Lost and Found

Three little words to describe how I have felt since the end of September. I can’t say there has been any one specific thing to cause me to hide away from life and people for the last three months, and I haven’t been a total hermit. I’ve shown up for things like craft shows and trunk shows, my mother’s unexpected trips to the E.R. and her increasing confusion with life. I’ve kept up with e-mails and writing articles, though I haven’t been so strong on the blogging. But through it all I have felt a profound sense of ennui. I feel like I’ve been living life as a part time job and it has blocked the flow of my happier, more creative energy.

I don’t think I have ever felt like this. I am not in the depths of depression, thank god, because I know all too well what that can feel like. I don’t feel the need or desire to escape life or these feelings with drugs or alcohol, an activity I perfected to a dangerous level in my 20’s and early 30’s. I don’t feel particularly angry about anything, and I don’t feel sick. I love my husband of 32 years and our grown kids are doing well.

It’s like I have been stuck in neutral, and can’t be bothered to be too bothered about it. There isn’t any angst to this, but it sure feels unnatural, empty.  Perhaps it is my body’s way of restoring itself from some unknown psychic damage. It could be that I have actually forgotten how to rest, unless I am sick, and my body and mind have staged a coup.

Yesterday I felt the first glimmer of change; the return of the possible, as I walked on the beach at low tide. The day was clear, sunny, and finally the right kind of cold for December. At the end of our walk, Bruce headed home and I stayed at the beach noticing details like perfect salt circles left on rocks by the receding tide. I gave up taking photos when my camera battery died, and looked for rocks to inspire the next necklace design.   As I got ready to head back to my house, a friend showed up at the top of the beach. She had come to throw rocks, out of frustration and the need to move, because she was feeling many of the same feelings I was. We talked about how weird these feelings were, and were able to offer each other the recognition and validation that helped us feel at least a little more connected to something. We walked up the road together, a little in awe of the timing of our meeting and our shared sense of having been “lost.” The moment was rarer than coincidence, it was a moment of grace.

Today I feel a hopeful little pinch of my true self returning. The three month tide has finally turned.



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8 responses to “Lost and Found

  1. holly

    beautifully said. every last word of it. i hope my pinch comes back soon. love to you.


    • Barb Fernald

      You will get yourself back, I know it. The holidays will pass and you will have survived through all that may be different from other years, and maybe then you will start to feel more like yourself. Man, I wish we could have that cup of tea together this morning! Love you and miss you.


  2. I too find myself in that state of mind. I am in the process of losing my mom so I am pretty sure that is the cause.


    • Barb Fernald

      Oh, Roberta. I’m sorry about your mom and that you too are feeling like this. I think you are right. Losing bits of my mother to the slow progression of dementia has taken much more energy than I ever imagined.


  3. Lynn

    Hope you are feeling better Barb!
    I can say that I had been feeling the same, all the way over here in England. Like I was stuck in neutral too! Then I got some semi disturbing news which made me re-asses what I was all about & who I am. Rather than look at the news as a problem, I looked upon it as an opportunity for change. Some days are better than others, but I definitely feel there has been a shift ‘for the better’ in my psyche! Long may it continue!
    Happy Christmas to you & yours!
    Lynn xxxxx


    • Barb Fernald

      Thanks Lynn. It’s a process, but I am feeling better every day. You sound good. I hope you all have a happy Christmas too. We’re hoping Susie will come up to the island for New Year’s Eve, but we’ll see…


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