On the way to the doctor's office I was half listening to NPR, on which they were interviewing a woman about video gaming, something I have zero interest in. This woman was a busy professional and also was very into online gaming, and had written a book about why gaming is really a good thing, and makes us into better humans. Or something. Her argument is that, rather than being relaxing, video games offer POSITIVE STRESS, that is, stress we choose, and makes us perform to our fullest capabilities. We work harder. We collaborate. We notice other's strengths and use our own to their greatest potential. We are focused, invested, and at our best.
This sounds ridiculous as I type it, but I found myself thinking that I am exactly in that place. I didn't exactly choose this stress, but I didn't say No when it came around, and I could have. I'm not saying that having a child with a terminal illness is a game, but it is an alternate reality, with different rules, and different values, and different locations and outfits and weapons. I am focused. I am being careful to care for myself, my family, and what needs to be done and letting the rest fall by the wayside. I am gaining strength and optimism from others who have traveled this road before. Yes, my house is more of a dump than usual, I haven't been to work in a couple weeks, I have two outfits I wear constantly--my "going out" outfit and my "cleaning/yoga/playing blocks" outfit, and both have stretchy waistbands, and it is what it is.
And I'm just doing what needs to be done. And I'm not relaxed. But I'm not out of my mind with grief or stress or depression either. Once in awhile I seem to "wake up" for a second and want to scream "THIS IS CRAZY!" THIS IS SO, SO SAD!!! WHAT AM I DOING???" Kind of like people probably do after spending hours gaming online. But I wouldn't know. I'm not a gamer. I'm just a mom with a baby who is dying. WHAT?! DID I JUST SAY THAT?? THIS IS CRAZY!!! THIS IS SO, SO SAD!!!
(insert clever reference to some sort of online game here.)