Revisiting the grief.
On my morning stroll through twitter, I stumbled across The Physiological Society (PhySoc as it’s known to members). I was a member of PhySoc for many years during my medical researcher days.
I clicked the link and took a nose, as you do, and found a video of an old colleague and friend giving a lecture. This made me nostalgic so I went to pubmed and searched my (old) name. I don’t really know why, as I left research some 9 years ago now.
Well, I found my work had been used for two publications that I wasn’t even aware of! Cool huh? Ok, I was a minor author in these two and obviously didn’t write the papers as I didn’t know about them. Before that, I had always written up my work myself.
So here I am, flicking through my old publications and looking at the figures and bits and pieces of the text when I realise that I really can’t grasp this anymore. The papers that I wrote myself are now too complicated for my brain to process! Come on… I wrote this stuff!
The grief came flooding back. The longing for my brain (as well as my body) to work again, like they used to. I miss the old me so much and feel like a shadow of myself nowadays. No longer the PhD I was.
With hindsight, I actually think that my career had a lot to do with me becoming ill. It was a LOT of hours. More than I’d like to admit. I did it because I loved what I did (and my first marriage sucked) but I didn’t make enough time for fun outside of work. I was always burned out and remember how often I would go to the toilets just to sit in a cubicle and be quiet for a few minutes.I was exhausted. It was non-stop and very stressful at times, especially after becoming a mum.
I was also exposed to a LOT of allergens and chemicals without adequate health and safety in place. It was something that we were constantly fighting for money to put in place but it never seemed a priority. So while fighting bureaucracy we carried on with substandard homemade health and safety. It was better than nothing and we tried our best. I wonder if all my allergen and chemical exposure (including anaesthetic gases several times a week) were the cause of my autoimmune problems and multiple chemical sensitivity. It would make sense, but there’s no way to prove it. Not that it would make any difference to my current situation anyway.
I wonder if all my allergen and chemical exposure (including anaesthetic gases several times a week) were the cause of my autoimmune problems and multiple chemical sensitivity. It would make sense, but there’s no way to prove it. Not that it would make any difference to my current situation anyway. And who needs the calories in alcohol anyway?
So a wander down memory lane has resulted in me, yet again, revisiting the grief of the loss of my former self. I think that I have pretty much accepted things as they are now and my grief is less and less as time goes on. I think we all revisit grief though and it’s never going to go away completely. It’s a bereavement for my former self.
I do wish that Missy and Hubby could have known me back then though. Although, I’m probably a better role model now as the happiness of my family always comes first. Instead of leaving a legacy of (probably already outdated) research papers, I intend to leave cherished memories with my loved ones. My bubble might be smaller these days but I make a much bigger impact in it than ever before. To these people, I am special, just as I am now.
I am grateful to be here for Missy when she gets in from school and to be around to help with homework and teach her games. I’m the one who wipes her tears and cuddles her when she’s sick. I no longer work weekends and constantly check emails. I am able to kick back and enjoy my family and go places.
We might be worse off financially but I have learned that money didn’t make happiness. In fact, it was the opposite. I am much happier now than when I had money. We live simply, and enjoy the simple pleasures together. I think that this is a much more wholesome life for us and a much better lesson for Missy.
Missy is very bright and does really well in school. She could do whatever she put her mind to. I just hope that her intellect doesn’t lead her to the rat race where I ended up. There are a lot more fulfilling ways to live life and Hubby and I intend to show her that.
In fact, Missy (aged 10) has wanted to be a fantasy novel author for many years. She wants to live in a small campervan and travel around the world with her dog. She intends to write a travel blog/vlog (she already has both) for passive income, while she uses her travels to inspire her novel writing. She says that all she needs is a campervan, laptop and her dog! Now doesn’t that sound like a really wholesome life! I hope that she achieves her dream.