The most important thing is for me to be honest in telling her how I feel; what’s going well, what hasn’t changed much and if there is anything that has arisen since the last time I saw her. On the whole, I am feeling and functioning better. If I was at a #2 on a scale of 1 – 10 six weeks ago, I would say I am definitely between a #4 and a #5 most days and some days all the way up to a good, solid, cheerful, happy #6! Sometimes, a few days later, I’ll be back to a #4 again but the #6 days are beginning to outnumber the #4 days and I rarely have any really terrible days. So, cause for celebration!
Of course, being a teacher, I had to ask her “How to do know I’m not ready to go back to work? How can you tell?” Her answer made me laugh out loud which is always good for the soul! She said “I’m a psychiatrist. I know.”
As I left the office and walked back to my car, I thought to myself, “She’s labeled herself as a psychiatrist. I used to label myself as a musician or a teacher or both. But I don’t now. That is part of who I was, but who am I now?”
I pondered this for a long time today, as I practiced/played piano (practicing Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata, 2nd movement which I am learning for the pure joy of being able to play it!), as I embroidered, as I drew…and it came to me as I put away my pencils: I’ve become a maker. A maker of music, of art, of embroidery, of our home. I make because I love to do so. Not because I have a goal, a deadline, a project, a lesson to teach, a concert to prepare for…I make because it’s fun.
My hands are the tools with which I make my life. They have carried me through the toughest time ( I hope) of this process and brought me through to the other side. Engaging with the process of making has helped me begin to get better. Focusing on making or creating has given my exhausted mind time to heal. It’s happened in the background, in my mind, as my hands were busy making.
Having the time to spend making and healing is, I know, a real blessing. I will be forever thankful to my husband for seeing that I needed help, to my doctors for providing dependable care, for the medical insurance in Germany that gives me the time to heal and not worry about finances. I know how lucky I am.
And I am thankful for my hands.