I felt nothing

I wanted to stay in bed and cry but instead I got up and dressed myself for church. This is what mothers do, yes? We swallow the tears and we get on with it. I wore an old dress and my husband wore an old suit but the children wore new clothes. This is what parents do, yes? We wear our old things so the children can wear new things. This is what makes us happy. The roses in my garden are blooming and we clipped some for church--to place on the cross. The roses in my garden are blooming....I thought I would never get to see them bloom again, but they are blooming again. And I get to see that. I should be more happy about this.

I was going to lose my home but now I'm not. My heart hasn't quite caught up to all that yet.

We went to church and sang the usual songs. Christ the Lord is risen today, alleuia. But I felt nothing. The songs and the music flowed over me, around me but I was encased in glass, untouchable.

The pastor got up to preach the usual message. New life, everything is changed. But I felt nothing. Except creeping claustrophobia. My armpits pricked with sweat. I got up and walked out.

Something in the center of my chest was squeezing, pinching. I went to the car and reclined the chair, lying very still. I felt physical pain in my chest. But I felt no emotion.

A text: where r u?

I texted back: in car.

I heard my family before I saw them. A joyful noise they make.

My husband drove us home and then he put me to bed. I fell asleep and woke, disoriented. He parked me in the sunshine. He said reassuring things. He stroked my hair.

I felt a tiny pinprick of hope.

Make the appointment, he said. Go see the psychiatrist.

I stared at him from behind thick, soundproof glass and nodded. I huddled up in the chair. In bright sunshine and yet I'm so cold.

I take a bath.

I feel nothing.

I wake at 4:40 the next morning. Maybe I can sweat off this deadness. At bootcamp, I run the timed mile and somewhere in the middle, the shrieking monkeys shut up. The only sounds are my feet hitting the pavement and my breath.

I feel something. But it's not happening in church and it's not happening while I'm praying. It's happening while I'm running. My mind drops into a quiet place. I don't feel dead inside anymore.

I just feel quiet.

And the quietness gave me the courage to make the appointment.