So I think the stone has passed. I had a LOT of pain yesterday afternoon and early evening, and I tried to sleep through it when I got home from work. I was woken up with pain once, but it never got so bad that I had to go to the hospital. This morning, I am not dizzy at all, and I've not had any pain. Not bad! You know, three of my kidney stones have happened in October. I thought sure it was going to happen last year in October, cause my pattern was every 2 years, but maybe since it was a leap year last year or something we just skipped a year. So October. Hm. October is a traditionally rough month in our family, cause we have a lot of deaths in October. And hospital visits. When I called Erica on her birthday the other day, I had a flash of where we were 2 years ago. Dad was at St Dominics in Jackson, and things were looking grim. We were on the same floor as the babies, and Mom and I made frequent trips to the nursery to see them. Sadly, they were hardly ever on display, but we kept looking anyways--it was a good distraction. I remember calling Erica and sitting on the floor under a plant in the hallway by the nursery, and telling her about what was going on. Amazing how these little things can come back to you in a flash out of nowhere. Little memories. And amazing to think of how much has changed in just 2 little years.

It is also really interesting to see how my brain and body reacts to certain things now. I certainly can't help who I am and where I am in my life and how I feel. It is tough navigating this brain on a daily basis, but I must remember to take it easy on myself and not be so judgemental; this is just how it is, and that's fine. Recently a friend of ours' father went into remission, which is incredibly wonderful news and I am so happy for all of them deep down. However, my first response to getting the email was that I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I was jealous, insanely jealous, and then just angry. And, although we got that news over a week ago, every time I talk about it or think about it, I start to tear up. I get incredibly sad. I would have given anything to hear the word 'remission' for Dad, but that just wasn't a part of the plan, I guess.

Other examples of uncontrollable reactions to things: recently when I've been out, I've found myself just freezing up and needing to leave wherever I am as quickly as I can. It's happened more than once in the last couple of weeks, and I find that whenever I am around more than just a couple of people at any one time, I just go on the fritz and can't have a conversation with anyone. It is hard being in such a social world of theatre, when you just want to hide from everyone and have them not know you are there, but can't do that. Pre and Post show Apes is always hard, cause I don't want to be a jerk and not talk to people, but really, I don't know how to interact.

Last night, I thought about going to Vicksburg for a visit, and I had a panic attack. I thought I was ready to go home, but I'm not. I had a good chat with Melissa today, and realized that I can start to release the expectations of the past and start to rebuild what the South and Home means to me. Time to make new experiences and move forward, instead of clinging onto the past and obsessing over how things are different. I can take the trip that I want to take, and do things for myself and no one else. I can go and see my friends and eat the food I want to eat and laugh, and it is possible to do that without being put into the caregiver box, or the daughter/granddaughter box, or any other previous expectations that have been put on me. I can let those go.

And everyone's experiences are different. Mom recently blogged about the fact that she has started seeing someone, and she is super happy. I, too, am happy for her and glad that she is having something that brings her joy, but I'll admit, it is hard. Then I realized that I don't need to be a part of that joy with her. That is hers and hers alone. For me, I am free to take however much time I need to deal with this transition and new concept in our lives. Or her life, rather. I can deal with things on my own time and schedule, and no one can take tell me how to feel. And that is ok!

So I have a challenge in front of me. How do I let everything go and focus on the here and now? How do I put more importance on my feelings and needs and stop being so bogged down by the constant transition in my family? I need to really work on myself and stop being affected by outside things, cause I am sick of always having drama and being upset. I want to enjoy my life, dammit!

I am starting taking a step towards this by taking a weekend in NY with Erica. I leave early tomorrow morning and come back Monday evening. I'll try to blog a little when I can, but expect some photos next week!

Have a great weekend, everyone!