Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Five, Cinco, Cinq, Vijf, Funf, Fem, Cinque, Pende, Itu, Luulu

[Long 'woe is me' post alert.  If you don't care to read this type of post let me encourage you to stop here and either read my old posts or tune back in soon, where hopefully I'll have something more suitable for the blog sphere.  For the brave folks who will read on I preemptively apologize about the vomit, I'll clean it up later.]

Many people have tried to explain what grief is; some have even identified certain stages of grief.

Probably the most well-known of these might be from Elizabeth Kubler-Ross' book, "On Death and Dying." In it, she identified five stages that a dying patient experiences when informed of their terminal prognosis.

The stages Kubler-Ross identified are:
  • Denial (this isn't happening to me!)
  • Anger (why is this happening to me?)
  • Bargaining (I promise I'll be a better person if...)
  • Depression (I don't care anymore)
  • Acceptance (I'm ready for whatever comes)
I was ill 41 months ago during my birthday. Before then things lined up for me in my life with no problem.  I was usually offered pretty good employment positions/opportunities and was able to curry favors through relationships with people.  Today I feel like Nicholas Cage in the film "Family Man" where he experiences a drastic reversal of fortune and until he has a revelation about why he was being taught a supernatural lesson he feels as though he is in the Twilight Zone.  Today I generally love to celebrate my birthday however that day is attached to this memory.  Can we really pray bad thoughts away or really avoid the past?  Or teach ourselves coping techniques and move forward?  I have no answers only more questions.

That sums up my daily frame of mind.  Yes I am alive. And yes I am grateful for my life. No I'm not terminal in any way.  But I must share how tough it is to experience rejection after rejection, failure after failure, low confidence, no expectations and move through the day optimistically.  I liken my current experience as a pet who has been beaten by a prior owner so now that I'm in a kennel [a chance to wipe the slate clean and begin again] it's difficult to trust the folks walking up to my cage giving me the once over to see if I am good enough to take home or not.  I used to live with a knowing that things were going to work out in my favor. Simply because they always have so they will continue to.  Well while I was in the hospital that knowing turned into hoping. Today, post hospital, post stroke, the hoping has morphed into an expectation of failure.

[Transparency alert]
Over the past month I've had three interviews and three call backs. None resulted in landing the gigs. Well one possibility was to work on staff @ the Tonight Show.  Many staff people relocated from NYC to LA and they needed someone to communicate with the New Yorkers because New Yorkers are so "direct" they are "hard to work with." Me being a New Yorker with the skills for which they were looking could translate the 'direct' communication into the poofy LaLa language that Hollywood would rather hear.  Round two interview locked that job.  Well due to the recent brouhaha, it made no sense for the company to hire me when Conan and staff were being fired, publicly and in a humiliating manner. With the added bonus of not being able to be on the air again until Sept. of 2010.  Back to the pavement for me. Other than my pimp walk my personality is still the same.  The personality that always landed the job, always had favor with people, that always won.  Now since I am the constant in this story, it's me who is meeting with people what changed?  Why?  Don't attempt to answer that - you couldn't possibly...

It's not fun having these experiences day in and day out.  And it is an effort to make a choice each day to be hopeful, to live with no expectations.  To believe.

I began blogging last April in order to find a community of people who can say, I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL  because I went through what you are going through or I AM GOING THROUGH what you are experiencing now and let me share my story with you.  LET ME ENCOURAGE YOU. In the past, I blogged about faith, beauty products, gadgets, health foods and other rantings all to avoid discussing the meat of traumatic brain injury, how difficult it is to rebuild my life.  All without viewing the blog sphere as a cheap form of therapy but rather a place to have daily dialog, yes I digressed.  Instead what I've found is a wonderful community of bloggers who are mostly unlike me and whom lift my spirits each day with creative writing and unexpected friendships.  I guess I'm doing something right.  Blogging makes me feel like I am winning.

The post title is the word 'five' in ten different languages.  After three years, I still grieve my old life. I am simultaneously experiencing four of the five stages - all but #3 Bargaining.  It's interesting living in a head that experiences Denial, Anger, Depression and Acceptance all at once.  You'll most likely never again read a person admitting these things or ever hear anyone say these things.  People just don't talk about it. I tend to think that's because they never been through any type of trial. However I'm feeling like purging today.  As a believer I have the spirit of Job on one shoulder [who trusts that God will provide and all will end well. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. Job 1:22 & And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? and still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. Job 2:3, KJV ] and the spirit of Job's wife on the other [curse God, gain your earthly riches back and die. Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. Job 2:9, KJV ] because this is not an easy walk.  Does that make me insane?  Intolerable? Crazy? Strange? Or human?  Am I being supernaturally tested?  Am I expected to crack under this pressure? What am I supposed to learn already - WHAAAAAT?

Am I to just put on a face and rejoice always, speak only positivity and move on?  Or express myself in truth based on how I feel and then keep it moving?  I do feel that I must use tact and decorum but always be true. I liken myself to Jack Nicholson's character in "As Good As it Gets" where although crass and needing therapy he says what's on his mind which leads him ultimately to the life that he desires with the woman whom he desires.   Or both rejoice in truth?   Again I have no answers just more questions.  [Pity party over.]

Okay the deck is all clean now.
FAN2045043 - Backyard deck


  1. Boy I wish I had something inspirational to say that would help.

    When I was growing up, I was taught that no matter who you are in life there will always be someone better at something you do and someone worse at that same thing. There will always be someone who has more than you do and someone who has less...and so on. We are all somewhere along the line of a spectrum in every capacity.

    Everyone has trials. Everyone. Some people don't talk about them readily. Everyone deals with them differently. BUT everyone has their tale to tell.

    When I'm feeling down, I have an exercise that puts everything in perspective for me. I look around. I focus on the poverty of 3rd world nations; the genocide of places like Darfur; the children dying in the cancer ward of the hospital, people living in tent cities nearby because they've lost their jobs and home.....and then I say a big prayer of thanks for all my blessings. It works for me.

  2. I can relate all too well to Jack's character in As Good as it gets - we share many personality traits and I'm certainly no optimist - although people have tried to make me into one.

    this post makes me sad because you have so much to offer potential employers. Let your personality shine through in all that you do - but don't worry about being pollyanna-ish in your blog posts - we love the true you :-)



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