad–laugh and put on a little carnival–then you’re either dead or wishing you were.”
~ Stephen King
I was in pain and my body felt like it had been hit by a truck the entire duration of their visit. But my soul was happy. My heart was full. And after they left I lay down and slept for a few blissful hours, feeling my grandparents watching over me.
If not-coping coping is the best you can do, then that’s enough. And remember, you’re never alone. Reach out to your loved ones, to the Angels, to your friends and family.
I’m thinking of you, and sending love,
Nicole <3 xx
23 thoughts on “The Very Valid ‘Not Coping’ Style of Coping”
I have so been there!
Dear Nicole, I’ve been thinking of you today, it’s still 4th of September in Europe but you have gone through surgery now and I know you are going to be ok. Sending love and warmth your way. Cécile
Bless your dear heart, Niciole. Sending you peace and warmth. “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” – Julian of Norwich (from my home city) <3 xxx
Thank you for sharing there are many people that cannot put it in words and yours are so heartfelt,body felt and this helps a lot of other people in the world. Love and get well wishes Julie x
I think your version of not coping is perfectly appropriate given your circumstances, Nicole! Thinking of you and sending prayer and blessings your way ❤️❤️❤️
huge healing hugs to you, thankyou for sharing , for your raw honesty . wishing all the very best with the op, heal well . <3
I would absolutely be crying and not coping in your situation right now too. Hang in there, the op is so close now. xxxxxx
Sending you so much love Nicole & prayers for your surgery. Another step forward in your healing. And
I’m sending the vibes of lovely long easy pees too 🙂 uti’s suck!
Thanks so much for sharing you pain to inspire others xxxx
Love, love, love, love, love to you ❤️❤️❤️ All the well wishes and prayers.
Fuck Fuck Fuckity Fuck Fuck, carrrrrrrrrrrrrrrnt! I love yew SEW much. Your boobs are awesome – as are the balloons 🙂 And that blanket I saw today *sigh* … that’s going to help you heal (along with drugs, meditations & loving thoughts, rest, tea, love, more drugs and disappearing belly). Glad we could get sweary with each other earlier 💜 Lub yew tonnes XO
Tears and chuckles come hand in hand when we are family. The morning read was one such experience.. Praying for you… And wishing with all heart that all the love and compassion in the world helps you cope. We all want this tough time to be just over already…. Holding you in that space in our hearts , far from any woes… Lots of love….
Is there anyone in this world more beautiful than you? You are so inspiring 💜 Love n hugs Nicole 💞🎈🍰
Dear Nicole I am sending you all the love and light I can muster. The urinary infection alone is so painful. May the divine power within you release to heal your body and eliminate all the pain and suffering.
Wow dear Nicole that is HUGE & I love you so much for everything, being able to share with us, etc etc etc, & I’m sending loads of love and healing super well vibes & so much gratitude for ALL the things you do for us all…this morning I did your heal inflammation meditation & it was so so good xxx
Huge hugs and prayers again today for you Nicole.
The ancestors ARE watching over you and are giving you their visible signs with the gifts brought by your friends yesterday. Thankful you were able to chill with them despite your pain and discomfort.
Grateful that you found the strength to blog today with such a profound caption because you’ve let me see that all forms of coping are okay, when unexpected challenges present themselves. It’s empowering to know that 🙂 and I will share it often with those who need to know it.
Well, it’s only 2-days until surgery now, and I hope the hours go quickly for you. Although we are praying for you daily, you will be held in meditation by many all through Monday and during your recovery. Looking forward to your time of healing.
Lots of love to you, dear Nicole xxooxx <3 <3 <3
Dearest Nicole, all of my love. I’m wishing with all of my heart that Monday is a great sucess in bringing the results you sooo desperately need!! It sucks that it has to happen on you Birthday tho….. thanks for sharing your thoughts and this horrid journey…. 😚💖
Bless you Nicole Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for a positive outcome on Monday, Love the way you tell it how it is <3 Much Love <3 <3 <3 xxx
Reading how you are feeling pains me – a lot,….It feels really lame not being able to do something to help. As with everyone else, we will all be sending healing vibes your way, and holding your hand in surgery. I presume you will be in hospital on Sunday, if you are first cab off the rank Monday. It will be a relief for you to know that after surgery will be a pain you know will get better every day. And so it will. Biggest of hugs, you’re in my thoughts xxxxx
Inspiring, Nicole, not just this “Life is messy and hard and unpredictable. Sometimes we ride the crest of the wave, high on life. Sometimes we are deep beneath the suck and pull of a massive tsunami”, but your strength and love and compassion for others in the face of such huge challenges.
You are in my heart and prayers. Go well on Monday xxx
PS your analogy resonates with me so much because of my favourite Alan Watts quote which goes something like this: Just as a wave is something the whole ocean is doing, you are something the whole universe is doing
Darlin Bloosom of the Blossoms, Sweetheart of the Sweethearts…tears welling from your courage, your humour, your strength. Bring on Monday with all the skills of the surgeons & theatre staff…all the BIG juju from above & below here with your earth Angels. Love you SoulSistar
* extreme language alert *
F**k me that’s some seriously shitty weather to endure…my heart goes out to you Nicole – I mean you can’t work (or do anything much!) in those conditions …sending prayers and wishes to you for your surgery. May it be a huge success, followed by a speedy, easeful recovery. Take good care xxx 🎈🎉💝🎊🍸🎂🍰🎈
Beautifully said. The elegance of not coping but coping 🙂
You are in my heart, love and big hugs gorgeous
And I’m thinking of you and sending love.
Your blogs create rays of sunshine for me in so many ways from the antics of your cows and dogs to helping us cope with our issues – as you did so beautifully today.
Thank you for all you do and who you are.
Love and Blessings,
PS And sending prayers for much more physical comfortable/health following your surgery.