Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Westerdaming It

This post is called Westerdaming It.  What it really should be called is:  how to hit an iceberg and not sink.

But that title is too long.

My kids have been reading about the Titanic.  A short fifteen page book that teaches them the watered down (no pun intended) version of the short life of the RMS Titanic.

This book has led to internet searches, and discussions, in a limited 6 & 7 year old scope, of the seaworthiness of the boat, the changes in nautical technology, and of course the choices made by crew/leadership that ultimately led to the fate of the ship and all her passengers. 

The Titanic and it's iceberg have been on my mind.  The ship.  The iceberg. Sinking.  So I set off this afternoon to find out what boats have hit icebergs without sinking.  Turns out that in just May of this year a cruise boat, the MS Westerdam escaped a Titanic-esque fate when it hit a much smaller iceberg in Alaska.

Combine this research (e.g. internet and 15 page book) with my current state of mind and all I've thought about this afternoon is: how to hit an iceberg and not sink.

Earlier this year I hit an iceberg, metaphorically speaking.  And I feel as though my swim through the blue period has all been a fight against sinking.  Sinking into dark places deep in the ocean of depression and anger and soul destruction.

Ok "the dark places deep in the ocean"- I'm corny, but that's stretching the analogy. 

But really.  How do we keep from sinking?  I'm not really asking anyone.  Just typing aloud. 

Right now the three things that come to mind during this journey for me, that have been my lifeboats (oh there's the damn analogy again) are:

- Service.  Long ago my mother counseled me that if I kept my eye on the world outside me, the world inside me wouldn't seem so hard.  Each time I feel overwhelmed by the feelings inside, or the realization of what has occurred, I turn my thoughts back out and try to put someone else into my focus.  Be it a small act like reading with my children or larger acts for people in much more need than me, it has helped to keep focused.  To keep shifting from self-pity to gratitude.

- E.  Husband.  Hubby.  Hubster.  Whatever you call him.  Long nights.  Even longer discussions.  Perhaps a bit of crying (mine, not his) as I've struggled to understand this journey.  As I've tried to heal.  He is not without his faults.  But he is a man who sees me for my own faults, and loves me just the same.  He's the one, that in my darkest blue has told me that from this will come my brightest yellow.  And given that he has been in pain with this too, it's all the more incredible that he's led the way and held fast.

- Esteem.  I'm not sure what to call this one actually.  In fact I didn't really know of it's existence in this journey until today.  I had an experience, which for a moment set me back.  As I was engaging in my self-therapy I heard myself say out loud (as opposed to the inside voices which engage in most my self-therapy):  This will not define me. 

Unlike the iceberg which will forever be linked to the RMS Titanic, and to sinking ships in general, my iceberg will not sink me.  It will not define me.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Shelly - I love this. It has brought up thoughtful feelings. And I'm intrigued. And I feel like I understand a bit too well. And I love your resolve.